Read – 1 Kings 1
Focus on verse 52
If you are a golfer – particularly if you are a poor golfer like I am — you will know that a Mulligan is what golfer might call a second chance. Typically, these are restricted to one per round, but I have played with golfers who take at least one per hole. Every once in a while life will offer us a Mulligan as well — a second chance to try to get it right. Most of us learn to appreciate these opportunities and take advantage of them. Some of us, however, don’t seem to have the ability to learn from our mistakes. In today’s reading we are introduced to such an individual. His name is Adonijah.
Adonijah nearly succeeded in stealing the throne away from Solomon. When he realized his plan had been thwarted by King David and those loyal to him, he hides in the tabernacle holding on to the horns of the alter.
Aware that he has committed an offense worthy of death, but pleads for mercy from Solomon, which is granted – but with a condition.
And Solomon said, “If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.”(v. 52)
In a sense Solomon handed Adonijah a mulligan—a second chance to prove he could be an honorable, supportive citizen. If he kept his record clean, all would be well, if he tried anything shady – there would be no third chance. In tomorrow’s reading it becomes apparent which path Adonijah chooses.
God prompts Solomon to give Adonijah a second chance in this case, even though his action was blatantly treasonous and deserving of death. God continues to be a God of second chances. He continues to offer us a second chance at life — a chance to get it right —- in my own case, third fourth and considerably more chances. He is merciful and gracious because he loves us, but He is not unjust, and in the final analysis if we prove ourselves to be rebellious by rejecting the One and only path that He offers us for redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then I believe we will face His judgment and be held accountable for every transgression.