The King's Imposter
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a king who was the wisest among all men, and lead his kingdom with integrity and courage. He was well-loved by his people and God immensely blessed him with understanding and wealth. However, the king’s brother was a greedy and wicked imposter, and prior to the king's appointment he devised an evil plan to try to snatch the kingdom away from the king.
Presuming that his father David was nearing the time of his death as he was an old man, and seeing that no one was proclaimed as king in his place, Adonijah embarked on an elaborate plan to be recognised as the next king of Israel. Although the Lord revealed to David a long time before that the successor and next heir to the throne would be his son Solomon, that was no deterrent for the imposter Adonijah, who was hungry for power.
Firstly, Adonijah proclaimed himself as king and then gathered chariots, horsemen and a company of 50 men to run before him.
Secondly, he recruited advisors Joab and Zeruiah and the priest Abithia who followed and helped him in his quest.
Thirdly, Adonijah sacrificed animals and invited all his siblings, the men of Judah and King David’s servants to the feast but excluded Nathan the prophet, his brother Solomon, and David’s mighty men.
It must have been well known that King Solomon was destined to succeed his father David, so when Nathan, Bathsheba (Solomon’s mother), and those of Solomon’s camp heard of Adonijah’s self-proclamation, they were in an uproar. They quickly entreated King David about the unfathomable declaration by Adonijah.
This summarized account from 1 Kings 1 is a story of deceit, drama, suspense and action better than any Hollywood blockbuster, but at the heart of it is a telling tale of the difference between the anointed king and the king’s imposter.
Be vigilant because the imposters usually closely resemble the authentic in their lineage, appearance and mannerism. Take notice, as the imposters are usually the crowd favourite and according to the world’s standard are best suited for the position. That’s okay though, because when man looks at the outward appearance, God is sifting and selecting based on a person’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7) and Solomon was God’s pick.
Therefore, King David spared no time and acted decisively to appoint Solomon as King of Israel.
The real successor was identified, anointed and appointed by the King himself (verses 29 & 30) and King David swore an oath to Bathsheba that her son would be king, as he was directed by the Lord. Be assured that when God says the job is yours, or the business is yours or the deal is yours; it is yours! It doesn’t matter who declares themselves better or more qualified than you, it only matters what God declares over you.
The real successor was given kingly apparatus for his coronation. David directed that Solomon should ride on his mule, whilst the imposter was reduced to purchasing, borrowing or renting his chariot, horsemen and runners. In today’s world a mule may be deemed unglamourous, lowly and too simple compared to Adonijah’s chariots and horsemen, but the important distinction was less about what it was and more about whose it was. It was the king’s mule and Solomon’s status and royalty became apparent the moment that he rode on it. When your assignment is implanted and anointed by the King of Kings, you carry about in your body, your speech and demeanour the name, victory and power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The real successor was anointed with oil from the tabernacle and his appointment was announced with music and much celebration. Just as the horn, flutes and piercing sound of rejoicing seemed to split the earth (verse 40), the success of the real ones will shake and change the world.
The real successor after he was anointed, sat on the throne of the king. The imposter, even with the huge feast and banquet, was still outside the palace, removed from the throne and wielded dominion over the few who chose to follow him. When Solomon sat on David's throne he wasn’t king of a few, he was king of the nation of Israel. When God anoints you for a task your influence and impact will not be limited to your immediate friends and family, but it will reach and impact nations.
The imposter’s reign was short lived but the real successor’s blessing was covered with longevity. When Adonijah’s guests heard of Solomon’s appointment, they became very afraid and quietly left the imposter to stand alone (verse 49). Be sure to stand with the real ones and don’t be caught in the party of the imposter.
Lastly, the real king was a man of integrity and mercy. In spite of Adonijah’s attempt to steal Solomon's kingdom, Solomon showed him mercy. When we have succeeded in our various areas of life, it is not the time to exact revenge and become prideful. Instead we must continue to live out our Christ-like nature and be a vessel filled with virtue and grace.
Today I want you to know that even when it looks like you are losing, even when there is a crowd chanting for your opponent and even if you only have a faithful few in your corner, your blessing and anointing is yours. Don’t be distracted by imposters, what God has for you and what He says about you will come to pass, and what he declares over your life is sure. There will always be imposters but the real king will sit upon the throne!
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