“Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? And he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.” (1 Kings 1:5-6)
Adonijah was one of the sons of king David. At a certain time in his life, Adonijah desired in his heart to go against his father and claim the rulership of Israel for himself. For we read in the first part of 1 Kings 1:5, “Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king.” Why is it that Adonijah desired to do this? We can see, for one, that Adonijah was not submitted to his father. He did not have an intimate relationship with him. What was it that prevented Adonijah from having an intimate relationship with his father? Well, for one, king David had many wives. Whereas in the beginning, God stated that the marriage union was to be between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24), David broke this rule, as many have done, only to be laden with the burden of criss-crossing relationships which are difficult to manage, produce a sense of unrighteous “competition” in the family, and lead to broken and distraught relationships.
Second, though David had many wives, he still could have imparted a sense of discipline and respect into Adonijah, but a very big “no-no” that we see in verse 6 is that (in the King James), “his father had not displeased [i.e. gone against] him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?” In other words, David had not confronted or disciplined his son about his unrighteous attitude toward his own authority. The Bible speaks very clearly about the need to discipline children. In Hebrews 12:6-8 we read, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” According to these verses, love is demonstrated through confrontation and discipline. By not confronting his son, David treated him as a “bastard” (in the King James, Hebrews 12:8) and not as a son! Ouch! What was Adonijah’s response? He responded as though he was also unloved and not a son!
We know from this passage in 1 Kings 1, that deep down, David knew that his son Adonijah had hard feelings towards him. Yet David did nothing about it. After all was said and done, I guess you could say, this was David’s worst sin of all. It was the sin of complacency that caught up with him — the fact of knowing something that was important to do, but just “resting on it.” If Jesus were to come back today, and snatch us up into heaven and place us before the judgment seat of Christ, which things would remain undone that should have been done, but in our own way of thinking, we could “never find the time” to do them? May this passage serve to remind us that sooner or later, as the Bible says, “[our] sin will find [us] out” (Numbers 32:23b). May we so respond as to do everything we can to “clear the debt” that we owe, to both people, and to God, before it is too late!
Here are some “teasers” to perhaps help us in the task:
1. Is there any debt that we owe to another person or institution that we have not yet paid (even a telephone bill?)
2. Is there a “sorry” we owe to someone?
3. Is there a specific task that God has put on our heart for us to do that we have been remiss in acting on quickly and putting into action … right now?
4. Have we withheld money from the church, or another person to whom God has told us to “give it”?
I leave you with the following verses to go over and consider. May the Lord bless you as you do.
“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” (Proverbs 3:27-28)
“Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:7-8)
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)