Chapter 1.
The Prince Who Tooted His Own Horn

1 Kings 1:1-10

You know you are getting older when...

Ah, the adventures of getting old! As we open the curtain on the book of 1 Kings, we find David in the Winter Years of Life. The shadows of the grave are getting closer. David is getting older. Notice verse one.

I. THE AGING DAVID—1:1

David is old and stricken in years. This word stricken means "run down." David is about 70 years old. The years of suffering, conflict, guilt, and grief have taken their toll on his life. The victories over the lion, bear, giants, and armies are all memories now. The once robust warrior is feeble and weak. He has a circulation problem and has difficulty in getting warm.

Stress can sponge the life out of a person. In David's case, much of his stress came from his sin and disobedience to the Lord. The same thing can happen to us if we live a carnal life. Sin creates stress.

Psalm 107:17—Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

Proverbs 13:15—Good understanding giveth favor: but the way of transgressors is hard.

Romans 2:9—Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

God wants us to have His rest and peace in our life. This rest comes from being broken by the Lord and yielded to Him. In Montana, cowboys break a wild horse by putting a saddle on the horse and leaving it on for a month. The horse gets use to the saddle. The cowboy is patient with this horse and speaks in a gentle tone to the steed. The next step is the placing of the bit in the mouth. After two months, the cowboy mounts the horse. The principals of this story are found in Matthew 11:28-30.

Matthew 11:28-30—Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

God doesn't want us to be all stressed out. He wants to give us His peace and rest by depending upon Him for our needs.

Let me ask, "What bothers you the most about aging?" Is it health problems, loss of youth, losing friends in death, losing your abilities, or getting closer to death yourself? Any of these concerns should motivate us in our younger years to make our life physically count for Christ while our bodies are still strong and not hindered by common health problems of the elderly. Live your life for God and start while you are young. I am so grateful to the Lord that I was saved at the age of 15 and started living for Christ in my teen years.

Ecclesiastes 12:1—Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

II. AN ATTENDANT IS SOUGHT—1:2-4

A medical solution for chills in David's day was to use the body heat of another to keep the person warm. David's servants conduct a Miss Israel contest and Abishag was picked. She was an incredibly beautiful, young woman and became a part of David's harem, yet, he did not have sexual relations with her. She cherished and cared for the king and kept him warm.

III. THE AMBITION OF ADONIJAH—1:5-7,9

Adonijah exalts himself and toots his own horn saying, "I will be king!" As the shadow of death approaches David's bed, his home problems still plague him as another son seeks to take the throne. Adonijah follows the same path as Absalom. He is less deceitful than his brother.

Adonijah is motivated by pride. He is handsome and has a very high opinion of himself. His will is unchecked and rarely curbed (vs.6). He is a spoiled and undisciplined man.

Amnon, the firstborn son is dead. Absalom's command killed him. Chileab is believed to have died at an early age. Absalom was killed by Joab. Adonijah is next in line for the throne and assumes he will be king. This is why he exalts himself and toots his own horn. Adonijah has forgotten the God factor. He is not God's man and part of God's will and plan for the nation of Israel.

We note several insights at this point in the story.

A. The Folly of Exalting Yourself or Tooting Your Own Horn

When you toot your own horn and lift up yourself, you will eventually fall down and your glory will fade. When Ptolemy, outstanding astronomer and mathematician of the second century, decided to build the Pharos, he chose Sostratus to design the mammoth lighthouse which became later one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Ptolemy insisted that the lighthouse should bear his inscription as a personal memorial; however, Sostratus didn't think the king should get all the credit. He therefore put the title of Ptolemy on the front of the lighthouse in a thick plaster which would be eye catching at first, but later would be worn away by the elements of the weather. Secretly Sostratus cut his own name in the granite under the plaster. For decades the sea dashed against the plaster inscription and gradually eroded it. Though it lasted the lifetime of Ptolemy, it finally was obliterated, leaving the name "Sostratus" boldly and clearly exposed in the granite. Worldly fame often disappears before the relentless waves of time.

The Bible warns us about strutting our feathers like a peacock.

Luke 14:11—For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Proverbs 17:19—He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.

Proverbs 16:18—Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

God's advice for us....

1 Corinthians 10:12—Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Proverbs 30:32—If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.

B. The Failure to Discipline Your Children Leads to Problems

When you fail to discipline your kids, you are showing your hatred for them. That sounds weird and is totally, politically incorrect, but this is what God says.

Proverbs 13:24—He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Why does this show hate? Your kids will grow up expecting to get their own way and this is not going to happen. They will be selfish, irresponsible, wild, unhappy, frustrated, and have difficulty in getting along with other people. Their actions could lead to a broken marriage, difficulty in keeping a job, jail, or imprisonment.

Proverbs 29:15—The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

Proverbs 29:17—Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

When you spare the rod on your misbehaving or rebellious child, you bring it upon yourself eventually. David's neglect has brought the rod upon himself.

Notice Joab is still consistent, seeking his own self-interests. Decisions that are based upon the "Finger in the Air to See Where the Wind is Blowing" mentality will eventually get you into trouble. Joab was attracted to the false king. He is like the lost man who has a natural attraction to follow sinful ways. People who follow sinful living or Satan, instead of Christ, do so because they belong to Satan.

John 8:44—Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

They offered sacrifices to make the coronation official. Sealing an action with religious ceremonies does not make it approved by God or God's will. Labeling something as Christian does not make it necessarily Christian, Christlike, or approved by the Lord. Christian Day at Bikini Beach does not make the event Christian. Many people who claim to be Christians are not, because they have never truly been born again. Churches are filled with religious people who are not born again. Any activity, entertainment, or relationship with a person that contradicts Bible teaching or principle is not God's will. God never leads us to contradict His Word! NEVER! Dating, marrying, or going into business partnerships with unsaved people contradicts God's Word and is not the will of God for the believer. In the years that I have been preaching, I have seen multitudes, who thought they knew more than God on this matter. They were greatly distressed, disappointed, and depressed because they did not obey God in this matter. Some have had to bear their disobedience for the rest of their lives.

2 Corinthians 6:14—Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

IV. THE AVOIDANCE—1:10,8

Have you ever been left out of a party? It is no fun, is it? Here, Solomon and his supporters are conveniently left out. Obviously, Adonijah knows Solomon is next in line to the throne. God told David to crown Solomon.

1 Chronicles 22:9,10—Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

David has made the promise to Bathsheba about Solomon (vs. 17). If you were Bathsheba or Solomon, wouldn't you let everyone know about this? This is exciting news. Adonijah, knowing this truth, tries to usurp the throne by proclaiming himself as king. He toots his own horn. He doesn't invite Solomon to the feast because he would then be bound to protect him by their laws of hospitality.

We want to note two key points at this juncture.

1. Just as Adonijah avoided inviting the rightful king to his banquet, we are guilty of doing the same type of thing when our actions or activities are rebellious, selfish, or sinful. We grieve the Holy Spirit by our indifference and stubborn disobedience.

2. Don't be surprised if this world does not want you around or shuns you. Many unsaved people are not comfortable in the presence of a godly Christian. Some will hate what you stand for or hate the Lord.

John 15:19—If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Your life may be a source of conviction.

1 Peter 4:14—If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

You may also be considered a fool or nut.

1 Corinthians 4:10,13—We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised. Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

Hebrews 10:33—Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

Are you under stress and guilt from your sin? Seek God's forgiveness. Are you living for yourself or the Lord? Begin serving the Lord in your youth if you are not already doing so. Are you exalting yourself and tooting your own horn? Stop before you fall. Humble yourself before the Lord.

James 4:6—But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

James 4:10—Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

It's when we forget ourselves that we do things that are most likely to be remembered.