Then Solomon said, “If he is a man of character, not a single hair of his will fall to the ground, but if evil is found in him, he dies.” I King 1:52 HCSB
Dr. Martin Luther King is known for saying, he would rather people be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Why? People with character–know how to conduct themselves at all times.
Of course, many people would take the referenced scripture of out of context and attempt to say that I’m implying people with no character should die. That’s not why I used this particular verse of scripture.
In this passage we find Adonijah–the self-proclaimed king–trying to take the place of Solomon when he knew that David had promised Solomon the throne. Adonijah was not concerned about doing what was right, only doing what he wanted to do and for that reason, when it was reported to David–the dying king–what Adonijah was doing, David arranged for Solomon to be anointed the next king [with the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan present to confirm]–even as Adonijah and his crew were celebrating what they thought was a coup.
In those days, rebellion against a king meant death. And when it was reported to Solomon that Adonijah was afraid of what he had done–trying to steal the authority of kingship from its rightful owner–Solomon commanded Adonijah be brought to him and declared that if it was determined that he was a man of character (integrity), nothing would happen to him, but if not–he would die.
I’m not advocating that anyone without character should die, but I am advocating that anyone without moral substance, integrity and honesty and incorruptible values–should never be allowed in a position of authority since we know–corruption breeds corruption and immorality breeds immorality, and dishonesty breeds more dishonesty.
Fear-mongering and hatred are character traits of evil and wickedness. We know this because The Word says, that “perfect love casts out fear.” So if love will cast fear aside–we know no love abides in anyone who instills fear in others. And those who have received God’s love, know how to love–unconditionally–and will not promote hatred of people–rather they promote hatred of sin–not the sinner.
Before anyone tries to refute that we are to hate, let’s look at what The Word says:
Hate evil and love good; establish justice in the gate. Amos 5:15 HCSB
The righteous hate lying, but the wicked act disgustingly and disgracefully. Proverbs 13:5 HCSB Those who know The Lord and try to live according to His Word, hate the thought of lying, but the wicked won’t hesitate to lie. And we know–Satan is the father of liars.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9 NIV It is not good to think that killing a person is “a beautiful thing.”
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Matthew 24:10,11 NIV
The time that Jesus references through Matthew is the last days and here we are.
So, are we people with character and is there evidence for all to see by how we live? If we lie to ourselves, we fool only ourselves for God knows the inward person and He is never fooled by the externals.