Our text is from 1st
Chronicles, Chapter 28, verse 2. It sets the stage for the account of Adonijah, the son of Haggith, given in 1 Kings chapter 1 verses 5 and 6:
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.
We read at the end of verse 6, his mother had borne him after Absalom. He was not the blood brother of Absalom. When we read his mother had borne him after Absalom, that doesn't mean that he was born of Absalom's mother, but that he was born after Absalom. He was next in succession by birth. The first-born was Ammon. Ammon was the one who violated his sister, Tamar, and Absalom killed him.
The second eldest was Chileab, or Daniel. We don't hear any more about him; it could be that he died young. The third eldest was Absalom, and Absalom, because of his treason against his father, died in battle. They were all removed by death, and now next in line was this man, Adonijah. I don't know what he was thinking about saying, 'I will be king.' He exalted himself, the Bible says. 'I will be king.' That means, of course, in GOD's terminology, he took it upon himself; he took the Law into his own hands. He decided he was the man for the job. What a dangerous thing it is. The Bible says he that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself will be exalted.
In our text above from 1st Chronicles, Chapter 28, we find that already David had said GOD had designated Solomon to be king. Now David had said that prior to what Adonijah was doing now. So Adonijah was going directly against GOD's will and purpose for Israel. He exalted himself. We don't leave that behind when we come to the B'rit Hadashah. In the 3rd Letter of Yochanan, (he wrote three Letters), in the 3rd Letter he spoke of a man called, Diotrephes. Do you know what 'Diotrephes' means? Nourished by Zeus. 'Dios' in Greek was another name for Zeus, the head of the Greek pantheon of gods; and this man, nourished by Zeus, was his name, he wanted the pre-eminence in the house of GOD. He wanted to be top-dog. He took it upon himself.
Sha'ul was not like that. When he was writing to the Philippians in Philippians, Chapter 4, this is what he says, (verse 12); Philippians, Chapter 4, verses 12 and 13:
'I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry; both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Messiah, Who strengthens me.' I'm happy,' he says, 'whether I'm at the top or at the bottom. I've learned to be satisfied with my condition; and the things that happen to us,' (this is a principle that we can glean from here), 'the things that happen to us are all in the will of GOD to make us more like Messiah.' It's a character training exercise.
We have experienced difficulties but we can look back and we say, 'no, the LORD meant it for good.' The LORD was shaking us! Preparing us for some great responsibility, not only here, but in the world to come. Adonijah, the son of Haggith, exalted himself. He prepared for himself chariots and horsemen. He was doing exactly what Absalom had done. Absalom, also, when he wanted to rebel against his father, David, he had prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and men to run before him. This was the custom for dignitaries; they had always a forerunner. The word 'forerunner' that we get in our Bible, means the one that goes ahead of the king to announce his coming. So John the Baptist was the forerunner of Messiah.
This man wanted to be king. Oh, it looked so great! Everybody, you know, when they look at a position of responsibility, they look at the glamour of it. But there is a little proverb that says, 'Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.' And if you are to ask people who have got to the top, how they like it up there, they'll say, 'I'm on the hot-seat twenty-four hours a day! I'm taking the heat from every quarter; I'm being shot at by my friends and by my enemies.' So we have to look beyond the outward appearance and recognize that with responsibility, with privilege, come also difficulties.
Well he wanted to be king. The problem was that David, his father, had not checked him; had not pulled him up. We read in verse 6 that his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, 'Why have you done so?' So David was a good king, but as someone said, he was not a good father. He was over indulgent. Why was it that David was over indulgent? One reason that we can glean from his over indulgence is, he had had a hard life. He may have thought to himself, 'Well, I've had a difficult time. I'll make sure my children don't have a hard time.'
Do you know one of the things we deprive our children of? Difficulties! Don't deprive your children of difficulties. Teach them to struggle through! Teach them to find their answer! Let them make their mistakes. Be there to catch them if they're going to fall.