1 Kings 1:1-4, 15-35
It’s easy to see why Adonijah declares himself king in the fashion that he does. His father David is near death, weak and helpless, and he’s the oldest living son of his father David. Under normal circumstances, this makes him the heir apparent. And when you remember that his older brothers Amnon and Absalom are now dead through a combination of interfamily bloodshed and their father’s inability to manage his own children, you can understand why he thinks its a good idea to make a strong show of power right out of the gate, or to put it a bit more precisely, before the gate even opens. Surround yourself with might, with military and religious leaders so you can discourage any of your siblings from getting any ideas once your father dies. And make sure not to invite your brother the heir or the faithful remnant lest they mess things up.
All of this makes sense. But it’s all still quite evil, even demonic in a sense. Because God is the one who gives of Himself. Satan is the one who takes for himself what has not been given. God gives His image to Adam and Eve. Satan takes it away from them by leading Eve to take the forbidden fruit. God gives Saul’s kingdom to David, but even after he’s been anointed, David will not take the life of Saul because it is not his to take. Saul follows Satan’s lead and seeks the life of David to take back the throne that no longer belongs to him.
So while his actions make sense in a fleshly way, Adonijah has not learned the wisdom of God from his father. He hasn’t learned the Gospel. He doesn’t need the earthly crown because God has already promised him the crown of glory. Through the Son from David’s body, God has sworn to welcome Adonijah into the eternal kingdom of peace. So he doesn’t need to protect himself from his brother Solomon whose name means peace. He doesn’t need to steal power from his earthly father because his Father in heaven has promised him the kingdom, the power, and the glory.
And neither do you. You don’t need to steal anything from your neighbor. You don’t need to steal his power, his dignity, his affection, his honor or reputation. You don’t need to rob the world to build up those things for yourself because God has already given all them to you in the blood of Jesus Christ. You don’t need to reach out your hand to take what is not yours because Jesus Christ reached out His nail-pierced hand and gave you forgiveness, life, and salvation.