Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, ‘I will be king.’ So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him.
At this point, David was still alive, but he had not given permission for Adonijah to be the next king. In fact, Adonijah knew that Solomon was supposed to be David’s successor. Adonijah acted secretly and did not want the involvement of David, Solomon or David’s close advisers Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet. However, Nathan took the initiative. He told Bathsheba to speak to David in order to make sure that the next king was God’s chosen person.
1 Kings 1:38-40
So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and put Solomon on King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon. Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.
Notice the contrast between the choice of transport of Adonijah and Solomon. Adonijah chose chariots and horses, which were a symbol of pride and war. But David chose for Solomon his own mule, which was a symbol of humility and peace.
This reminds us of Jesus, who entered Jerusalem in humility on a donkey. The Kingdom of God is not about power, prestige and popularity, but about gentleness, obedience and service.
David had the privilege of reaching the end of his life knowing that the kingdom was in the hands of God’s chosen successor. It is through Solomon that the royal family can be traced all the way to the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:6-16).
Through all the ups and downs of David’s life God was in control. At times he felt abandoned and rejected, but through it all we can see that God was at work fulfilling his promises. And God had something even greater in mind – his everlasting kingdom established through the Son of David, Jesus the anointed one.
Let’s thank God today that he is in control. Even if we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, let’s trust that God is able to fulfil his promises to us and to use us to establish his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
The story of David: Part 12 Read 1 Kings chapters 1 to 2.