Nathan brings word to Bathsheba about Adonijah’s actions and the two of them bring word to David. He hears for the second time that one of his sons is taking his throne.
Nathan was not invited to Adonijah’s celebration but he has heard what is going on. He KNOWS that this is not David’s wish but he can’t come right out and say it. He takes the long way around. He takes his news to Bathsheba and makes plans with her.
I’m curious if he did it this way because of needing two witnesses for a matter to be established. As far as we know Bathsheba didn’t know of this until Nathan told her, yet he uses her as one of the witnesses. She supplied more information than what we see Nathan told her. Maybe she knew already or did a little fact checking on her own. Maybe she was waiting for a second witnesses to what she knew who would be willing to stand before David with her.
David was so advanced in age and infirm that he conducted kingdom business from his bed. But he was still hanging onto the throne. It is quite probable that even though his body was failing his mind wasn’t. I wonder how much of the kingdom business was done by others. How many other things went on that he didn’t know about? It’s hard to ‘keep your finger on the pulse’ of the kingdom when confined to bed.
Bathsheba came to David’s bedroom to gently confront him with this news. Bathsheba doesn’t blast David for not paying attention or accuse him of going back on his promise to her and Solomon. The very FIRST thing she does is show David she still respects him as king. She ignored the infirmity and honored the man. And she waited on him to address her before she went any further.
As king, David could have sent her from the room without even hearing her out but he chose to listen to her needs. He loves her even after all these years.
Bathsheba reminds David of his promise to her and Solomon. She includes in her reminder that this was a solemn promise before the Lord. And she tells him of the events that have happened that go contrary to that promise which he didn’t know anything about. Bathsheba goes into detail to ensure David knows the seriousness of what has taken place. It isn’t just words or rumors. Adonijah has taken actions that raise him to status of king.
Bathsheba also makes sure David knows who is backing Adonijah. The king’s sons (except Solomon), Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army are all present for this event.
The next to the last piece of Bathsheba’s conversation with David is to let him know that the nation is looking to him to either affirm this or refute it. “And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him” (verse 20a).
Bathsheba’s last portion of her plea to David is for her life and that of Solomon. Adonijah will not want Solomon around if he is made king. He knows that Solomon was his father’s choice so he will want to eliminate the competition. Bathsheba and Solomon would likely be killed.
Nathan waited until Bathsheba had finished her plea before joining his voice to this cry. I would not be surprised to learn that he was nearby listening in for the right moment to make his presence known. He chose a different method to ‘share the news’ than Bathsheba did. He chose to ask if MAYBE David had given this order himself and forgotten to tell him about it. No accusation, just a question.
Nathan knew David didn’t know of Adonijah’s actions but he didn’t say so to David. He didn’t draw attention to the fact that David wasn’t on the top of his game. He honored David and protected his dignity. But he pulled no punches on the seriousness of the situation. The people Adonijah invited were already heralding him as king. Something had to happen fast if this were to be averted.
Bathsheba stressed who was invited to Adonijah’s event. Nathan stressed who wasn’t. Zadok the priest, Solomon, David’s commanders and Nathan himself were left out. David now knew who was against him and who stood with him. And this also demonstrated that Adonijah knew the same score.
I wonder how David felt when he heard that Joab and Abiathar supported Adonijah. Was he surprised by this news? Joab had been a problem on several occasions but Abiathar had been with him sinc Saul killed the priests at Nob. Both these men had a LONG relationship with David, yet they turned their back on his wishes in the end. Will they suffer for their deeds?
It is important to know who you can trust. I was told by my ex-husband that I was too trusting. He had heard that there was a very bad rumor going around about me that was supposed to have originated with one of my best friends. I knew her character and told him she would never have done such a thing. In the end it turned out that an enemy of hers was trying to sabotage my friend’s reputation by spreading a false rumor and claiming my friend was its originator. She had made the mistake of using another of my friends as her first target for spreading the rumor. The loyalty of my two friends kept the rumors from going any further. To this day, I have no idea what the rumor was because the one friend who was approached stopped it in its tracks. I’m grateful for loyal friends. I know David was too. How much damage could have been done if Nathan hadn’t been looking out for David.
Father God, thank You for the friends You have placed in my life. I know I don’t have friends that have survived with me for decades because of how much I have moved around in my life. But You have always brought to me people that were a blessing through their friendship. I do trust easily because that his how You have made me. My friends are few and far between right now because I’m so isolated but that makes the ones I do have that much sweeter. Help me always show them how precious they are to me. And help me only pick the ones YOU have for me. I trust You to open and close doors in this area for me. A few true friends is better than rooms full of ‘fair weather’ friends.