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Indulged Children

By Elie Nessim, January 9 1999 Printer Friendly Version

He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest and they followed and helped Adonijah.
This passage from 1 Kings chapter 1 verse 7 reminds us of a time when David was too indulgent with his children.  It was the swing of the pendulum.  We don't want to make things difficult for our children.  Some children in Believing families turn their back on the Gospel.  It's because their parents have been too hard; have been too strict with the things of GOD.  We have to apply much of love with our instruction; much of tenderness, and kindness and forbearance and patience.  Otherwise our children will feel it is a hard religion that we are following, and they'll turn their backs on the LORD when they are old enough; when they become independent. Be sure that we always balance.  That's why from time to time we have in our yeshiva, a study on what it means to be a parent, so that we can share our experiences and our problems together, and learn from each other.

Well, David, alas, had been an over-indulgent father.  And so this young man thought, 'Oh, it's okay; Dad won't mind,' and he prepared his retinue.  Eli was like that.  Not Elijah the Prophet, but Eli the priest.  Eli was over-indulgent with his sons, and GOD said, 'You have preferred your sons above Me.  You did not correct them when they abused the sacrificial system.'  They were doing that.  When people came to sacrifice, they came along and said, 'I want raw flesh,' and the people said, 'okay, you can have raw flesh, but let's burn the fat first on the altar.'  'No, I'll have it now and if not, I'll take it by force.'  So that people got fed up with coming and offering sacrifices.  GOD said to Eli, 'Why didn't you tell them off?  Why didn't you stop them?  Why didn't you check them?  Why didn't you steer them?  You preferred your sons above Me, and for that you and your sons will be excluded from the ministry of the priesthood.'  And it came to pass not long after this. How dangerous it is to be over-indulgent.

What a surprise to find Joab making a mistake like that.  He hadn't followed after Absalom.  Why would he follow after Adonijah?  Well, it just shows that they were carnal and that they were ambitious.  This brought out their ambition and their carnality.  They did not wait for GOD's choice in this case. Interesting that Joab went after Absalom who was very handsome.  Now he goes after Absalom's half-brother who was also very handsome.  One remarkable thing these two men had in common, Joab and Abiathar; they were both under a curse.  When Joab had murdered Abner in Hebron, David cursed Joab, and it was quite a grievous curse.  And GOD remembered it.

And what about Abiathar?  Well, he was a descendent of Eli the priest, and so the curse was coming down upon him too.  But we find that apart from the fact that they were heirs to the curse, they showed themselves worthy of it.  They showed that they deserved it. Let me draw a parallel with the objection people have today: why should I suffer for the sin of Adam?  If Adam sinned, then he should die.  Why should I die because Adam sinned?  And the answer is because given the opportunity, you will show up yourself to be just as bad as Adam; just as disobedient; and if you had been in the garden, you would have eaten the forbidden fruit.  So there is no excuse for us!  We are no better than Adam.  We have his nature.  Well these people showed their carnality here. 

But we read there were some others that did not.  Verse 8:  'Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.' This crisis showed the difference.  It showed up their faith and their spirituality.  GOD said in the Prophet Ezekiel that there were two kinds of priest; there were those who had served the idols of Israel, and there were those who paid the price for not doing so.  And the LORD said those, who took the heat for not serving idols, they will come near to Me to offer the fat and the blood.  But those other priests that served the people of Israel in their idolatry, they'll have to keep their distance.  What a terrible sentence!  They were allowed to serve in the Temple, but at a distance.  They could never again enjoy that closeness to GOD that had been their privilege.

We find here these two categories as well.  The people who were with Adonijah, and those who stayed loyal to GOD's choice.  Man's choice versus GOD's choice!  That's what we have in this passage here. 'Adonijah,' (we read also here, verse 9): 'sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened cattle by the stone of Zoheleth which is by En Rogel.' (It was the fountain of the Fuller.  A 'fuller' was one who washed things and made them white; whitened material, etcetera; very much like the laundry man.  And En Rogel would be the fountain.  Of course he would have his trade near to a place where he could get water, and that was how it got its name, En Rogel, the Fuller's Fountain.)

He sacrificed oxen and sheep and fattened cattle.  He also invited all his brothers, the King's sons, and all the men of Judah, the King's servants.  What he was really doing here was putting on a show of religion to cover his carnality.  Wow!  What a principle there is here for us to learn! Some people, like Adonijah, are really walking in the flesh, they are not walking in the Spirit at all.  They have got their own agenda.  They have the pious talk; 'Oh, the LORD told me this;' and 'the LORD has appointed me to serve Him in this way,' and all the time He has done nothing of the sort.  They have decided what they are going to do for GOD, and that they want Him to put His imprimatur on it.  And they try and bribe GOD by all this pious talk and by making long prayers like the pharisees did in Messiah's time.  For a pretense, they made long prayers, but all the time they were devouring widow's houses.

You see, they appeared so pious, (they are not all like that; not all the pharisees are like that; but those ones that the LORD YESHUA pinpointed.)  They were making long prayers and so poor people, and widows, and orphans, and so on thought, 'this is a very Godly religious person.  I can entrust my affairs to him.'

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