Adonijah was really ticked. Here’s the back story, (and it’s not a pretty one…)
King David’s family life was not convenient. Suffice it to say that his immediate relations were many and confused, and not altogether amiable, and so Adonijah had many siblings. One of his half-brothers, Absalom, (from a different mother) had already tried to wrestle the kingdom away from their royal dad, and after severely dividing the kingdom and disgracing his father (intentionally), he was brutally killed in battle. Then more patient Adonijah waits until his father has grown old and, since he is next in line by birth for the kingship (according to tradition), gets a following and proclaims himself king with all the hoopla he can muster. Funny thing is, he doesn’t dare to do this in the capitol city of Jerusalem, but some other place a safe distance from immediate conflict.
Hmmm….gives one pause, a leader like that.
Although on his deathbed, the aged King David is not to be gainsaid and, according to his earlier plan, has his son Solomon installed as the new king, in Jerusalem, causing a heck of lot more celebration than the his usurping half-brother.
Don’t anyone ever say that the Bible is boring milk toast.
Adonijah is forgiven, welcomed back to Jerusalem, and we pick it up from there:
“One day Adonijah… came to see Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. ‘Have you come with peaceful intentions?’ she asked him. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I come in peace. In fact, I have a favor to ask of you.’ ‘What is it?’ she asked. He replied, ‘As you know, the kingdom was rightfully mine; all Israel wanted me to be the next king. But the tables were turned, and the kingdom went to my brother instead; for that is the way the LORD wanted it. So now I have just one favor to ask of you. Please don’t turn me down.’ “
What he wanted is of no consequence to this essay—again, complicated family relationships. The point is that this young man put more stock in what tradition said about his ascension to the throne than in what God thought about it. He was offended, by the circumstance, by his father, by God Himself. Therefore, he presumed to be entitled to some favor from Solomon’s mother (now that David was dead and buried, that is. Real hero, this one.)
Offense talks just like that.
“Everyone thought I should have…”
“Even God was against me when I…”
Notice how many “I’s” in those examples?
How often do we feel we deserve a favor from God, especially when what the world says what was “rightfully” ours has been withheld or taken from us? A position, a ministry, a relationship? I love what John Bevere so poignantly discusses in his book, The Bait of Satan: that no one can derail God’s plan for your life except you by allowing yourself to be trapped in offense. Wow. What a concept, what a truth.
And what a functional freedom when we can unload that burden at the cross.
1 Kings 2: 13-16, Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt) (Kindle Locations 18619-18623). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.