Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 29:1-22; 1 Kings 1:1-53
“A promise is a promise”, said Ratan Tata, chairman of India’s biggest private corporate groups, the Tata Group. With this epic statement he made in 2008, he laid to rest all doubts about his promise to deliver India and the world with a car that would cost only Rs. 100,000 (about $ 2,260 or 1,526 Euros). Despite the serious technical challenges of putting such a car together in addition to the inflation that the country faced, this man led his company to delivering what he promised.
Our God is also a God of promises. Right from the first book of the Bible, God makes promises to people that are too wonderful for one to imagine. But time has proved that God is One who not only makes promises- but also keeps them.
In today’s reading, however, things seem to go differently from what God had promised. God promised that David’s son Solomon would rule after him and build the temple of God. However, we see Solomon’s older brother claiming the throne in a rather crafty way. He arranges for a big party where he would be proclaimed king. Some of those who had been loyal to David till then, such as Abiathar the priest and Joab also switched sides to join Adonijah. Things seemed to go wrong.
Much earlier, David had expressed his desire to build a temple for the Lord. The Lord responded by revealing to him that it would not be David, but his successor who would build the temple. It was clear that Solomon was the one who was entitled to this:
1 Chronicles 22:9-10
9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
David communicates this to his Solomon and Solomon would have been preparing himself mentally to take charge of the responsibilities he was being given. This is when Adonijah exalts himself as king. The Bible does not say exactly what Solomon’s immediate reaction was to this, but if I were in his place I would have felt a great sense of jealousy and insecurity – unless I was able to keep things in perspective.
I was once told that the perfect antidote to jealousy is to remember that what God has set apart for you, he will grant to nobody else. God has a separate plan for everyone, but sometimes when we see others prospering we tend to forget that God has promised everyone of us a hope and a future:
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, one is entitled to this promises God made to Israel. This leaves no room for jealousy toward those who seem to be more successful and prosperous.
Our antidote to insecurity-when it comes to our eternal future-is trusting in God’s promises:
John 3:16 (NIV)
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 2:25 (New King James Version)
25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
We can find great security in the fact that our entitlement to eternal life does not depend on our works but is secure in His promise for those who believe.
Further in the reading we see that Adonijah’s plan was foiled and that Solomon was installed as king, just as God purposed and promised. But God’s promise to David did not stop merely at installing a king after him, but God goes on to promise David that his throne would be established forever. Does God fulfill this promise? Later Isaiah wrote:
Isaiah 9:7 (NKJV)
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
He was referring to the Messiah, Jesus. Jesus was born in the family line of David as his mother Mary married Joseph who was of the lineage of David. But Jesus was not crowned king while on this earth. Nevertheless, a day will come when he will be proclaimed king not only over Israel, but overall the earth.
Revelation 11:15 (NKJV)
15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
We can find security in a God who makes promises – and keeps them.