Summary: There is a fierce lust for power in every sphere of life these days, that includes the Christian circle as well.
1 King 1:50”Now Adonijah was afraid of Solomon; so he arose, and went and took hold of the horns of the altar.”
There is a fierce lust for power in every sphere of life these days, that includes the Christian circle as well. The society is awash with brazen disregard for laws, jockeying for position, and intrigue. We have a treasure trough of lessons from today’s devotion, get ready to drink every bit of it.
Adonijah was the elder brother of Solomon, a spoilt brat and a pampered son of king David who blew his own trumpet, exalted himself, ran amuck, saying, ‘I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.’ I call this power-hunger! Adonijah joined the wrong crowd of Joab, the captain and Abiathar the priest and they try to steal the throne while king David is fragile and old. This is the background of this chapter; however, when you have a prophet like Nathan around, the devils can’t rejoice for long, Nathan took action immediately and spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon and they approached king David, who later anoints Solomon as king. Well, what happens next is what we are going to meditate today, Adonijah runs to the altar of the Lord and clings on to the horns of the altar at the tabernacle of the Lord, for shelter. Further the Bible says, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon; for look, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, “Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword."
What is an Altar?
In the Old Testament, an altar was a place where the children of God offered sacrifices to God. Deuteronomy 27:6-7 “Build the altar of the LORD your God with fieldstones and offer burnt offerings on it to the LORD your God. (7) Sacrifice fellowship offerings there, eating them and rejoicing in the presence of the LORD your God.” Simply put, it was a place where God came down to meet with his people. Today, the place where you meet together as a family in prayer is the place of altar, do you understand? Do you have an altar at home? I am not talking about a shelf where you burn candles, incense sticks and have the pictures of saints; I am talking about worshiping Jesus in truth.
Observe, Adonijah came to the altar not out of fear of God but out of fear of Solomon who was now in power! Did you hear that? People fear men in power rather than the Creator of Heaven and Universe! Solomon forgave his offence and said, ’if you prove yourself worthy then you would live, if not you will be killed instantly.’ After the death of king David, wicked Adonijah makes another plot for the throne by asking for Abishag, the widow of David. Solomon makes a wise decision to eliminate the toxic poison from his kingdom and he kills Adonijah on the same day he makes the request. Never procrastinate to eliminate evil from your life! Never say: I will quit this clandestine affair after a few days, I will give up drinking very soon or I will stop stealing tomorrow; do it immediately.
Friend, many of us come to the altar of God like Adonijah not out of love for Him or fear for Him but for various other reasons. Let me quote an example so that you understand better today and correct your life. Recently I heard that a Christian girl had decided to get married and settle in her life because for several years she had been philandering around; however, I was sad when I heard that the boy was not a Christian. But I was told by the Christian family that she was determined to have a Christian marriage. I am sure the devils are guffawing at this kind of holiness! We are okay with a boy of another faith but would like to make a public show of piety, this is happening in many Christian homes. Did not Jesus say, ‘And in vain they worship Me..’ (Mathew 15:9) Like Adonijah they come to the altar for the wrong reasons…for selfish reasons to gratify their selfish interests….
There are others who flirt with the devil all the days of their life, without even the smell of Bible in their life but they dare to call for the priest at the hour of death. Have you heard of such people? I have encountered many! I was asked to pray for a woman in the last stages of cancer in a village and the entire village had gathered there, it was like an open air meeting. The sick woman was kept in the cot outside the house. I started to preach not on ‘healing’ but about ‘fear of God.’ The Christian family had mixed with idol worshippers in marriage and the wrath of God was on the family. Dare to bare the sins of the wicked! The entire family except a few continued to attend meetings and they were all saved. Glory to Jesus! Fear the Lord and flee from evil!