This sermon is part of the sermon series "The King Takes His Throne: Solomon's Rise to Power". See series.
The right to rule as king has been the occasion of many bitter conflicts. Often brother has fought against brother to wear the crown, forcing members of the royal family and citizens of the realm to choose sides.
During the Third Crusade, King Richard 1—also known as the Lionheart—waged war against Muslim armies under the command of Saladin. But while Richard was fighting to regain Jerusalem, his brother Prince John was busily trying to crown himself the King of England. Richard hurriedly made a treaty with Saladin and raced home to protect his royal prerogatives. But as he made his way across Europe, the king was captured by Leopold V of Austria and held for a ransom two or three times the amount of his kingdom's annual income.
Everyone in England was forced to choose sides. John offered Leopold half as much money to keep Richard in prison for another couple of years, so he would have time to consolidate his power. Meanwhile, Richard's mother—Eleanor of Aquitane—tried (and eventually succeeded) to raise enough money to have her favorite son rescued and restored to his rightful throne. It was a conflict for the kingdom, which Richard eventually won. But while the throne was still in dispute, people had to decide which man they wanted to be king, and how much they would give to support his cause.
We face a similar choice when it comes to the kingdom of God. Will we honor God's true and rightful King, or will we try to seize the crown for ourselves? Which kingdom will we choose? And how much will we sacrifice to see it established?
Rivals for the throne
The people of God faced the same choice during the last days of David, when the king was on his deathbed and two of his sons, Adonijah and Solomon, ...
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