Beware of the Sin of Deception

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Kings 2:13 (NIV)
Now Adonijah, the son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. Bathsheba asked him, “Do you come peacefully?” He answered, “Yes, peacefully.”

1 Kings 2:13-14 (MSG)
Adonijah son of Haggith came to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She said, “Do you come in peace?” He said, “In peace.”
*************************************
“Now Adonijah the son of [David and] Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, “Do you come in peace?” And he said, “In peace.”-AMPLIFIED

The direction of the story turns back to Adonijah for just a bit. We find this fourth son of David who has not so long ago been given a new lease on life up to his old tricks still. (Remember, he had declared himself king as his father lay dying. David though overruled his decision and made Solomon king.) Adonijah had every opportunity to do the right thing now and support Solomon as king, but we find him in today’s passage using his wiles to try and usurp the kingdom away from his brother.

Adonijah comes to Bathsheba, Solomon’s own mother, and seeks an audience with her. Of course she is feeling a bit apprehensive about this. She knew what happened earlier; she was not dumb, but a little naive. Her first question to him is, “Do you come in peace?” She was worried that he was coming to make trouble. (He was.)

He deceitfully replies, “Of course, I am.” and then proceeds to ask a favor of her. Poor Bathsheba is clueless on where this is going and agrees to go to Solomon with Adonijah’s request. The request was this, “Please, I ask that you go to King Solomon, for he adores you and will not ignore your request. Ask him to give me Abishag the Shunammite, the young woman who nursed my father before he died. I want her as my wife.” -1 Kings 2:17 (VOICE)

Adonijah plays that he is all innocent, but we can pick up much from his conversation prior to his request. “You are aware that all the kingdom was in my possession and that everyone in Israel believed I was going to be king; but instead, my brother Solomon has received the kingdom from the Eternal One. I have one thing to ask you, and I beg you not to ignore it.” -1 Kings 2:15-16 (VOICE)

This fool has even lied to himself. He grossly exaggerates the truth. The kingdom was never in his possession. It was never meant to be in his possession and he knows this as a fact. He is willing to use every weapon in his arsenal to achieve what he is after though; even if it means sinking to self-pity and deception. We will see that he has not given up hope on becoming king. His request for Abishaq was made with an ulterior motive behind it.

Bathsheba, not realizing the significance behind his request agrees to go to Solomon and ask for Adonijah’s request. (This poor woman had no idea what was going on in the background.) She goes to Solomon with the request and this is how it plays out.
“Bathsheba went to King Solomon to present Adonijah’s request. The king got up and welcomed her, bowing respectfully, and returned to his throne. Then he had a throne put in place for his mother, and she sat at his right hand.
She said, “I have a small favor to ask of you. Don’t refuse me.”
The king replied, “Go ahead, Mother; of course I won’t refuse you.”
She said, “Give Abishag the Shunammite to your brother Adonijah as his wife.”
King Solomon answered his mother, “What kind of favor is this, asking that Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah? Why don’t you just ask me to hand over the whole kingdom to him on a platter since he is my older brother and has Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah on his side!”
Then King Solomon swore under God, “May God do his worst to me if Adonijah doesn’t pay for this with his life! As surely as God lives, the God who has set me firmly on the throne of my father David and has put me in charge of the kingdom just as he promised, Adonijah will die for this—today!”
King Solomon dispatched Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he struck Adonijah and he died.” -1 Kings 2:19-25 (MSG)

The Bible has much to say about deception and liars, of which Satan was the original offender:

* “Lying lips are extremely disgusting to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight.” -Proverbs 12:22 (AMP)

* “He who walks in integrity and with moral character walks securely, but he who takes a crooked way will be discovered and punished.” -Proverbs 10:9 (AMP)

* “If God were your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side.” -John 8:42-47 (MSG)

*Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.” -Colossians 3:9-11 (MSG)

We are to be children of the Light! Deception and lies should have no place in our lives. Walk in integrity, as a child of God should.

My Prayer:
Lord, the old has gone and the new has come. I am a child of the Most High God and I should not have anything to do with the old habits of sin, deception and lying. I know this. Help me life to exemplify Jesus. I do not want to fall into those old tricks of my Enemy. You take delight in truth, love, integrity and moral character. Help me to live my life in such a way that I will be found pleasing to you.

Firmly Established

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Kings 2:10-12 (NIV)
Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. He had reigned forty years over Israel—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.

1 Kings 2:10-12 (MSG)
Then David joined his ancestors. He was buried in the City of David. David ruled Israel for forty years—seven years in Hebron and another thirty-three in Jerusalem. Solomon took over on the throne of his father David; he had a firm grip on the kingdom.
*********************************
“So David lay down with his fathers [in death] and was buried in the City of David. The time that David reigned over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. Then Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

The time has come to lay our hero, fearless leader and great king to rest. David lived a very public life that we are still able to read about today and learn from. He was a pretty normal guy; despite the fact that he was king. He came from humble beginnings; just as most of us do. He was able to rise up from those humble beginnings because he was obedient to the VOICE OF THE LORD.

This does not mean that David was perfect in any stretch of the matter; because he was not. He messed up and sinned, but he also turned to God when he did, asked forgiveness and made things right with God.

Max Lucado compiled this list that points out what happened when David took his eyes off of God.
“When David lost his focus on God…
+ He lost hope and started to fear Saul.
+ He started to listen to other people’s advice.
+ He continued his deceit and cover-up lies.
+ He lost self-control.
+ He didn’t go to battle with his army.
+ He had a sexual relation with a married woman.
+ He sent her husband to the front lines to be killed in battle.”
~Max Lucado (Facing your Giants)

Still, God had this to say about David. “After God moved Saul aside, He made David king in his place. God had this to say about David: “I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after My own heart. He’s the kind of king who will rule in ways that please Me.” -Acts 13:22 (VOICE)

Somewhere along the way, despite the fact that David did not appear to be a very good disciplinarian to his children, he must have passed some of his attitude, dedication and heart for God on to his son, Solomon. For we find in our text that David died leaving Solomon sitting on the throne, firmly established. He had a firm grip on the kingdom and the pulse of the nation. The VOICE tells us also this little bit of information, “… and his kingdom was strong and healthy.” David left Solomon in good standing and his last words to him were ones of sound advice. Solomon was left in charge; FIRMLY ESTABLISHED!

What does it mean to be firmly established? It means that something is firmly fixed, settled, rooted, grounded, or stable.

We too can be firmly established. Scripture even points out the need for us to be so:

* “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” -Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)

* “...if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” -Colossians 1:23 (NIV)

You may wonder why this is important. This is why; “The message about Christ has become so firmly established in you that you have not failed to receive a single blessing, as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be faultless on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” -1 Corinthians 1:6-8 (GNT)

The lives of Israel’s David and Solomon were larger than than life for most of us. They were a father and son that ruled as kings of the nation of Israel. Their lives and writings, have supplied history with epic-scale examples of what we should do and not do in our lives. There is much that we can learn from them. Take this lesson from their lives today; be firmly established in God. Your life depends on it!

My Prayer:
Lord, may I be firmly established and grounded in you. Help me to make sure that my relationship with you is always my number one priority. I know and realize that when my focus on you is moved I stumble and fall. Help me God to carefully keep that focus where it needs to be; firmly on you. My hope is in you! My desire is to be obedient; help me Lord to stay true to you. You are the one constant in my life that I can count on and trust. Thank you for always being my constant companion. Lord, I love you!

A Little Fatherly Advice-A Father’s Words of Wisdom

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Kings 2:1-4(NIV)
When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.
“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

1 Kings 2:1-4 (MSG)
When David’s time to die approached, he charged his son Solomon, saying, “I’m about to go the way of all the earth, but you—be strong; show what you’re made of! Do what God tells you. Walk in the paths he shows you: Follow the life-map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts, his course for life set out in the revelation to Moses; then you’ll get on well in whatever you do and wherever you go. Then God will confirm what he promised me when he said, ‘If your sons watch their step, staying true to me heart and soul, you’ll always have a successor on Israel’s throne.’
***********************************************
“When David’s time to die approached, he gave instructions to Solomon his son, saying, “I am going the way of all the earth [as dust to dust]. Be strong and prove yourself a man. Keep the charge of the Lord your God, [that is, fulfill your obligation to] walk in His ways, keep His statutes, His commandments, His precepts, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, so that you may succeed in everything that you do and wherever you turn, so that the Lord may fulfill His [a]promise concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons are careful regarding their way [of life], to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and mind and with all their soul, you shall not fail to have a man (descendant) on the throne of Israel.’” -AMPLIFIED

The time has come. David is about to breath his last breathe. Before he departs from this life he has some fatherly advice for his son Solomon who has taken his place as king. David tells Solomon, “I am about to go the way all earthly things go. Be strong; demonstrate your maturity. Honor the laws of the Eternal your God, and live by His truth. Be faithful to His laws, commands, judgments, and precepts—the ones written for us in the instructions of Moses. If you follow this path, you will be successful in everything you do no matter where you are, for the Eternal will be faithful to His promise to me throughout your life. He promised me, “For as long as your sons are devoted to Me and live by My truth and embrace it with all their being, your offspring will always sit upon Israel’s throne.” -(VOICE)

Finally we find David taking his duties as a father seriously. Finally he has realized the need for him to prepare someone to take his place as king. God had given all fathers a very important role as priests of their household. That position came with very detailed directions from God too. God instructed the children of Israel with these words, “Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (MSG)

How important was this command from God, you may ask? God felt it was so important that He basically repeated it later in the book of Deuteronomy. Once again God instructed the people in this way, “Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you’ll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth.” -Deuteronomy 11:19-21 (MSG)

There is the same importance for every parent to teach their children in the way that they should go. Give your children godly wisdom and advice. Help them grow up into the men and women that God wants them to become. If you do not care to take the time to teach them; who will?

“If we don’t teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to.” ~Author Unknown

I leave you with a bit of wisdom and advice from Asaph:
“Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth,
bend your ears to what I tell you.
I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb;
I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,
Stories we heard from our fathers,
counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
we’re passing it along to the next generation—
God’s fame and fortune,
the marvelous things he has done.” -Psalm 78:1-4 (MSG)

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to faithfully be responsible for teaching my children and the children that I have influence over Your ways. Help me to give them godly wisdom and advice. I know that this duty is of utmost importance. For if I become slack in my duties than I have left the door open for the World to teach and influence these children. Help me Lord. Give me more of your wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Help me Lord, I pray! This is an awesome responsibility.

A Demonstration of Mercy

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Kings 1:52-53(NIV)
Solomon replied, “If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.” Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.”

1 Kings 1:52-53 (MSG)
Solomon then said, “If he proves to be a man of honor, not a hair of his head will be hurt; but if there is evil in him, he’ll die.” Solomon summoned him and they brought him from the Altar. Adonijah came and bowed down, honoring the king. Solomon dismissed him, “Go home.”
**********************************************
“Solomon said, “If he [proves he] is a worthy man, not even one of his hairs shall fall to the ground; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” So King Solomon sent [soldiers], and they brought Adonijah down from the altar [that was in front of the tabernacle]. And he came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.” -AMPLIFIED

Yesterday we left Adonijah receiving the news that he was in fact NOT the next king of Israel despite his assumptions and intentions. Jonathan the messenger came to him and his company of merrymakers and crashed the whole party.

Jonathan delivered this message.
“You are wrong! Our lord, King David, has appointed Solomon as king. By David’s instruction, Solomon is with Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah (Jehoiada’s son), the Cherethites, and the Pelethites. Furthermore, the king gave Solomon a mule to ride. When they got to Gihon, Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon as the new king. They are celebrating now, and that is the reason for the city’s festivities you are hearing; Solomon already sits on the throne of the kingdom. All the servants of the king went to our lord, King David, to congratulate him: “Bless you! May your God make Solomon’s reign, his name, and his throne even greater than yours!” Then the king bowed down to Solomon on his bed.” -1 Kings 1:43-47 (VOICE)

Even David was acknowledging Solomon as king; this coronation is a done deal. It is almost as if you could hear his sigh of relief; the job was don. The passing of authority was complete. David’s response, “Praise be to the Eternal One, Israel’s God! He has allowed me to live long enough to see the day when another sits on my throne.” -1 Kings 1:48 (VOICE)

Adonijah’s response was not quite the same. Nor was the response of his guests. They were terrified when they heard the news. The guests to the presumptuous coronation grabbed their things and headed home as quickly as possible. Everyone was afraid of what would or could happen to them.

Adonijah himself was afraid for his life. He fled to the sanctuary and grabbed the horns of the Altar. Why would he do such a thing? The VOICE translation gives us this bit of information in a footnote that is helpful:
“Inside the congregation tent, priests make daily sacrifices to the Lord on the great horned altar. By touching the bloodstained horns of the altar, an innocent man can immediately grab God’s attention and be granted divine absolution. That absolution then has to come from the court as well, since no man can overrule God. It is Adonijah’s plan to save himself when he grabs the horns, but he is not an innocent man. Because Adonijah abuses this custom, Solomon is not required to forgive his brother just because he is at the altar.” -(VOICE)

A messenger brought Solomon the news of what was happening with his brother. Solemnly the new King received the message: “Adonijah is terrified of King Solomon. He is gripping the horns of the altar and pleading, “Today I beg King Solomon to promise me, his servant Adonijah, that he will not execute me.” -1 Kings 1:51 (VOICE)

This brand new king had to make a judgement call. Would he squash the source of a possible rebellion? Would he rid himself of any competition or adversary? Listen to Solomon’s response, “If Adonijah will be a man of integrity and honor, then not a single hair on his head will be harmed. But if he is an evil man, then he shall die.” -Kings 1:52 (VOICE)

We find the new king extending a hand of mercy to his proud, arrogant brother; who basically was a thorn in his flesh He called his brother to come and stand before him. Adonijah was escorted from the altar to Solomon’s throne room. Adonijah entered the king’s presence and fell down before him, putting his face down to the floor; humbling himself. At this point, he acknowledged Solomon’s authority. (This will not last too long.) Solomon accepts Adonijah’s move of submission and allow him to go home. Solomon chooses to spare his brother’s life and offers him mercy.

Listen to what Jesus expects from his followers:

* “But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.” -Luke 6:35-36 (AMP)

* “Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” –Matthew 5:7 (AMP)

* “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” -Matthew 9:13 (NIV)

Mercy needs to triumph over judgement!

“Mercy imitates God, and disappoints Satan.” ~ John Chrysostom

“The most miserable prison in the world is the prison we make for ourselves when we refuse to show mercy.”~ Warren Wiersbe

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to extend mercy to others, instead of judgement. It is so easy to judge quickly. Let your heart be in me instead. Allow me to reach out in your agape love and be the helping hand, the listening ear, and the shoulder to lean on. I would want someone to do that for me. Help me to be the example of Jesus that people are needing to see. You desire mercy; let me be filled with it, I pray. Lord, make me more like you; not just today, but every day.

Thwarted! Check Mate!

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Kings 1:29-30 (NIV)
The king then took an oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”

1 Kings 1:29-30 (MSG)
The king solemnly promised, “As God lives, the God who delivered me from every kind of trouble, I’ll do exactly what I promised in God’s name, the God of Israel: Your son Solomon will be king after me and take my place on the throne. And I’ll make sure it happens this very day.”
***********************************************
“Then the king swore an oath and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul from all distress, even as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall certainly be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place’; I will indeed do so this very day.” -AMPLIFIED

Adonijah thought he had everything worked out. He presumed that he was to be the next king. He even went so far as to prepare himself a coronation celebration and invited those who he thought would support him wholeheartedly. Not once did he consider what his father would think, do or react. He had badly underestimated his father we will see in our text today. His father may have been bedridden, but he was not dead yet!

When David heard what was happening, not only from Bathsheba, but also from the prophet Nathan he was not happy at all. He called Bathsheba back into the room and delivered his decision to her, “As certain as the life of the Eternal One, the One who rescued me from all trouble, today I will uphold what I promised to you by the Eternal, the God of Israel, when I said, “Your son, Solomon, will reign as king after me. He will inherit my throne.” -1 Kings 1:29-30 (VOICE)

David called Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah (Jehoiada’s son) to come into his chamber. (Poor David, even in his old age and being bedridden he had no relief from problems.) David has these guys come into his bedroom and he gives them these instructions. “Lead my servants and my son, Solomon, down to Gihon. Give Solomon one of my own mules to ride. Zadok and Nathan, listen. When you arrive at Gihon, anoint Solomon as Israel’s king. Sound the trumpet, and proclaim, “May King Solomon have a long life!” Then follow after him, for he will then sit on my throne and replace me as king. I have named him ruler over Israel and Judah even though he is not my oldest son.” -1 Kings 1:33-35 (VOICE)

Right away these guys agreed to the king’s plan. Benaiah, in fact, voiced exactly what this small group was thinking. “So be it! May the Eternal One, the True God of my lord and king, agree and bless Solomon. Just as the Eternal One has been a friend to my lord, King David, may He be so to Solomon. May He make Solomon’s reign even greater than David’s!” -1 Kings 1:36-37 (VOICE)

We find Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaia, and David’s personal guards journeying together to Gihon. They had Solomon ride on the back of one of David’s mules. Once they arrived Zadok the priest anointed Solomon with the horn of oil of the Lord. A trumpet was sounded and the crowd that had followed them proclaimed, “May King Solomon have a long life!” Everyone that had followed them began to play their wind instruments and joyfully celebrated until the ground shook.

Meanwhile, we turn back to the clueless Adonijah. He and those who had come to his celebration heard the trumpet and the sound of the people celebrating, but they did not understand or realize what was going on. Joab, David’s general, was there celebrating with Adonijah. (SHAME ON HIM!)Joab heard the trumpet and realized something was up. ” What is the meaning of this jamboree? Why does the city celebrate?” -1 Kings 1:41

While he was still speaking a messenger came running in with the news; which Adonijah thought would surely be good news. The Messenger, Johnathan delivered this message, ““Hardly! Our master King David has just made Solomon king! And the king has surrounded him with Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, with the Kerethites and Pelethites; and they’ve mounted Solomon on the royal mule. Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon and the parade is headed up this way singing—a great fanfare! The city is rocking! That’s what you’re hearing. Here’s the crowning touch—Solomon is seated on the throne of the kingdom! And that’s not all: The king’s servants have come to give their blessing to our master King David saying, ‘God make Solomon’s name even more honored than yours, and make his rule greater than yours!’ On his deathbed the king worshiped God and prayed, ‘Blessed be God, Israel’s God, who has provided a successor to my throne, and I’ve lived to see it!’” 1 Kings 1:43-47 (MSG)

CHECK MATE! Adonijah’s goose has been cooked.

At some point before this time David wrote these words that should be a reminder to us that God is always on our side and with us in those times that we think our Enemy has the upper hand:

* “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.” -Psalm 138:7 (AMP)

* “God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.” -Psalm 46:1-3 (MSG)

My Prayer:
Father, remind me that you are always working things out for my good. It may appear that the Enemy has the upper hand, but YOU are greater, stronger and quite able to defeat him. Lord, help me to take my eyes off the circumstances and keep them firmly fixed on you. I know you will thwart the Enemy! Help me to trust that you will do it personally for me, Lord. I want to trust you more!

The Sin of Presumption

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Kings 1:9-10 (NIV)
Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon.

1 Kings 1:9-10 (MSG)
Next Adonijah held a coronation feast, sacrificing sheep, cattle, and grain-fed heifers at the Stone of Zoheleth near the Rogel Spring. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and everyone in Judah who had position and influence—but he did not invite the prophet Nathan, Benaiah, the bodyguards, or his brother Solomon.
**************************************
“Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened steers by the Stone of Zoheleth, which is beside [the well] En-rogel; and he invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants [to this feast]. But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the most formidable warriors, or his brother Solomon.” -AMPLIFIED

Today we are going to address how Adonijah was so overcome by his desire to become king that he arranged a sacrificial gathering for himself. Basically he held his own coronation feast. He was so sure of himself. (Talk about putting the cart before the horse!) He was being totally preposterous!(He did not even wait for his father to die, but assumed that he would be the next king and was going to push the envelope.)

Now let us notice who and who was not invited to this so called coronation dinner. “Adonijah sent out invitations to all of his brothers, sons of the king, and also to all the men in Judah, who were all in service of the king. Adonijah did not send an invitation to Nathan the prophet, to Benaiah, to any of the fierce and loyal men devoted to David, or to his brother Solomon.” (VOICE)

All of Adonijah’s brothers were invited BUT Solomon. All of David’s faithful, loyal, fierce men were also NOT invited. (Sounds like something fishy is going on already.)Know and understand this fact, Adonijah was certain to kill anyone who challenged his throne.

We find Nathan the prophet going to Bathsheba, David’s wife and Solomon’s mother with this information and plan. “Did you know that Adonijah, Haggith’s son, has taken over as king, and our master David doesn’t know a thing about it? Quickly now, let me tell you how you can save both your own life and Solomon’s. Go immediately to King David. Speak up: ‘Didn’t you, my master the king, promise me, “Your son Solomon will be king after me and sit on my throne”? So why is Adonijah now king?’ While you’re there talking with the king, I’ll come in and corroborate your story.” -1 Kings 1:11-14 (MSG)

Scripture does not tell us what Bathsheba’s reaction was to Nathan’s news, but it does tell us that she went quickly into David’s chamber to catch him up on the news. “My master,” she said, “you promised me in God’s name, ‘Your son Solomon will be king after me and sit on my throne.’ And now look what’s happened—Adonijah has taken over as king, and my master the king doesn’t even know it! He has thrown a huge coronation feast—cattle and grain-fed heifers and sheep—inviting all the king’s sons, the priest Abiathar, and Joab head of the army. But your servant Solomon was not invited. My master the king, every eye in Israel is watching you to see what you’ll do—to see who will sit on the throne of my master the king after him. If you fail to act, the moment you’re buried my son Solomon and I are as good as dead.”-1 Kings 1:17-21 (MSG)

In a short time we find Nathan coming in to support Bathsheba’s story. Suddenly we find Adonijah’s plan for kingship quickly unraveling; all his well laid plans, his charming ways, and his assumptions were for naught.

The Bible has a few things to say about the sin of presumption:

* “If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die.” -Exodus 21:14 (NASB)

* “Who can understand his errors or omissions? Acquit me of hidden (unconscious, unintended) faults. Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous (deliberate, willful) sins; let them not rule and have control over me. Then I will be blameless (complete), and I shall be acquitted of great transgression.” -Psalm 19:12-13 (AMP)

* “And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.” -James 4:13-15 (MSG)

The sin of presumption is closely related to the sin of pride. Let us be careful that we do not allow ourselves, in our arrogance, to fall into the sin of presumption. Live your life in a state of humility. Follow Paul’s instructions to the Philippians:
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” -Philippians 2:1-4 (MSG)

My Prayer:
Lord, forgive me for those times that I have fallen into the sin of presumption. That was very arrogant of me and I am sorry. Help me to live my life with my hand firmly placed in your hand and my heart and mind yielded to you. I do not want to be a know-it-all. Instead, I want to be known as one who relied and trusted in God. Whatever it is that you have planned, Lord, I am ready for you to take the lead.

The Issue With Indulging Our Children

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Kings 1:5-6 (NIV)
Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.” So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. (His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)

1 Kings 1:5-6 (MSG)
At this time Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, puffed himself up saying, “I’m the next king!” He made quite a splash, with chariots and riders and fifty men to run ahead of him. His father had spoiled him rotten as a child, never once reprimanding him. Besides that, he was very good-looking and the next in line after Absalom.
*************************************
“Then Adonijah the son of [David’s wife] Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I [the eldest living son] will be king.” So [following Absalom’s example] he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. His father [David] had never rebuked him at any time by asking, “Why have you done this?” Adonijah was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom.

We already know that David had an issue with disciplining his children. We have looked at: First born was Amnon. Amnon raped his half-sister, Tamar. He was then murdered by his half-brother Absalom. Third born was Absalom who not only killed his half-brother Amnon, but rebelled against his father and tried to take the kingdom away from him. (Chileab, also known as Daniel, was the second son of David. Since he was never mentioned again outside of the listing of sons we must assume that he died at a young age.)

Adonijah was David’s fourth born son and we see David’s lack of discipline and indulgence continuing. Our text is very telling on how he handled the training and development of this particular son. (And if it is said of this one, it was probably the case for most of them.)

Depending on the translation we can pick up some interesting, very telling information:

(NIV) “His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.”

(MSG) “His father had spoiled him rotten as a child, never once reprimanding him. Besides that, he was very good-looking and the next in line after Absalom.”

(AMP) “His father [David] had never rebuked him at any time by asking, “Why have you done this?” Adonijah was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom.”

(VOICE) “Adonijah’s father, David, never questioned his actions. Adonijah was also a handsome man who was born after Absalom.”

(TLB) “Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time—not so much as by a single scolding! He was a very handsome man and was Absalom’s younger brother.”

Adonijah had lived his whole life doing whatever his little heart desired; no rules, no boundaries. He was one of those kid’s who basically thought that his good looks, his charm, and the fact that he was the son of the king gave him license to do whatever he wanted without any consequences. And David had allowed him to get away with it too. (Where was that military disciplined that he used on his troops?)

Now remember, David is old and bedridden at this point in time. Adonijah feels that the time of his father’s rule is over. He figures that he might as well step up and appoint himself as king. He was full of conceit and praised himself incessantly. So in his arrogance he declares himself the next king. Even going so far as to arranged for chariots with horsemen and also 50 men to run in front of his chariots. (This guy was really stuck on himself.)

Going one step further, he even began to make arrangements with his father’s men of counsel. Some supported his efforts, others did not. Scripture tells us, “Adonijah talked with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they threw their weight on his side. But neither the priest Zadok, nor Benaiah son of Jehoiada, nor Nathan the prophet, nor Shimei and Rei, nor David’s personal bodyguards supported Adonijah.” -1 Kings 1:7-8 (MSG)

We will look at more concerning Adonijah and his intentions tomorrow. Today our focus needs to be on what happens when we do not but boundaries and disciplines in place for our children. Adonijah thought nothing of running rough shod over his father. Whatever he wanted he would get; whatever the cost was going to be.

David had neglected the most important job that God had given him; to be a godly father to his children. By being careless in the training of his children many of them failed to be followers of God, or contributors to their society.

It was Solomon who wrote these words, “Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], even when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6 (AMP)

How is it that Solomon, who was also one of David’s sons turned out so differently than his brothers? God certainly had His hand of protection on him. Solomon must have been young enough to see the chaos that was happening within his own family because of the lack of training. He also must have had someone who cared enough and loved him enough to put those boundaries in place so that he learned the difference between right and wrong.

It was Solomon who wisely wrote these words, “Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won’t kill them. A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death.” -Proverbs 23:13-14 (MSG)

Let us be careful that we are not indulging our children and setting them up for failure.

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to be a good steward when it comes to teaching my children. Help me to set those boundaries in place; so that they learn right from wrong. Remind me that discipline is not a bad thing; even you do it, because you love your children. Give me wisdom, please Lord. I want my children to live their lives giving glory and praise to you. I also want them to be an able to freely give to others and be a blessing to others. Help me to exemplify Jesus before them.