“Then Adonijah the son of  Haggath exalted himself, saying ‘I will be king’ and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen…….”  1 Kings 1:6

“And Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened cattle……but he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men or Solomon, his brother.”  1 Kings 9,10

Today, we very often celebrate those who are bold and lift up boldness as a virtue.  “Reach out and take it!” ; we exclaim.  It is the bold whose video’s go viral.  It is the bold who grab our attention and sometimes our admiration; who get their 15 minutes of fame.  The bold are beautiful.

Adonijah was bold.  He was the son of the great King David.  King David, who had been bold himself, was now old.  He was of such advanced age and sickly that he could not leave the palace.  There was a vacuum of leadership in Israel.  Enter Adonijah the bold.

It was most certainly not uncommon for new kings to come from the ranks of the sons of sitting kings.  So Adonijah surely felt entitled to step in and proclaim himself king.  No body else was making the claim.  King David had not publicly proclaimed who would succeed him.  So Adonijah took the bull by horns, became bold and proclaimed himself king!  Problem? Big Problem.

First, Adonijah, while following in the title of his father King David, he was not following in his footsteps.  From the time David was anointed by Samuel, David’s mission had been about service; service to God, service to his people.  David was not perfect but he was able to maintain this vision throughout most of his life.  David also was about mercy and inclusiveness.  He could have killed his arch enemy, the one who wanted him dead, King Saul, twice but he spared his life.  When King Saul and his son Jonathon were killed in battle and David became king, he could have had all of Saul’s descendants killed, which was often the custom back then.  But instead, David had the only remaining son of Jonathon, Mephibosheth come to live and eat with him in his own palace.

Adonijah started out much differently.  He did not look to include all in his declaration of kingship.  He excluded many of men who had served so faithfully with his father King David.  He also excluded the prophet Nathan as well as his own half brother Solomon.

Yet even more troubling for Adonijah, he started his bold move without consulting or praying to God Almighty.  In fact by excluding Nathan the prophet and Zadok the priest, it is fairly clear to see that God’s guidance was not the foremost thought, if even a thought at all, concerning if or how he should reign.  To be balanced, Adonijah did find a priest to follow him, Abiathar, but there is no evidence that Adonijah ever asked Abiathar for spiritual guidance.  Adonijah was bold.  He was bold in the name of Adonijah and for Adonijah and because of that his downfall was swift.  The great King David was aroused.  He proclaimed that Solomon, not Adonijah was to reign after him.  The people followed Solomon and Adonijah was left to meekly flee.

So what are we to make of this tale?  Is it wrong to step into a leadership vacuum?  Should we never desire or take steps to acquire positions of leadership?  God knows we need effective leaders today.  And it is exactly that; God knows.

Brothers and sisters from whence does our boldness come?  For whom do we desire to be bold?  The world would tell us there is only one reason to be bold; there should only be one good outcome for our boldness; our glory, our fame, our fortune.  That is Adonijah boldness.

Contrast that with Jesus Christ boldness.  How often did Jesus proclaim that He did not come seeking His own glory, but the glory of His Father, who sent him?  Biblical examples like Moses, David, Esther, Mary and Jesus all boldly sought to serve without seeking to increase their own name, their own fame.  Of course their name and fame did increase.

Boldness is not a bad thing.  The bible teaches us that boldness is very often needed.  It is the process by which we decide or better yet feel led or called to be bold that is the most important factor.  Do we act impetuously and rashly or do we go to God first in humble prayer and supplication, asking if it is His Will that we act?  Having received the call to act boldly, do we act in our name, seeking our glory or do we act in and give the glory to the one to whom actually deserves it; Our Heavenly Father?  Do we look for the approval of and the adulation from the world or the blessings that come from Our Father in Heaven?

Dear brothers and sisters, let us plan to be bold.  Let us pray and rely on the Spirit who will tell us where, when and what to speak and do.  Let us give praise to our Heavenly Father who emboldens us to act in His righteousness.  That in that correct boldness we may be true disciples of, living into our inheritance in, the Glorious Kingdom of Our Father.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that You are the Author of all boldly correct words and actions.  Help us, Most Merciful Father, to come to you first before we take action, even action we think appropriate to you.  Through the Holy Spirit fill us with boldness to speak and act in a way that brings glory to Your Name.  Protect us from the threats and backlash of the world which would seek to silence us as well as our own pride which seeks to glorify us.  That we would long to bask in the light of the only true and right glory; which is the Glory of Your Name and Your Kingdom.  Praise ever be to Your Name we pray in the Name of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Amen

 

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