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Why Doesn’t This Work?

1 Kings 1:39, 50 (KJV) And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon…And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.

As we go through life, there are things that we observe about others and say within ourselves, “He was made for this.” We do not doubt for a moment that a person’s ability or understanding of certain areas cause them to appear superior to the rest of us. This person just seems to “flow” within this arena. It happens like this for many of us. And then, there are are times when it seems as though something is being forced and it does not fit at all. For all of the effort being placed into it, the outcome will definitely not be what was expected. Why is that?

Understanding The Text

In our study of the text yesterday, we observed that sometimes our foolish ambitions can get in the way of what is actually meant to take place. In verse 5, Adonijah asserted himself into a role he desired but did not understand that it was not his by design. He had all of the right qualifications to pull off this great feat. He was able to employ the services of some of his father’s most trusted allies. But there was one thing he lacked, and we will see what this is in a moment.

Once Nathan the prophet and Bathsheba made their appeals to David, David “came alive” long enough to overturn the plot of Adonijah (1 Kgs. 1:15-35). David gave a charge to Nathan the prophet, Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the general to take his son, Solomon, and cause him “…to ride upon my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: and let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel…” (vv. 32-35).

What Adonijah was missing was: 1) the blessing and appointment of his father, 2) the anointing poured out upon him for the position, and most importantly, 3) the approval of God. God made a promise to David to establish his house and establish the kingdom of his seed and the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Sam. 7:11-13). God also promised to David, “…I will be his Father, and he shall be my Son…” (v.14). When Solomon was born, it was recorded in 2 Sam. 12:24-25 that Bathsheba bares David a son, “…and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him. And He sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord…” Solomon’s royal name was “Jedidiah”, which means, “Beloved of the Lord”. At which time was this testimony given to Adonijah?

With this in mind, it is safe to determine that Adonijah’s decision to make himself king was doomed from the onset. Why would it not work? Because by God’s design, Solomon was the elected and chosen heir apparent to the throne of his father. Once the ceremonies concluded, we read about Adonijah running to catch “hold on the horns of the altar” (v.50). In Old Testament times, to “hold on the horns of the altar” was symbolic of someone reaching out for mercy because the blood of the sacrifice was placed upon the horns, and they were symbols of grace and salvation to the sinner. Adonijah acted in opposition to the will of both the reigning king and Israel’s True King. This made him guilty of treason and rebellion. He was worthy of death because, by his act, he was self-condemned.

Unless God has anointed us for a specific assignment, we will never arrive at the intended outcome.

Why Is This Important To Us?

This is important to us because God graces each of us with a specific anointing to work in certain areas of His Kingdom. It was never intended for any of us to overstep each other in an attempt to function in another person’s area of calling. We see the influence someone has and how people respond to them, and we covet the same type of notoriety and attention for ourselves. We begin to wonder why our ministry does not receive the same response as someone else’s ministry. So, then, we attempt to force ourselves into situations that God never intended for us to participate in. We end up embarrassing ourselves and sometimes bringing a reproach upon the name of Christ in the process.

Why does it not work? It does not work because we were not anointed for it. We were not made for it. The Apostle Paul explains it beautifully, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all” (1 Cor. 12:4-6). In other words, there is more than enough to be done within God’s Kingdom, so why are we arguing and fighting over who should do which task? Paul goes on to say, “But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased Him…” (v. 18). God said it. That settles it. Whether we want to believe it or not.


Coveting another person’s gift or anointing will not provide any of us with the outcome we desire. If anything, it will cause us to miss out on the opportunity to make an impact in the Kingdom by functioning in our God-ordained roles and staying in our own lanes. Once we “get over ourselves” and realize that none of this is about us, then we will be able to make a change in the world around us. Be content with the gifts that you have. Stop trying to be something and someone you are not. Because in the end, it just does not work.

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