“And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.”
I Kings 1:52
When David was getting very old, his son Adonijah made an attempt to exalt himself and secure for himself the position of being the king. When David was made aware of this conspiracy, he ordered that Solomon be anointed as the king and his successor. When Adonijah heard that his plan had failed, he was afraid for his life. Our Scripture gives us Solomon’s response to his ambitious brother. Solomon said that if Adonijah would “shew himself a worthy man,” he would be spared. But “if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.” In essence, Adonijah was in charge of his own destiny. If he repented and acted responsibly, he would not be punished. Adonijah failed to “shew himself a worthy man,” and was soon executed for his wrong. Solomon gave Adonijah the opportunity to repent, to reform, to reign in his ambition, and to live a peaceable life. However, Adonijah continued his sinful and selfish ways.
There is a lesson for us in this offer made by Solomon to Adonijah. We have the responsibility to show ourselves worthy men and women. This does not mean we are worthy of salvation or any of God’s blessings or benefits. We know that we are saved by His grace alone and that we will never deserve any of God’s goodness. However, we do have a duty to take responsibility for our own lives.
In our society, too many people demand opportunities without any personal investment or accountability. God is gracious in giving us the opportunities to start our lives over again and distance ourselves from pasts that we regret. And He is longsuffering toward us, often giving us the grace to recover when we have made mistakes. God has often been called “The God of the second chance.” But He expects us to be good stewards of the opportunities He provides us with. If we are not willing to surrender our lives to Christ and see Him change our ways, we should not expect to see God’s continual blessings in our lives. Faithfulness in a few things is required before God entrusts us with more responsibility.
Adonijah was not serious about changing his character, and thus forfeited his opportunity. We should seize the opportunities we are given and determine to grow and serve the Lord.