“Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. So she said, ‘Do you come peaceably?’ And he said, ‘Peaceably.’ Moreover, he said, ‘I have something to say to you.’ And she said, ‘Say it.’ Then he said, ‘You know that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel had set their expectations on me, that I should reign. However, the kingdom has been turned over, and has become my brother’s; for it was his from the Lord. Now I ask one petition of you; do not deny me.’ And she said to him, ‘Say it.’ Then he said, ‘Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you, that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife.’” 1 Kings 2:13-17
The Craftiness of Adonijah
Abishag the Shunammite served King David in his chamber. Now she was not his wife and David never had sex with her as if she was a concubine, nonetheless she was considered a woman of the king and marrying her would carry a certain status. Prior to his request Adonijah tried to claim the throne of Israel for himself before the current king even died and gathered people of influence to celebrate his reign as king although David said the throne was to go to Solomon the son of Bathsheba. Nathan the prophet informed Bathsheba of the plan in order to save the lives of both her and her son and told her to inform King David to stop it and Solomon was declared king in his place. So the kingdom was never really Adonijah's to begin with he, was deluded himself and didn’t repent of his misdeed despite begging for his life when his plan failed, and the kingdom went to someone else.
“…Adonijah was afraid of Solomon; so, he arose… saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’’ Then Solomon said, ‘If he proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall to the earth; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.’ So King Solomon sent them to bring him down from the altar. And he came and fell down before King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, ‘Go to your house.’” 1 Kings 1:50-53. Yet, we can see Adonijah didn’t learn much. He feared the results of trying to steal the throne but not the wicked spirit that motivated it. That is often how we are. We get upset and beg God not to allow things to happen as a result of our poor choices and then when we think we have gotten away with it or the danger is past continuing to do what we have always been doing. But foolishness will not always be tolerated.
Adonijah's Plans Backfire
“When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him. Ecclesiastes 8:11-12 “‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty…’” Numbers 14:18 22. Now regarding Adonijah, “And King Solomon answered and said to his mother, 'Now why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also—for he is my older brother—for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.’ Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, ‘May God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life! Now therefore, as the Lord lives, who has confirmed me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has established a house for me, as He promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today!’ So King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he struck him down, and he died.” 1 Kings 2:22-25. Don’t assume that because you seem to have gotten away with something that you always will.