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When Grace Is Not Enough

1 Kings 2:13-15 (KJV) And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably. He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on. And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother’s: for it was his from the Lord.

Sometimes we do not understand how well we have it until after we run unnecessary risks and lose out on an expected opportunity. More often than not, we allow our selfish greed and the unquenchable need for more to overtake our God-given common sense. What we have been given is never enough despite the Apostle Paul’s admonition to be content in whatever state we find ourselves (Phil. 4:11). Why? Because whatever we have need of is already known by our Heavenly Father and He will supply every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Mt. 6:32; Phil. 4:19).

Understanding The Text

In the text, Adonijah surfaces once again as a central character in the narrative which finds him plotting subtly against his brother, King Solomon. This time he employs the services of the king’s mother, who unwittingly agrees to communicate a request to the king. At face value, the request seems so harmless: granting Adonijah the right to marry Abishag, his father’s concubine (1 Kgs. 2:13-18). However, in the customs of the time, to marry the wife or concubine of the previous king was an attempt to claim a right to the throne itself. In other words, by making this request, Adonijah was committing his second act of treason (ref. to 1 Kgs 1:5-9).

In the previous chapter, Adonijah attempted to usurp the throne while his father was still alive, but in a weakened state. Once Solomon ascended to the throne, he granted Adonijah asylum within the kingdom based upon one condition: he was to prove himself to be “a worthy man” (1 Kgs. 1:52). This meant that he had to live above reproach for the remainder of his life. The only problem with this is that Solomon would be the judge of what defined worthiness.

Now what? Adonijah’s actions required swift consequences because if Solomon delayed his judgment, it would have two repercussions: 1) Adonijah could continue to pursue his ambitions of becoming king and possibly being successful at some point, or 2) it would be perceived to be a sign of weakness and lack of judgment on Solomon’s part as he sought to consolidate his power and establish the kingdom. Solomon, therefore, had to be decisive and exact swift justice in alignment with the charge he received from David upon his death bed (1 Kgs. 2:2). What does this mean for Adonijah? It means that grace had run out and he must face death as a consequence.

We can continue to resist the grace of God for a period of time. However, we must understand that, at some point, we will be held accountable for our resistance.

Why Is This Important To Us?

This is important to us because we sometimes find ourselves in similar situations wherein God has been gracious to us when we know we did not deserve it. He pardons our sinful actions and allows us to be covered by the precious Blood of His Son, Jesus. Yet, in our selfish moments, we decide that it is not enough and we want to continue to push the envelope to see how much we can get away with. In the backdrop, we can hear that still, small voice whispering, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Mt. 4:7). But we continue to move forward anyway.

This prideful, greedy and selfish minded attitude has always been and will always be the root of our downfall (Prov. 16:18). In these moments, we must ask ourselves, “When is His grace enough? When will we ever be satisfied with what He has so graciously and benevolently given to us?” At some point, we, like Paul, must learn to be content in whatever state we are in and trust that God has a plan for our lives.


We can sometimes live recklessly without any regard for the impending consequences of our actions. Our decision-making must take into consideration all that Christ Jesus has accomplished on our behalf and how it affects our relationships with God and others. We cannot complain when faced with the consequences of living in complete rebellion or ingratitude to God for His acts of mercy and grace towards us. At some point, His grace must be sufficient and we must trust that His plan for our lives is right and good to the glory and honor of His name. That is what it is all about anyway, right?

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