Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king”; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
Adonijah is the son of David through Haggith. (It is unfortunate that having several wives was the practice of even Godly men, like David, in the old testament. But let it be clear that this is not condoned. God’s will is clear from creation – one man, one wife. Anything outside of this order always results in consequences.)
Adonijah was ambitious. Although he knew that God had intended for Solomon to be King (1 Kings 2:15), he still longed for the throne. So he “exalted” himself in an attempt to be King. He was hoping that things will turn in his favour. Jesus reminded us in Luk4 14:19 that “.. whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Indeed, Adonijah was humbled. He was eventually executed by Solomon because he continued to be shrewd even after Solomon ascended to the throne. Many people have a high measure of themselves. Perhaps they have achieved much in life. Or perhaps they think that they can achieve much. But the Apostle Paul appropriately sounded this reminder to us in Rom 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Let us humbly remember that should God withhold His grace from us this very moment, our bodies will fail & our existence wiped out. We owe everything we have to God’s mercies. Let us be awaken from our pride and think soberly.
Let us use the gifts that God has given to us to pursue what is within our means by His providence. Does it mean that ambition is a sin? It would be if it causes us to take our eyes from the Cross, especially if it results in self-glory & satisfaction in personal attainment. Godly ambition is summed up by Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Even if a Godly man is endowed with extraordinary gifts, his Godly ambition will be constrained with a constant acknowledgement that his abilities are God-given and any attainment is because of God’s blessing.
A young man once remarked: “why doesn’t God bless me that way he blesses My brother?” We must not, at any time, pretend that we have all the answers. God alone knows the reasons and bestows what He deems best for His children. The bible tells us that God is sovereign. He decreed all that came to pass for His own glory. Many people have difficulties accepting this truth. The reality is that a God who is not absolutely sovereign in everything is not sovereign at all. God promised His children that He works all things for their good (Rom 8:28). There is great joy in humbly walking and communing with Him to discover and understand His design for what happens in our lives.
Questions for meditation:
1) Am I happy for my peers & friends who have done better than me or do I regard them with discontent in my heart? When God looks into my heart, will He be pleased with how I regard my friends?
2) Do I have friends in every strata of society or am I only comfortable interacting with a certain segment of people in society?
3) Do I think more highly of myself than I ought or do I have a sober recognition of the person God made me to be?
4) Am I “ambitious” because I want to achieve much in this world or am I just trying to be a good Steward of the gifts, talents & opportunities that God has give to me?
What you can pray for:
1) that I learn to love those who love the Lord regardless of where they stand in society
2) That I may use the gifts & talents given by God for His glory