When King David was nearing the end of his life, he hadn’t appointed a successor as king. His eldest son, Amnon had been murdered by Absalom, who had been killed by Joab. This left David’s second son, Daniel (Chileab) next in line for the throne. However, we don’t read anything about Daniel, so he was either dead or had no interest in the throne since all we ever read about him in the text is that he was David’s second son, born to him from Abigail. Therefore, David’s son, Adonijah, declares himself king.

There’s an interesting note here in 1 Kings 1:6 that gives us insight into how Adonijah was raised.

(His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)

1 Kings 1:6 (NIV)

This verse tells us a few things. David let Adonijah do whatever he wanted to do, he was handsome and was born after Absalom. Thus, Adonijah’s claim to the throne was that he had been born after Absalom.

The writer of Kings makes a point to connect Adonijah’s rebellious behavior with the fact that his father, King David, never questioned his behavior as he was growing up. The book of Kings was written after the Babylonian exile revealing how the people of Israel and Judah sinned and therefore brought the wrath of God upon them. Thus, we can glean from this first book of Kings that rebellion in people can be contained when they are growing up by their parents (or at least by the father). Who see the rebellion in their children, “the father never questioned his behavior asking why do you do what you do?”, and then do something about it. Furthermore, 1 Kings 1:6 seems to infer that ignoring a child’s behavior can cause harm later on in life.

I’m reminded of Proverbs 22:6, which tells us to “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (NIV). We know from our study of David that he wasn’t the best of parents, so it should come as no surprise that he let Adonijah do whatever he wanted to do.

As parents, we set examples for our children. If we provide good examples to our children, then there’s a good chance that they might pay attention and do likewise. Conversely, if we are bad examples to our children, they may also do likewise. However we behave, we need to behave intentionally. This is where a verse like Proverbs 22:6 comes in. It reflects intentional action with a specific goal.

I believe that how we are raised impacts how we raise children, so it always strikes me as odd when I hear people talking about “this generation.” I rarely hear anyone say anything like, “This generation is loving and caring.” It’s usually something negative like, “This generation is selfish and greedy.” It occurs to me that the generational problems we see in society are linked to how previous generations were raised. It also occurs to me that if we do as David did, in the case of Adonijah, and never say, “Why do you behave as you do?” then we are responsible for our generational woes.

However, there is One who can break this and all negative cycles in the world. God, the Father. This Father, unlike earthly fathers, already knows why we behave as we do and will lovingly show us the best way to behave. He does this with compassion and grace. So, no matter how you were raised, God allows you to break the cycle and become one with him in Christ.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.