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The Usurper Unmasked

By Elie Nessim, November 20, 1999 Printer Friendly Version



So David rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David The period that David reigned over Israel was forty years Seven years he reigned in Hebron and in Jerusalem he reigned thirtythree years Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David and his kingdom was firmly established. Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. So she said, "Do you come peaceably?" And he said, "Peaceably." Moreover he said, "I have something to say to you." And she said, "Say it." Then he said, "You know that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel had set their expectations on me, that I should reign. However, the kingdom has been turned over, and has become my brother's; for it was his from the LORD. "Now I ask one petition of you; do not deny me." And she said to him, "Say it." Then he said, "Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you, that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife." So Bathsheba said, "Very well, I will speak for you to the king."
As we go through this early history in the Book of Kings, we note that many of these Chapters deal with King Solomon.  Solomon was a type of the Messiah, and what we have here is a certain pattern in the experience and in the life of Solomon which demonstrates, which prefigures really, the way people will treat the Messiah.  When Solomon was a type of Messiah, he was so, not only as king, but also as the previously rejected one.  Remember, he had already been designated as king, but there was someone else who tried to take his place.  The one who tried to exalt himself saying, 'I will be king,' a usurper.  We saw, also, how GOD still had His way in the end and the usurper was neatly sidetracked; neatly deposed, and the true king was put on his throne.  This is really an echo of Psalm 2 where the same thing is prophesied concerning the Messiah.

Our text begins first of all by saying that David slept with his fathers after a reign of forty years; it was actually forty years and six months, but the number is rounded off here.  'And Solomon sat on the throne and his kingdom was firmly established.' When Adonijah exalted himself to be king, the people of Israel hesitated.  All the eyes of Israel were on David; they hesitated; they thought, 'It doesn't add up.  Did we hear wrong?  We had a special public meeting where the King designated Solomon as his successor; as his GOD-appointed successor.  Did we hear wrong?'  They had hesitated.

Some people had followed Adonijah, but the rest of people in the tribes,  held back because they were unsure.  But now, when Solomon was made King, they were so joyful; the noise of their celebration was so great that the earth rent with the sound of the music and of the celebration.  They thought, 'Right on!  That's it!  Now everything is in order.  Now things are organized.  This is how they should be.'  That's what we read in those words: 'And Solomon's kingdom was firmly established.' 

But that wasn't the end of Adonijah.  Remember what Solomon had said, in Chapter 1 in verse 52?  'If he proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall to the earth.  But if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.' That was a clear warning, and when Adonijah came and bowed before King Solomon, he publicly acknowledged Solomon as the King.  And Solomon told him, 'Go to your house.' So he went to his own house.  He was supposed to live the rest of his life in privacy, not meddle anymore in public affairs.  But we find here, as the Book of Proverbs says, 'Every fool will be meddling;'and he meddled, to the loss of his life.

He risked the prohibition of Solomon, and in doing so, he showed his true colours.  They say, 'Give a man enough rope and he will hang himself.'  Give a wrongdoer enough rope; their character will destroy them.  We don't have to do anything.  The LORD will see to it, that they betray themselves; that they ruin themselves.  On the positive side, a person who has integrity will have that integrity demonstrated and vindicated.

In the case of Adonijah, he did a sly thing; he did what satan did to Adam and Eve - he came to the woman.  Adonijah came to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon.  And of course, she was apprehensive because she had been instrumental in deposing him.  Nathan, the prophet, had told her, and we read about it in Chapter 1: 'Won't you remind King David of his promise to your son Solomon?' She had done so, and the LORD had prospered it; it had succeeded.  And the result was David had reasserted Solomon. Fancy having to make Solomon King the second time.  But that's what David had to do.  He asserted Solomon and Adonijah was deposed.

But now he is trying again.  That's why she was apprehensive, because she thought, 'Maybe he was coming with hostile intentions.'  But he said, 'No, I've come peaceably.'  Deceitful words; hidden agenda.  In Proverbs, Chapter 26 we read about people like that.  Proverbs, Chapter 26, verse 24 through 26 - here is an apt description of people like that.  'He who hates disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself.  When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart.  Though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the whole congregation.'  And that's exactly Adonijah here. So, he went on, in verse 14, to tantalize Bathsheba.  'I have somewhat to say to you.'  It's like the serpent saying to Eve, 'Yea, hath GOD said?'  In other words, questioning the status quo; questioning the GOD-ordered situation.




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