1 Kings 1 teaches grace and how it transforms and empowers graced leaders to lead with grace.
Two truths shine out from this chapter.
The first is God’s grace in his choice of a leader for the chosen nation. One is reminded again how the king himself was chosen. He was the youngest in their family, unprepared, outwardly unfit but God chose him. David learned, Israel learned, and every Christ’s follower learns that God does not look at the outward appearance, but, instead, looks at the heart.
Adonijah, the other son, is older and therefore had the upper hand over Solomon in the list of possible successors to the throne. He made his desire known. He showed wisdom in asking for support from the other leaders and gained it. Solomon did not do any of these things. He neither aspired or promoted himself publicly or through backdoor deals. The only he had was the king’s promise. He did not earn the right to the throne. He did not qualify for it. But he had the king’s promise.
In a very similar way, that is how you and I and every Christ’s follower become heirs of God’s kingdom. It is all by grace. The king saw us. The king chose us, actually, in eternity, before we were even born (Ephesians 1:3-13).
Grace is the primary and only reason for the cross. To become fellow heirs to the throne, the King of the heavens, invisible, immortal, ruler of all creation, stripped himself from all these prerogatives to come in human form and be like us, to fight as our substitute so he can win for us.
To seat us with himself as fellow ruler, he becomes the second Adam. The first one failed to rule and fulfil his calling. But now through Christ, the second Adam, we rule out of his victory and grace (See 1 Corinthians 15).
How should we rule then? This is the other truth which shines from our passage. Graced kings rule with grace. This doesn’t mean ignoring sin, or offences. It means ruling with gratitude and ruling humbly. Solomon forgave Adonijah, his older brother. In that culture, everyone expected Adonijah to die. After all, he tried to grab the throne. Instead, he got to live another day. Sadly, he was evil and bent on taking the throne and unseat the rightful king. Grace also includes putting your enemies away.