Charles and Norma Ellis
1 Kings 1:5-14
5Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
6And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.
7And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.
8But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.
9And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants:
10But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.
11Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?
12Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.
13Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?
14Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.
In 1 Kings 15:5 we are told that David did right in the sight of the Lord 'save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.' In general he set an excellent example to his people and his own family.
But from this distance of time and space it appears to the reader of Scripture that with his children David was long on love and short on discipline. We saw an indication of this in the case of Absalom. Now we see that the delicate balance of love and discipline which needs to prevail in child training was tipped away from the discipline in the case of Adonijah, too. This is clear from verse 6: 'His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?'
We saw permissiveness in Eli. Here we see it in David. Is it present in our own home? Rules or guidelines must be well-known in the home, rules that stem from God's own law. Children must be helped to obey God by the example of the parent and by positive training. When there is disobedience there must be correction! The child must make amends for the wrong he has done, when it is possible. He must seek forgiveness of the offended party and also of God. And he must experience punishment to underline the seriousness of sin. There is no place for permissiveness in the home that would honor God.
A difficult order for the parent? Yes, but essential. Someone has said that being a parent is not a popularity contest. The child to whom we say, 'Why have you done this?' will be displeased. If we seem to be repetitive in this as in other matters, it is because God's Word is repetitive. By narrative, exhortation, command, God would enforce upon us lessons in parenthood which we sorely need and of which we need to be reminded frequently.
Lord, help us to be worthy parents!
We are happy to have obtained permission to post as our current daily devotional Heirs Together of Life: Daily Bible Reading for Husbands and Wives, published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Don't be misled by the subtitle. As the book's "Preface" indicates (see below), although Heirs Together of Life is "especially prepared for couples,"the authors declare, "Since the basis for this guide is God's Word, we believe it would have value for any reader."
Charles and Norma Ellis are husband and wife and the authors not only of Heirs Together of Life (which was first published in 1980 and continues in print today), but also of Wells of Salvation (first published in 1985, and likewise still in print today). The latter contains a series of short studies covering the entire book of Isaiah, while the former contains a series of almost 200 short studies covering the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Both books by the Ellises can be ordered from the publisher, The Banner of Truth Trust. We trust that these daily Bible readings, posted daily on our site, will be helpful to you in your Christian walk before God. Whether married or not, all of us are members of families and members of the family of God.
Charles Ellis was educated at Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary. Upon graduation from Westminster (where he earned not only a Th.B. but also a Th.M.), he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and pastored a number of OPC churches, including Immanuel OPC in West Collingswood, New Jersey; First OPC in Cincinnati, Ohio; Covenant OPC in East Orange, New Jersey; Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. Less biographical information is available about his wife, but it is known that they served as parents of seven children. After retiring from the ministry, Charles Ellis went to be with the Lord in 2003, but he and his wife left us with a beautiful legacy in the two books they have given to the world, and we are proud to share the daily Bible readings from Heirs Together of Life here with you.
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