Lord, raise up leaders in Your church who will move with integrity and sacrifice themselves rather than convictions.
Read: 1 Kings 1:1-27
 When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him.  So his attendants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.”  Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.  The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.  Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.” So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him.  (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.)  Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support.  But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah.  Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah,  but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon.  Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David knows nothing about it?  Now then, let me advise you how you can save your own life and the life of your son Solomon.  Go in to King David and say to him, ‘My lord the king, did you not swear to me your servant: “Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’  While you are still there talking to the king, I will come in and add my word to what you have said.” So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him.  Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king. “What is it you want?” the king asked.  She said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the LORD your God: ‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’  But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it.  He has sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep, and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he has not invited Solomon your servant.  My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.  Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.”  While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. And the king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground.  Nathan said, “Have you, my lord the king, declared that Adonijah shall be king after you, and that he will sit on your throne? Today he has gone down and sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep. He has invited all the king’s sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him and saying, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’  But me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite.  Is this something my lord the king has done without letting his servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”
Reflect: What is the danger in self-promotion?
Amos was the first prophet to announce the judgment of exile. Even for those who had ears to hear, and who sought after God, it cannot have been easy listening. Yet within 40 years, the judgment prophesied had come upon Israel (2 Kings 17:3-6).
Even within such a hard Word there are hints of mercy to come. Amos 3:12 has a portion being saved, like the remains recovered from a lion’s kill. Amos 7 talks of the Lord relenting from bringing calamity, and Amos 9:8 decrees that the destruction will not be total. These shafts of light leaven the terrible darkness of the news Amos has to bring.
Those hints of mercy here burst forth in a symphony of promises. There is a divine purpose beyond judgment and exile, and it’s one of restoration and great blessing (11,15). Favor and fruitfulness will be renewed, the land becoming so fertile that both sowing and reaping happen together, with the hills so filled with grapes that they drip new wine (13).
Ask God to show you how you have “put yourself forward.” Be content to let God raise you up as he chooses.
Lord, teach me to walk in quiet confidence and to yield all things to You. Help me walk in humility, seeking to please only You.