September 3, 2013
READ: 1 Kings 1:5-53
Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 14:11).
Lance Armstrong was on top of the world. He’d wonthe coveted Tour de France seven times. He’dbeaten cancer and had seen his charity, Livestrong, become an acclaimed source of help for cancer patients. But then the walls came tumbling down. It was revealed that Armstrong had led a doping programme on his teams during his career. And, just like that, he was stripped of his Tour de France titles, he severed ties with Livestrong, and his name became synonymous with cheating and duplicity.
Adonijah, a son of King David, could relate to Armstrong’s fall. He didn’t want cycling titles but the fame and fortune of being king of Israel (1 Kings 1:5). So he tried to steal the throne with a little help from his friends (v.7).
Denying the sovereignty of God and lacking the humility that truly great leaders possess, Adonijah moved forward with His selfish plan. He did so even as his aged father, King David, was still ruling. Like Lance, however, the prince ended up eating some serious humble pie.
Firstly, David caught wind of his son’s treachery and moved forward with installing Solomon as the next king of Israel (vv.32-35). Next, Adonijah’s cronies scurried away from him like rats leaping from a sinking vessel (v.49). Finally, in a pathetic attempt to save his skin, the disgraced prince ran to the sacred tent, grabbed on to the horns of the altar, and pled for his life (v.51). Solomon, showing mercy, did spare it. With words that reflected Adonijah’s humbled position, he simply said, “Go on home” (v.53).
Jesus said, “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). Humbly—that’s the right way to lead and live. —Tom Felten
Matthew 22:1-14 ‹
Read James 4:10 and consider how you should live out God’s instruction today.
What areas of your life have you struggled to relinquish to God and His sovereign rule? Why is living a humble life before Him and others the right way for believers in Jesus?