Having spared Adonijah’s life after his attempt to hijack the kingship, Solomon ended up having no choice but to execute him after he made it clear he wasn’t giving up on trying to take the throne. That done, it was time to handle the rest of the unfinished business David had discussed with him.
“Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, ‘Go back to your home in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not kill you now, because you carried the Ark of the Sovereign Lord for David my father and you shared all his hardships.’ So Solomon deposed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord, thereby fulfilling the prophecy the Lord had given at Shiloh concerning the descendants of Eli” (I Kings 2:26-27, NLT).
What was the problem with Abiathar? First Kings 1:7 tells us that “Adonijah took Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest into his confidence, and they agreed to help him become king.” Abiathar wasn’t interested in what David wanted; consequently, he wasn’t interested in what God had instructed David to do in having Solomon to succeed him.
Abiathar was a descendant of Eli and had stuck with David when he was running from Absalom. But he’d also turned on Solomon and sided with the conniving Adonijah. And what about “the prophecy the Lord had given at Shiloh concerning the descendants of Eli?” In First Samuel 3:12-13 the Lord speaks to young Samuel who is studying under Eli:
“I am going to carry out all My threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them.”
“He hasn’t disciplined them.” Do we see a theme here? Eli didn’t discipline his sons who were following in his footsteps as priests of the Most High God. We see the deaths of Eli’s sons Phineas and Hophni recorded in First Samuel 4. Abiathar was a descendant of Phinehas and Solomon removing him from his position (which he seemed to have shared jointly with Zadok) directly related to God’s judgment against Eli’s family some 100 years before Solomon became king.
Solomon was cleaning house. While we don’t go around killing off our enemies in this day and time – God forbid – we still need to clean our physical and spiritual houses from time to time. If we don’t, just like dust bunnies under our beds, uncleanness will creep in before we know it.
Have you built up a tolerance for bad language because of some TV show you like to watch? Are you reading books, magazines or online info that promotes lifestyles opposed to the teachings of the Bible? Are you, just “because everybody else does,” letting your kids do things or go places you’re uncomfortable with? Are you dressing modestly to honor God or provocatively to draw attention to yourself? Do the people who come around you have to ask, “Are you a Christian?” or do they know it by your compassion and lifestyle?
Is going to church a joy or drudgery? What about reading your Bible – how often do you manage that? Is prayer a daily part of your life?
“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith” (II Corinthians 13:5).
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates