“Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king; and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.” (1 Kings 1:5)
Pride corrupts and disrupts the lives of so many people. Here, in this passage the pride of Adonijah (one of David’s sons) is consumed with how widespread he could be know, all while his father was on his death bed. His only thought was that he wanted to be king! Three simple actions are found that each of us should use to investigate our own motives, determining if pride has crept in:
Promotion of self
The Bible tells us that he exalted himself. I preached a sermon for many years around the country on the answer to low self esteem. In that sermon, I warn with biblical basis that everyone who exalts himself shall be abased. When pride controls you, you will be busy exalting yourself. You will be continually bragging about your performances, and you will be the hero of every story you tell. The Bible gives a simple proverb that we should heed daily: “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips” (Proverbs 27:2.)
Position he sought
Next, I noticed the little phrase, “I will be king”. Pride makes another think that they should have a position that is being held by another. Dr. Ray Young, who has been a mentor for me for years, gave me some great advice when Bro. Curington passed away. He said, “Ben, I recommend, concerning the future opportunities in the ministry at RUI that you choose to be next to the last person in line as a candidate for any position. (That reasoning was that my wife would not choose to be ahead of me.) I can assure you that the act of humility and the advice of my good friend was well received and needed for some very difficult days that were faced.
Adonijah was not in line to be the new king. David had appointed Solomon to be the new king. But pride made Adonijah think he could be king anyway. Pride makes people think they ought to be in some other exalted position. Let me encourage you this morning to cast out pride. Let me encourage you to find contentment in its place.
Pomp he showed
“He prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.” Be careful your motives are not all about making you look important. I travel a lot and have met people in airports who thought they were important. Some of them may have been showy, but they were also snobs. Some of them may have crowds, but they lacked the shrouds of humility that is so precious to God.
The notorious Joe Kennedy, father of the politician sons, said it is not important what you are but what people think you are. He was wrong, and eternity will reveal those who walk in humility long after some filled with pride have been forgotten.
Meditate today on humility and find 3 ways today to humble yourself.
1Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
2Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”