Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Son of the Promise

By Dan & Brenda Cathcart

The video version of this teaching is available at:
When David was old, two of his sons plotted to take the kingship after David. These two sons were full brothers sharing the same mother. The older of the two, Absalom, was killed when he attempted to overthrow and murder David to obtain the kingship. The second son was Adonijah whose efforts were more subtle but no less devious. As the oldest surviving son of David, Adonijah decided that he was the rightful heir to the throne of David.
1 Kings 1:5 NKJV 5 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.
This portion of the scripture is read alongside the Torah portion Chayei Sarah which includes the death of Abraham and the passing of the promise to his son Isaac. What do these passages tell us about the coming and the reign of God’s chosen Son?
David was the first king to fully unite the people of Israel and bring peace to the kingdom. Under his predecessor, Saul, the kingdom was continually at war with the Philistines who claimed land within the borders of Israel in the west along the Mediterranean Sea and inward toward Hebron. It was not until all the tribes of Israel embraced David as king that the borders of the kingdom were secured both from enemies within and without.
1 Chronicles 22:18 NKJV 18 "Is not the LORD your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and before His people.
At long last, God’s original promise to Abraham was in sight!
Genesis 12:1-2 NKJV 1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
The seed of Abraham had finally taken possession of the land that God had promised to Abraham. The nation had now become a great nation with all the nations around Israel afraid of the might of Israel and King David. The children of Israel no longer lived in tents, so, it was time for them to build a permanent dwelling place for the Tabernacle of the LORD. The prophet Nathan confirmed that God supported David’s desire to build a dwelling place for the LORD.
2 Samuel 7:1-3 NKJV 1 Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, 2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains." 3 Then Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you."
Nathan goes on to tell David that, because of his heart for the LORD, the LORD would establish David’s lineage as kings over Israel forever!
2 Samuel 7:12-13 NKJV 12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Now that David was old, who would be king after him? Who would be entrusted to build the house of the LORD? Who would receive and continue the throne of David’s kingdom? There was more at stake than just who the next king would be! Adonijah thought that he was the obvious choice for that role. So, he went about securing the throne for his own. His father David had never denied him anything that he wanted in the past! He was also quite charming and good looking!
1 Kings 1:6 NKJV 6 (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, "Why have you done so?" He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.)
Like his brother Absalom who was first to aspire to take David’s throne, Adonijah was handsome. He was also just plain spoiled rotten.
David already had a man in mind for who he would select to succeed him. David had already promised Bathsheba that her son Solomon would be the next king of Israel. Bathsheba refers to this promise when she goes to King David about the news that Adonijah had declared himself to be king of Israel.
1 Kings 1:17 NKJV 17 Then she said to him, "My lord, you swore by the LORD your God to your maidservant, saying, 'Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.'
Apparently, this decision was widely known. Certainly, we can infer that Adonijah knew. When Adonijah chose who to include in his entourage for declaring himself king, he left out his brother Solomon as well as David’s closest supporters including the prophet Nathan, the high priest Zadok, and Benaih Shimei and Rei, the top three of David’s mighty men. Instead, Adonijah selected those who had a reason to bear a grudge against David and would be willing to go against David’s will.
1 Kings 1:7-8 NKJV 7 Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed and helped Adonijah. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David were not with Adonijah.
David’s general Joab had killed Absalom to put a final end to Absalom’s treason. David had expressly told Joab that Absalom was not to be harmed. Instead Joab deliberately made sure that Absalom die for his crime. As a result, Joab had reason to fear David and what would happen to him after David’s death. Rashi tells us that the priest Abiathar’s loyalty was questionable because David had dismissed the priest Abiathar from his duties also at the time of Absalom’s rebellion.
…but because he [Abiathar] had been dismissed from the priesthood at the time when David was escaping from Jerusalem because of Absalom he felt that he had been slighted.[i]
Adonijah did not have the support of those most loyal to David including his mighty men who led his armies! However, Adonijah proceeded as if he did have David’s support and the support of those around him. The presence of David’s general Joab and the priest Abiathar gave the appearance of legitimacy to his actions. Abiathar invited all of his brothers except Solomon to witness his coronation.
1 Kings 1:9-10 NKJV 9 And Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En Rogel; he also invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the men of Judah, the king's servants. 10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, or Solomon his brother.
We can imagine the fate that Adonijah intended for Solomon, Nathan, and Zadok. By deliberately excluding them, Adonijah not only kept news of his actions from reaching David, but he also refrained from breaking bread with them. This opened up the very real possibility that Adonijah had marked them for death.
Adonijah chose the location of his coronation celebration carefully. He chose En Rogel which was southeast of Jerusalem at the intersection of the Hinnom, Kidron and Tyropoean Valleys. This was the site of the camp of David’s supporters during Absalom’s rebellion. David’s supporters waited there outside of Jerusalem while those loyal to David still in Jerusalem would sneak out of the city and deliver the news to David’s supporters.
2 Samuel 17:17 NKJV 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed at En Rogel, for they dared not be seen coming into the city; so a female servant would come and tell them, and they would go and tell King David.
The place would have had a positive connotation and be associated with those who support David. Ironically, the place would play a central role in Adonijah’s defeat, just as it did in the defeat of Absalom.
Despite Adonijah’s plans to conduct his coronation in secret and present it as an accomplished fact, Nathan heard about his plans and enlisted Bathsheba’s help in thwarting them. He encouraged her to go to David and present Adonijah’s action as having been accomplished. Bathsheba reminded David of his promise to make Solomon the next king. Then she went on to describe Adonijah’s actions.
1 Kings 1:18-21 NKJV 18 "So now, look! Adonijah has become king; and now, my lord the king, you do not know about it. 19 "He has sacrificed oxen and fattened cattle and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army; but Solomon your servant he has not invited. 20 "And as for you, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, that you should tell them who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 "Otherwise it will happen, when my lord the king rests with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted as offenders."
Bathsheba’s words were designed to provoke David, who is described as old and feeble, to act quickly and decisively. He must make a decision. Who would be king after him? Would he allow the spoiled and willful Adonijah to usurp David and God’s plans, or would he act? Would he knowingly place Solomon and his beloved wife Bathsheba in danger by his failure to act? To emphasize the critical need for a quick decision, Nathan enters upon the heels of Bathsheba and asks if David had chosen Adonijah to be king.
1 Kings 1:24 NKJV 24 And Nathan said, "My lord, O king, have you said, 'Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne'?
Nathan emphasizes the severity of the event by expressing surprise that he had been left out of the decision, by relating the words of Adonijah’s supporters, and, the fact that David’s closest supporters were not included.
1 Kings 1:26-27 NKJV 26 "But he has not invited me-me your servant-nor Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, nor your servant Solomon. 27 "Has this thing been done by my lord the king, and you have not told your servant who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?"
The succession and the promise of Abraham are at stake as is the building of the temple of the LORD! What will David do? Abraham, when faced with a Hagar and Ishmael’s threat to Isaac, listened to his wife at the confirmation of the LORD, and sent Hagar and Ishmael away.
Genesis 21:12 NKJV 12 But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.
Isaac, when confronted with the truth about his two sons, finally acted and passed on the promise to Jacob and not Esau.
Genesis 28:1 NKJV 1 Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.
David had not acted to prevent the rebellion of Absalom, nor had he acted decisively to end the threat that Absalom also posed to Solomon. When news of the battle between his own forces and those of Absalom’s forces reached him, his first concern was for the safety of Absalom.
2 Samuel 18:28-29 NKJV 28 And Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, "All is well!" Then he bowed down with his face to the earth before the king, and said, "Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!" 29 The king said, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" Ahimaaz answered, "When Joab sent the king's servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about."
At this time, threatened by the actions of Adonijah, David heeded the words of Bathsheba and his advisor Nathan. He acted decisively to make his own selection of Solomon as the next king clear.
1 Kings 1:28-30 NKJV 28 Then King David answered and said, "Call Bathsheba to me." So she came into the king's presence and stood before the king. 29 And the king took an oath and said, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, 30 "just as I swore to you by the LORD God of Israel, saying, 'Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,' so I certainly will do this day."
Where is Solomon in all of this? The decisions made by David impact him the most, yet he is silent. In contrast, his brother Adonijah vocally and adamantly declares that He will be king! Adonijah exalted himself against both David and God’s will. David will confirm, though, that Solomon is God’s choice at the gathering of the officials when he announces his plans for building the temple of God.
1 Chronicles 28:5-6 NKJV 5 "And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons) He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. 6 "Now He said to me, 'It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father.
In all of this, until David brings him forward, Solomon remains in the background. When Moses chose Joshua to replace him as leader, Joshua remains in the background until after Moses’ death. David’s charge to Solomon echoes Moses’ charge to Joshua.
1 Chronicles 28:20 NKJV 20 And David said to his son Solomon, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God-my God-will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
Moses charged Joshua with bringing the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua, like David, fought to take the land and establish Israel as a nation. David completed the work that Joshua began and so we come to a new mission or task, that of building the house of the LORD. The Stone Edition Chumash comments on God’s sure hand in guiding Israel.
Can one imagine how the history of Israel would have been harmed if the king had been the imperious prince to whom monarchy meant lavish feasting amid fawning courtiers instead of the wisest of men, whose legacy was the Temple, and the Books of Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes? But the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.[ii]
David’s declaration that Solomon would be king after him, clinches the matter. The haftarah portion actually ends with Bathsheba’s acceptance of David’s vow. The scriptures continue with the description of Solomon’s coronation which took place at the spring of Gihon within earshot of Adonijah’s celebratory feast.
1 Kings 1:38-40 NKJV 38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David's mule, and took him to Gihon. 39 Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, "Long live King Solomon!" 40 And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound.
When God’s choice takes the throne in Israel, even the earth will join in the celebration! When Adonijah, the pretender to the throne, heard the clamor and learned that David had proclaimed Solomon as king, he ran and sought refuge at the horns of the altar in the Tabernacle of the LORD.
God had promised David that his descendant would sit on David’s throne and have an everlasting rule. The prophet Jeremiah tells us that a son of David will be raised up to execute judgment and righteousness on the Earth.
Jeremiah 23:5 NKJV 5 "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
In Yeshua’s time, even the people of Samaria who had tenuous claims to being Jews, were anticipating the coming of a Messiah ruler who would establish the true worship of God. Yeshua spoke to a Samaritan woman about these things.
John 4:23-26 NKJV 23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." 25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things." 26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."
Yeshua declared that He was the promised Messiah who comes to establish the truth of all things. But like Solomon, Yeshua was faced with one who would usurp His throne. During His lifetime, King Herod Agrippa desperately wanted to be declared King of Israel. When Yeshua returns, He will again be faced with a usurper who would be King. This usurper is known to us as The Antichrist. Paul tells us that this one who desires Yeshua’s kingship is accompanied by lying wonders.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 NKJV 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
When Yeshua returns, those who take pleasure in unrighteousness and follow the lawless one will be deceived; they will follow the wrong king. Those like Nathan, Zadok, and Benaiah who are loyal to David will recognize the coming of their true king and work to bring about the declaration of His kingship. Prophet, priest, and mighty man of God will join together to bring in the reign of Yeshua Messiah!
Study Questions:
1. Adonijah chose to hold his coronation ceremony by the stone of Zoheleth (#2120) by En Rogel (#5883). Solomon’s coronation was held by the spring of Gihon (#1521). Look up the meanings of these places. How do the locations of these ceremonies factor into the significance of these events?

2. The priest Abiathar was of the lineage of Eli the priest who raised Samuel. What was the prophecy concerning his line? How does this apply to Abiathar? What was the ultimate end of Abiathar?

3. Discuss the events of Solomon’s coronation. How was Yeshua’s triumphal entry to Jerusalem similar? How will Yeshua’s return be similar to this coronation event?

4. The title of this teaching is “Son of the Promise.” In what ways is Solomon the son of the promise? How is Solomon’s reign prophetic of Yeshua’s reign? How did Solomon fall short?

5. Solomon had the support of prophet, priest and mighty man of God. How are believers representative of those three groups?

© 2018 Moed Ministries International. All rights reserved

[i] First Fruits of Zion Torah Club Volume 3: The Hartarah. First Fruits of Zion. 1999. P. 84.
[ii] The Stone Edition Chumash. ArtScroll Series. Mesorah Publications. 2000. P. 1137.

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