David was anointed King long before he became King. David refused to act presumptuously. On several occasions he could have killed Saul , but he forbids that he should lay even a hand on “the Lord’s anointed”. What was it that distinguished David from Adonijah? David was one who wouldn’t even take what was his, while Adonijah couldn’t let go of what didn’t belong to him. The difference is this: Accountability. accountability is an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions, according to Webster’s. David was accountable to God, the prophet Samuel, his men, the nation of Israel and to God’s Law. Being accountable means having to give an answer. What answer would David give had he killed Saul? David was confronted by his own conscience before God, and that kept him pure. When we believe that we must give an account for our actions, it creates in us caution, humility and patience.
Adonijah’s actions went un-confronted, this was perhaps the biggest problem in his short life. He didn’t have to answer to anyone, and no-one demanded it of him. Therefore, when the throne was available, he went after it. When people remain without obstacles, momentum is gained. We often rush head long into sin, when there is no one challenging our wrong behaviors. When we do not have to give an answer there is no fear of punishment. It feels free and powerful in the moment, like a stallion running in the wide-open country, the problem is an encounter with a stationary object can be lethal. God will let us run for a while but we can never outrun God. When we are confronted with our choices, we slow down, take inventory, sometimes even stop, and repent, reflect, “is this God’s will or mine?” The apostle Paul writes,
” Do you not know that we shall judge angels how much more the matters of this life?” i Corinthians 6:3.
God has given us communities and families and friends in order to be accountable. sometimes this means confrontation, sometimes it means a judgment on a certain behavior. When we hold each other accountable for actions and deeds it produces responsibility. Thoughtfulness and accountability create pause in our life. David failed Adonijah in this regard, he did not cross his own son.
In the world going after what we want is considered a positive character trait, yet in God’s economy it can be prideful. We must wait for God’s promises to unfold in his time and to let him exalt you. Jesus tells his disciples a lesson:
8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not [a]take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you [b]proceed to occupy the last place. 10 But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who [c]are at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” luke 14:8-11
There is a danger in not being accountable to Godly counsel, tunnel vision and determination can create a hard heart. We must subject ourselves to other believers and most of all to God’s word. Even ambition needs to be tempered by godly accountability. God is more interested in your heart condition than in your success, he is shaping you for his kingdom, not your own, he wants your nearness, not your happiness. God wants a relationship with his children, relationship is a cultivated olive tree not a wild one. Cultivation means opposition. Pruning, plowing, weeding and digging -pruning often feels unfruitful, but its necessary preparation for growth. God’s opposition is a wilderness experiences. His kingdom creates challenges for us. He continually tested the children of Israel to see what was in their hearts. see Deuteronomy 8
If we are not willing to seek his kingdom first, we will never be able to see his kingdom at all. Jesus said the way to his kingdom is narrow and few find it. Why perhaps because men do not like to be uncomfortable, we do not like our choices and preferences to be challenged. We don’t want to suffer the consequences of discipline, we will avoid the wilderness rather than embrace it because, let’s face it, who wants to suffer? Yet Jesus said if we don’t suffer like he did we can’t share in his glory. Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered. When someone challenges us it is uncomfortable. But the discipline only lasts for a moment. God prepares to hold us accountable, to confront us on every side, so that one day we will be with him in his perfect kingdom.
often our hearts deceive us into thinking we are strong, able, good and “fine”. When we acknowledge nothing and no one greater than ourselves we make ourselves the standard. When we fix our eyes on God, through worship, devotion, repentance and abiding in his word, we are able to see ourselves in his light, and we see the truth, we become accountable to Christ and those he has put in our paths. The truth is we are flawed, sinful, broken and worthy of death. God is perfect. When God’s word becomes our standard, we see ourselves as we really are, and we see him as he really is. Then we are willing to invite God’s perfect word to challenge and correct us. We must humble ourselves not as a work, but as a consequence. Humility is the consequence of truth. God’s word changes us to reflect him. Because God is the perfect Father, he will never leave us un-confronted.