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LUST FOR POWER! - Adonijah !

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 -“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.  God punished Adonijah and he was killed because of his pride, arrogance, rebelliousness and his lust for power, come what may.

Let me quote the Bible here:

•    Leviticus 26:18” And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
•    19 I will break the pride of your power…”  Severe warning from God!  Young people! Beware!

I just remember ‘Alexander the Great’ and his drastic downfall as I write this, his lust for power helped him establish a mighty empire but at 33 he died, a paranoid, alcoholic, corrupted by his greed.  He said: "I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity." Proverbs 18:12 says, “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty….”

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!

Come to the altar of God with love!

Friend, come to the altar of God like Solomon with heaps and heaps of love. The Bible says in 1 King 3:4” And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that  was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. “ God was floored!  He immediately asked Solomon, “Ask what I shall give thee.”  Man, this is the most awesome thing that can happen to any man on earth!  Agree?  What we read in the following chapters in the first book of kings is just like a fairy tale, the palace of king Solomon, the gold, the silver and what not! It’s mind-boggling!  What I see here is that, when we love God and come to His altar with love, He would sure bless us!

Come to the altar of God with forgiveness!

Jesus said (Matthew 5:23,24) “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

When I was bedridden and in the valley of death, I soaked my pillow in the night with tears, confessing to God my sins and at the same time releasing bitterness, anger and pain and surrendering them at the feet of the Lord.  Diligence in Bible reading is enough to cleanse us from unforgiveness!  At every bend of the Bible, God emphasizes the need to forgive and go forward..  Most important is to forgive your brothers and sisters!

Come to the altar of God with Honesty:

Cleanse your life from all filthiness, unworthiness, unrighteousness, wickedness and then come to His altar.  You cannot come to him with tainted hands. David said:

•    Psalm 43:3”O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
•    Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.”

I went to pray for a Christian family and especially pray for healing for the wife and wisdom for the daughter in her studies. I was suddenly stirred in my spirit to share the about ‘bribe’ with the man of the family and I preached to them about it.  Without a slightest disturbance and a smirk on his face, he said, ‘just this morning I gave 12 lakhs as bribe and it is unavoidable in my business.’ He did not seem to make any sign of repentance or change, though he knew it was an atrocious sin. He is a business man and owner of a huge apartment; nevertheless, the splendor of the world would one day crumble down.  

Come to the altar of God with fear , True repentance & conviction of sins:

•    1 King 8: 38” whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple:
•    then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men)

Let me emphasize this last point here, mark the words: ‘when each one knows the plague of his own heart!’  Many of us who are going through prolonged illness, continuous failures, accidents and long period of draught in life do wonder if God ever hears their prayer.  Friend, let us come to the altar of God in truth, fear and in true repentance.  At times, God would delay the healing in order to save your soul from destruction.  Pause and think today!

There are many out there who say, “ I pray everyday, I read a chapter a day or I go to church regularly and also fast once a week.”  Everything is alright, but all this should not be done as a ritual, there is salvation only through JESUS, any other way is wrong.  Every other thing becomes vain if we are not born again.  We got to have an inward change, transformation of life and a new spirit bubbling within us, if not all the above becomes vain.  

Back while I worked, I have seen unrighteousness, ungodliness and crookedness flooded at my work spot; it is right there that I met my Messiah.  I was drenched with the Living Water that I not only cleansed myself from all unrighteousness but aggressively started mopping the place myself.  My eyes were opened to see the right path – which I understood was also a NARROW and difficult path.  

Completely eschew all worldly things out of your heart and come to the altar with a faithful heart!


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