Positions of Power Attract Self-Seekers

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), May 5

David thoroughly prepares Israel for building a magnificent temple for the Name of the LORD. A significant glitch occurred toward the end of his life, however, that appears to jeopardize the smooth transition of leadership to Solomon.

UnknownAdonijah, David’s son by Haggith, seeks to seize the kingdom for himself. He “exalted himself and said, ‘I will be king’” (1 Kings 1:5). Adonijah is the eldest son (after the deaths of Amnon and Absalom), he has good genes, “he was very good-looking” (1:6), and is spoiled. Further, “his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, ‘Why have you done so?’” (1:6). After obtaining Joab’s support, Adonijah throws a regal party for himself and invites most of the royal officials and household. His coronation party, however, excludes Solomon his brother, Benaiah the general over David’s special guards, Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet. Nathan appeals to Bathsheba to communicate the situation to David, which she does.

The position of power attracts self-seekers like nails to a magnet. Adonijah isn’t interested in the position to further God’s kingdom, but rather to establish his own kingdom. He doesn’t care about building a temple for the Name of the LORD; his plan includes making a name for himself. He assumes, since all of his older brothers are now dead, that the kingdom belongs to him. His lack of childhood discipline creates an attitude of entitlement (like many today).

  • Self-seekers are known as much by those whom they exclude as by those whom they include. Adonijah’s inner circle excludes David’s key leaders and God’s key spokesmen. Adonijah deliberately selects those who have “issues” with his father to establish his reign and ignores those who would challenge his presumptuous actions.
  • Self-seekers throw their own lavish parties with the resources of others. They promise positions they may not be able to fulfill, and, most importantly, ignore the clear word of God about the matter.
  • Self-seekers capitalize on their physical attributes (looks, height, abilities) and heritage rather than on God’s call and plan. Their plans are for the “now” and for “me.” “Others” and “eternity” are not part of their vocabulary.
  • Self-seekers eventually reap what they sow. Their plans may succeed for a while, but eventually their charm runs out, their money fails, and their lies are exposed. The day of reckoning may come slowly, but when it comes, it comes like a train wreck, bringing devastating destruction.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (1 Chronicles 29; 1 Kings 1:1-53):
What does David’s blessing of the LORD before the assembly reveal about his leadership?
How does David see that his life connects with those of the patriarchs?
What do Adonijah’s actions reveal about his character? How had David contributed to Adonijah’s bent toward self-seeking?
What was the basis of Bathsheba’s appeal to King David regarding Solomon? How does the LORD use her appeal to accomplish His will?