Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness… but what does that mean? What does the kingdom of God look like? Some people describe it in three parts: Jesus’ rule on earth; the blessings that come from His rule; and the people of the kingdom. So if we, as believers, are part of the kingdom of God, we need to live our lives according to kingdom priorities. This Sunday, pastor Febby led us on a study of 1 Kings 2:12-46 to look at the lives of three men, who were key in Solomon’s ascension to the throne. These three men show us what it means to NOT have kingdom priorities in mind.
ADONIJAH: A MAN LOOKING TO SATISFY HIMSELF
So the story begins as King David is dying and he is passing on the throne to Solomon who was chosen by God (despite not being the first born son). Solomon had a brother older than him, Adonijah who wanted to be crowned king. Yet God did not choose him. From verses 12-25, we see that Adonijah had one thing in mind (and which led to his demise): self-satisfaction. Wanting the throne despite not being chosen by God? Wanting his dead father’s concubine? Sounds like a man set on a path of self-satisfaction which isn’t what we’re called to do as subjects in the kingdom of God. When we insist on satisfying ourselves and ignoring God’s will, we are saying ‘no’ to the kingdom of God.
JOAB: NO PLACE FOR SIN
Joab was once a mighty warrior in David’s army. But he abused his power and behind King David’s back, murdered two army commanders: Abner (2 Samuel 3) and Amasa (2 Samuel 20). He had even sided with Adonijah in his quest for the crown, conspiring to dethrone Solomon, God and king David’s chosen one (1 Kings 1-2). Solomon, aware of these things, commands Benaiah to execute Joab. And instead of owning up to his mistakes, Joab runs to the sacred tent hoping to hide from execution under the guise of sanctity. Yet we know that there is no place for sin in the kingdom of God. So, king Solomon put him to death within the sacred tent. There is no place for sin in the kingdom of God, or the church.
SHIMEI: RECKLESSLY MOTIVATED BY MONEY
In verse 36-46, we meet the final man who teaches us what it means NOT to have kingdom priorities. If we go back to 2 Samuel 16:5-13, we encounter a man named Shimei (shim-ee-ay) from the clan of Saul, who upon seeing David pass by, curses him and throws stones at him. As punishment for his cursing, Solomon exiles him to Jerusalem commanding that he must stay there for the rest of his life. Yet he violated the terms of his arrest, thinking only of money (his two run away servants). This led to his execution.
If we act like these men (looking only to satisfy ourselves; allowing sin into our lives/the church; or recklessly motivated by money/material possessions), we would not be subjects fit to live in the kingdom of God. To put it plainly, if we fulfill our own desires, we are not following Christ fully. So we must ask ourselves, are we upholding kingdom priorities? What is the one thing holding me back from fully embracing the kingdom of God?
Thank You for Your Kingdom. Thank You for sending Your son, Jesus Christ, to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth. I pray that I would live like a subject worthy to be included in the Kingdom of God; living according to kingdom priorities and not the priorities of the world.
In Jesus’ mighty name I pray,