Summary: Adonijah, one of the sons of David, set himself up to be the King of Israel. However he was a pretender who constantly sought to tha short-cuts. This passage reminds us that, in God's kingdom, we don't need more pretenders.

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1 Kings 1:5-2:10

“We Don’t Need More Pretenders”

Last week we learnt two important truths about 1 & 2 Kings.

That the book gives us a very selective account history … 400 years covered by 50,000 words.

That the original audience which Kings has in mind is the exiles in Babylon who have been there for about 30 years.

Then we started reading the book … only the first 4 verses … and we met Abishag who was helping to keep old king David warm.

It is pretty obvious that David is at the end of his life and everyone is wondering, now that the King is gone, who will be the King to replace him?

But there is a problem.

David was a good king, but he was a hopeless father.

Let’s start reading from 1 Kings 1:5-27

Read verses 5-6a

This is the hopeless father bit – his sons did many terrible things – David might have gotten angry, but he never chastised them.

They just thought they could do whatever they wanted.

Keep reading to verse 27

Story … taking a short-cut.

Very early in my driving career … went on a car rally.

No GPS … Ended up at a dead end.

David’s legacy is coming to an end. Adonijah decides to take a short-cut.

Note some points:-

Point 1

1) Amnon mother Ahinoam … he was killed by Absolom.

2) Kileab mother Abigail … no more known, dead?

3) Absolom mother Maacah … sister is Tamar … died by getting his hair caught in a tree

4) Adonijah mother is Haggith

At the moment Adonijah is the oldest, but being the oldest didn’t guarantee you were king

Normally God chooses the king.

Or it is affirmed by a prophet

Point 2

What kind of man seeks the throne before his father has died?

A very presumptuous man … one who lacks humility.

Jesus told a parable about such people (Luke 14:1-14)

Those who lead are the ones who are humble.

Adonijah forces himself upon the people, presuming he will have their trust.

Point 3

There are two teams taking shape – only certain people get invited.


Joab … a military man.

Abiathar the priest.


Benaiah … a military man.

Zadok … a priest.

David’s special guard … like the secret service.

Nathan the prophet.

=> avoiding the one who can speak the word of the Lord.

Point 4

Little details matter

He was very handsome

Kings Saul described like that

Absalom – tried to take the throne from David – described like that.

All good looking men people are doomed to fail!!


Don’t look on the outside, but look into the heart.

Stability comes when the heart of the King is for God.


To those who are in exile, they would be all nodding in agreement. So often the kings that came into place lacked humility etc.

So often they took a shortcut and they paid the price.

Because they wouldn’t listen to the prophets.

To us

Are we taking shortcuts because we are not listen to the prophets.

2 Peter 1:20-21.

20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Scripture is Prophecy.

Wouldn’t our lives be so much easier if we just listened?

Speak freely … so often our troubles are from our own doing.

God has to keep on fixing up the messes we make.

And for that to happen here King David needs to act like a king.


Frail weak David … cuddled up with Abishag.

All these issues of political intrigue are going on … no idea.

So Nathan and Bathsheba come up with a plan.

Bathsheba goes in.

In Hebrew all he says is “Mah-lak” … what to you.

Pooor David so old and cold.

But, then he hears that the kingdom is under treat … then we see the old David come out.

Let’s read what happens

1 Kings 1:28-53

Remember Israel is God’s chosen nation.

The old and cold David all of the sudden has all this life … God’s kingdom is under threat.


The original readers are in exile because they were stirred by the wrong things. Distracted by life. Chasing after foreign gods. Self absorbed and inward looking. They ended up in exile.

What about us?

What stirs us up?

What stirs us up?

A dip in our financial situation?

The cricket score?

The time it is taking for our car to be fixed at the mechanic.

Family and loved one.

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