Because what he is going to do has already been attempted by his brother Absalom and it failed. How many people sit under good parents and in good churches only to learn the opposite of good? You just scratch your head, you want to go upside their heads, but that doesn't work well with the Lord. But this is Adonijah. He had the lessons.
He did not respect his father's wishes. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of 1 Kings. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio.
Specifically, how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick in the book of 1 Kings chapter 1 as he continues his introduction to this book. Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
Isn't that not powerful? God is saying, look, let me just be clear about this. Love me, serve me, and nobody else. And you will be blessed. And if you don't, these are the consequences.
And that's exactly what happened. The consequences. The blessings were here and there with the good kings.
Uzziah, Hezekiah, Josiah, for example. But in the end, the people, they wanted something more from their God. They wanted something fake. Something that people made up.
Something without a basis. And this is going on to this very day in humanity. Israel's kings were not to be like the kings of the other nations. Israel's kings was to write a copy, their own hand, of the law of Moses. Deuteronomy 17 lays this out for them. The two kingdoms of disobedient people grew indifferent to God's precepts and his prophets, making the northern and southern kingdom, which both eventually fell. And so for us, the lessons abound. The United Kingdom under Solomon. The divided kingdom largely because of Solomon. There are lessons in that.
There are lessons for parents, there are lessons for individual Christians, for pastors, for all of us. This first chapter, this is a long one. It's filled with palace intrigue and drama.
It opens on a low moral level. First Kings opens with the Hebrew nation in its glory, and Second Kings closes with the nation in ruin. And we get these warnings in this very first chapter. And we are to have the same approach to these things as did the prophets.
Everybody else may turn away from you, O Lord, not me. And that's why we applaud it so much when we hear Joshua make that great proclamation of faith, as for me and my house. Well, here in this first chapter, the ugly fruit of polygamy from the eastern harems is the catalyst for all these problems.
The jealousy and the bitter ambitions from such households. The Bible does not uphold polygamy. It condemns it. It just lays out the story and says, you be the judge, because you can't be that stupid. Here are the facts. Here are the results.
What do you think? And yet there are still those fools that somehow try to justify it from the Bible. In this first chapter, we have David in his old age. Adonijah, David's eldest surviving son, setting himself up as king. Nathan and Bathsheba together, appealing to David to deal with him. Solomon then being anointed king, and Adonijah spared. And the story just continues. So that's the introduction to the kings. We look now at the first verse. Now King David was old, advanced in years, and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm. Well, the title, kings, comes from that first, the second word, now King David.
That sets the pace for everything to come. He is 70 years old at this point, and circulatory problems. He was old and cold, and he just couldn't get his body temperature up. His faith was failing. He was frail, but not his mind.
I believe he has a sort of rebound towards the end, where he gives Solomon instructions on the temple, and kind of some key points about his own preparation for the temple and what God did for him. But at this point, in whatever season it is, he's struggling to stay warm. That's a sickness. I mean, it's painful. You just can't get warm. What can you do?
You're shivering all the time, teeth knocking up against each other. Verse 2, Therefore his servant said to him, Let a woman, let a young woman, a virgin, be sought for our lord the king, and let her stand before the king, and let her care for him, and let her lie in your bosom, that our lord the king may be warm. These are likely his physicians, and they are very much concerned.
They are looking for a solution, and this is the one they came up with. This woman would be a nurse attendant for the king, and she would even be present with David during the king's court. That would make her privy to the business of the kingdom, so she had to be trustworthy, and as far as we know, she was.
I want to open this up because I like how it all turns out. It says here in verse 2, And let her lie in your bosom, that our lord the king may be warm. Well, reading various writings about, ancient writings about these things, this was in harmony with current practices. Josephus, who lived in the days of the apostles, he writes about this very practice. Later, Galen, the Greek physician, about 130 years after the birth of Christ, he was born, and this was a practice that he did.
It continued into the Middle Ages, and so what I'm saying, this wasn't something that, you know, they just thought up. Evidently, the elderly who struggled with being cold. You know, we have a saying, a three dog night. That means it's so cold, you don't sleep with one of your sleigh dogs, you sleep with three of them to get that body heat, and that's what was going on with David. So, verse 3, So they sought for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shulamite, and brought her to the king.
Well, not just anyone would do. So they sought throughout the territory. Of all the maidens in Israel, it was Abishag to serve the king in this way. Of all the beautiful women in Persia, it would be Esther, who won the king's heart for the people. Of all the foreigners surrounding Israel, it was Ruth, who would be the great grandmother to King David. And what an outstanding lass Ruth is to us.
I mean, just her speech, you know, your God will be my God, your people will be your, you die, I will die. I mean, you just love Ruth. It doesn't tell us that she was physically beautiful. She was probably a plain Jane on the outside. But man, talk about the inward beauty Ruth had it. And of all the maidens in Israel, it was Mary to bear the king Messiah. These are lessons for us.
They count, they mean something. As I look at the heroes of the Bible, I don't say to myself, boy, if I could be like Paul, that would be painful. Haha. Anyway, I say, how much can I be like them in any given area of my life? How much can I be like them? What can I learn to not be impetuous like Peter? We're becoming, Peter's still impetuous after the ascension. And he's going to make problems that God will just deal with, but not in a hard way.
God will actually incorporate it into his will, even though it really wasn't God's will. You know, Peter, hey, I have a good idea. I need to take control.
Let's do this. And God is saying, excuse me. But we'll get to that when we get to chapter, go through chapter one in Acts. It is Shag the Shulamite. Shunem is where she was from.
That's in Ishikar's territory. That is also where the wealthy woman who provided food and shelter for Elisha resided. Her son had been revived by the prophet. She was from Shunem. And the female heroine in the Song of Solomon is known as the Shulamite. We're told that in Song of Songs chapter 6, verse 13.
She was from Shunem. I believe that the Song of Solomon is a story play by Solomon, and Abishag the Shulamite is the character he has in mind to tell the story. And for the New Testament church, we look at the story of this Abishag, or the Shulamite, and we say this is the church, so loved by the beloved and so sought by the world to be corrupted, but she makes it through. She never gives in to King Solomon.
She ends up with her shepherd lover. And that is the meaning, one of the great meanings from the Song of Solomon. Solomon just, you know, taken by the Shulamite, likely, and writes this Song of Solomon as we know it, and the Holy Spirit says, I'll take that because I authored this, and I have great purposes for it, and Solomon probably didn't even have a clue.
Anyway, verse 4. The young woman was very lovely, and she cared for the king and served him, but the king did not know her. The young woman was very lovely. Elsewhere translated beautiful, as with Sarah and Esther, physically attractive by the standards of those days. Her beauty is attested to later by Adonijah, David's elder son, because he's going to try to marry her, and he will die trying.
Anyway, the Shulamite's beauty is also attested to in Song of Solomon in chapter 6. Apparently, she did captivate Solomon's imagination, and he wrote a love story around her. He may have even desired her, but discovered she was just too much integrity. It was chaste enough to really not be impressed by the king, and that's when you get the first chapter in the Song of Solomon.
She's at the banquet, and she's just really not impressed. Anyway, she is for a little bit, but not enough. She cared for the king and served him. She becomes David's nurse, but the king did not know her.
It's a platonic relationship. David physically deteriorated at this point in his life, had no romantic interests, just wanted to get warm. That was his objective, and the fact that he never had relationships with her, Adonijah takes as grounds, furnished grounds, to try to marry her. As I mentioned before, it was another attempt at the throne. Solomon sees through it, and we'll have him executed.
We get to that in chapter 2. But these days of David's feebleness created this opportunity for Adonijah to exalt himself, and therein lessons begin to percolate for us as a Christian. I mean, we say, well, you know, humble yourself in the presence of the Lord, and he will exalt you in due time. We do not promote at all self-exaltation, and we see it personified in Adonijah. We've seen it in others, too, but tonight we're talking about Adonijah. Verse 5, then Adonijah, the son of Hagith, exalted himself, saying, I will be king, and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen and fifty men to run before him.
Hmm. Again, he is most likely David's oldest living son, and next in line, therefore, for the throne according to the custom. He wants to make this claim. David's moving too slowly on it. So he attempts to exploit David's weakened condition.
You know, again, David is, you know, his faculties are there, but he's preoccupied with trying to get warm. He's not really running the kingdom. Adonijah was the handsome dunce who learned nothing and died achieving nothing, and I don't want that to be lost on any of us. He was the handsome dunce who learned nothing, because what he is going to do has already been attempted by his brother Absalom, and it failed. How many people sit under good parents and in good churches only to learn the opposite of good?
You just scratch your head. You want to go upside their heads, but that doesn't work well with the Lord. But this is Adonijah. He had the lessons. He did not respect his father's wishes. He did not respect God's revelation of who would succeed David through the prophet Nathan.
He felt entitled to rule. History meant nothing to him. He couldn't learn. He just refused to learn. He's so arrogant, so self-absorbed, and self-impressed that if it didn't help who he wanted to be, he was not interested. Cowardly in that he waited until his father was too unhealthy to rebuke him, to make his move. He is an example of how none of us should ever be. Not just, hey, you young Christians, none of us should be this way at any age. Without submission to God, there can be no mission for God. It's not tricky.
It's not complicated at all. Unless you want to be on the wrong side of events, then you can go out and do whatever you do, but you're going to have to answer. It says here in verse 5, he exalted himself, saying, I will be king. Well, it wasn't his place to do this. And this is a practice that is often carried out by Christians in churches.
It's not their place to do certain things, but they do it anyway, and they just create these problems for everybody else. He exalted himself, saying, I will be the ruler. Romans 13, verse 2. Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. Yes, Paul is talking about civil government.
Well, there's a civil government here in operation 2, and he is violating it. James, chapter 4. God, speaking of God, he gives more grace. Therefore, he says, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Now, that ain't Adonijah, and I don't want that to be me.
Peter, Peter really opens it up. He says, likewise, you younger people submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Do you believe that? Well, I used to believe it, but God took too long to give the grace that I was waiting for.
Then you weren't humbled. God does take time, and he does work mysteriously. Accept it, and nothing you can do about it. You can't force the hand of God.
You can side with it. The same self-promoting style that Adonijah is exhibiting here, that the New Testament writers, as I just read, are warning against, that's the same style as Satan. Satan said, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.
Well, there's nothing higher. He wants to put himself over God. Adonijah would also justify his coup by considering Solomon an illegitimate son. How convenient. He had decided that he's not a real prince.
I am. They would do this with our Lord. They would throw him to his face, and John makes sure it's recorded for us that he was born of a virgin. Yeah, we believe that.
That's what the world's response was to this day. John chapter 8, Jesus speaking. You do the deeds of your father. Then they said to him, we are not born of fornication. We have one Father, God. Well, they were wrong, spiritually especially. But that's it. We weren't born of fornication, Jesus. You, on the other hand, have this question mark on your life. It says here in verse 5, he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen and 50 men to run before him, just like Absalom.
He repeats the same, the identical mistake. Appearance meant more than character for him. Even to this day, that's the big deal with a lot of people, appearance. What about when you go to church and you put on that Sunday best appearance? Well, if it's legitimate, if it's born in or built on integrity, you're genuinely trying to get it right.
It's far better than being a fraud. Adonijah still needed the king's blessings to be king. We'll get that in verse 20. But he thinks that he's going to pull this off anyway, verse 6. And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, why have you done so? He was also very good-looking.
His mother had borne him after Absalom. Well, he had been getting away with arrogant assumptions all of his life. Until now, he's simply arrogant. He doesn't even have the ability to stop himself, nor is he interested.
That's why he wouldn't have the ability. This unchecked air of superiority will cost him his life, because with that unchecked air of superiority comes a sense of entitlement that you are not entitled to. He won't let it go. When he is put down for this attempted coup, he's going to try it again.
He won't survive the second attempt. Parents who don't correct their children just let others suffer their children. It's unfortunate. Everybody's got to, you know, okay, here's the brat. What are we going to do? You can't discipline somebody else's kid, not without a nuclear event. And so I hope our Christian parents will, you know, just some parents just can't seem to tell their little darlings, no, when that's the very thing those little darlings crave many times. And me, it doesn't have to be mean and vicious. You just know, and you enforce your will.
My will be done. In David's defense, he apparently is unaware of Adonijah's real intent. That comes out in verse 11, when Nathan brings it up to Bathsheba, that David doesn't know this coup is going on. He probably knew some of the things that, he certainly knew some of the things that Adonijah was doing, and he should have nipped them in the bud, and he did not.
But at this point, he's preoccupied again with not chilling. His mother had borne him after Absalom, meaning he was younger than Absalom, but not that they share the same mother. Absalom's mother name was Maacah, whereas Adonijah's mother is Hagith, a feminized form of Haggai. God is going to overrule this appointment that's in the mind of Adonijah. Verse 7, incidentally, as we should know, it was already clear from long ago that Solomon was going to be king after David the kingdom knew this. Verse 7, then he conferred with Joab the son of Zoriah, and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed and helped Adonijah. Well, he knew who to go to. He thought he did.
It didn't work. Joab, David's general, David's nephew, bloodthirsty, always ready to kill. Abiathar the priest, both men, really unwaving loyalty to David.
Joab was Joab, but still, bottom line, he was loyal to David up until now. There is no fool like an old fool, though young fools can rival them with the damage they do. Which would you rather deal with, an old fool or a young fool? Neither.
They're the same. It's just one has had time to correct themselves and blew it. Proverbs 14, 7, go from the presence of a foolish man when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.
Well, what other way should it be? Here are two fools, old and young. Young Adonijah, well, more than two, then you have Abiathar and Joab, the older fools. Abiathar the priest, he joined David when Saul had Doag kill the priest at Nob. He had been faithful to David all that time. And because of his commitment to David, he became one of David's advisors and friends. And yet, look at the loyalty.
Loyalty is a big deal for us. Christians think I'm saved. I don't need any virtues, some Christians think. I'm saved.
Jesus loves me. Why do I have to be burdened with virtues? Who needs to be loyal? If I see something that I don't care for, I just change teams.
Yeah, that helps hell out so much. When Satan comes across truly loyal Christians, he comes against opposition that counts, that beats him down. Here in this incident with Adonijah, Abiathar's first recorded act of disloyalty, disloyalty to what David had embraced, which was God's will through the revelation of the prophet Nathan. Abiathar knew the prophecy, he knew the will of God concerning Solomon. So why did he side against it?
What is wrong with people who do this? They know better. It's not a little or subtle thing.
This is very deliberate. It tells us there at verse 7, they followed and helped Adonijah. Garen calculated a disobedient priesthood would contribute very much a satanically corrupted kingdom. If the priesthood is corrupt, then the salt of the earth is missing.
That would thwart the work of satan in the kingdom. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.
We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 1 Kings has had a lasting imprint on your life. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series or share it with someone you know, please visit crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.com. Our time with you today is about up, but we hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God. Join us again as Pastor Rick covers more in the book of 1 Kings. We'll see you on Cross Reference Radio.
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