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June 18, Day 170 – We Are Not In Charge

Updated: Jun 29

In 1 Kings 2:13-3:15, today we see Adonijah’s second selfish attempt to use Bathsheba to convince Solomon to give Abishag to him as his wife. This request is Adonijah’s back-door attempt to steal the kingdom. He said, “as you know, the kingdom was mine; all Israel looked to me as their king, but things changed” (verses 13-15). Adonijah, who has already overstepped his authority once, is out of order. First of all, he is revealing the content of his wicked heart - greedy desires - and second, he fails to recognize that he is not in charge of things. If Adonijah were actually in charge, he would already be king. People who are in charge are the ones who get to make the decisions. We have said this before: man deceives himself into believing that he is able to rule, but he forgets that God overrules (cf., May 20, Day #141 – That God’s Son May Be Glorified). Adonijah should have reckoned on the truth that things change.  We see that Bathsheba – perhaps naïvely, but kindly – presents his request to the king, who realizes Adonijah’s backdoor attempt and lumps Adonijah, Abiathar, and Joab together for their conspiracy (cf., 1 Kings 1:7). Thus, King Solomon removes Abiathar from the priesthood and eliminates – one by one – the other, three major threats to the Davidic kingdom – Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei, “who called down bitter curses” on David (cf., 2 Samuel 16:6; 1 Kings 2:8-9). All four of these men represented dangerous and evil threats against the future kingdom of Christ (i.e., the world, the flesh, the devil – as well as organized religion). In chapter 3, we see that Solomon asks God for wisdom rather than for riches and/or long life. For a king, Solomon prays an incredibly humble prayer: “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties, so give your servant a discerning heart” (verse 7). This word, “discerning” relates to a heart that hears with the intent to understand. God was so pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom (verse 10), that He promised him “a wise and discerning heart,” long life, riches, and honor to no equal among kings” (verses 13-14). This model reflects how we should pray.

Proverbs 15:1-10 contains practical principles of wisdom for us to apply daily. The sage says that “a gentle answer turns away wrath” (verse 1) – associating “knowledge, healing, and prudence” with words (verses 2, 4, 5, and 7). He also says that “the eyes of the LORD are everywhere” (verse 3). God see and knows everything. He is pleased by the “prayer of the upright,” and He “loves those who pursue righteousness” (verses 8-9). Why would anyone never want to put these principles into practice?

Coming to Acts 11:19-12:19, we see that the stoning of Stephen led to a great persecution of believers in Christ (cf., Acts 8:1), and Luke now returns to that topic. He says that believers “had been scattered as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch – telling the message only to Jews” (verse 19). However, now they began to share Christ with Greeks (i.e., Gentiles), “and a great number of them believed and turned to the Lord” (verse 21). Then we see how instrumental Barnabas was for strengthening Saul’ s faith and for the growth of the early church. In these chapters, we recognize how God was moving through the Holy Spirit to open the way for Gentiles to be reached and reconciled to God. Although the Old Testament frequently hints at this movement, it was a mystery to the Jews - not revealed until Jesus came. As a Gentile, I am grateful for this movement in the plan of God, and I often marvel about it - knowing full well that I had no prior claim on God’s covenants with Israel. This resonates personally with me - that our salvation is truly based on God’s infinite mercy and grace to us. I praise God that He included me in His eternal plan!

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