David Chapter 14
"Now king David was old and stricken in years..." (1 Kings 1:1). At this time, David was either sixty nine or seventy years old. Saul, the first king of Israel, is not mentioned in 1 Kings or 2 Kings. It is as if he never existed. Saul was the people's choice, while David was God's choice and was actually intended by The Lord to be the first king of Israel. David's early hardships and later sorrows and anxieties appear to have aged him prematurely. As it regards the young lady, Abishag the Shunammite, the 4th Verse proclaims the fact that nothing sexual was intimated between the two. During the time of David, seventy years of age was considered to be old. Normally, life expectancy did not reach that high unless The Lord, for reasons of His own, prolonged the lives of certain ones, which He did at times. As the record shows, however, David's life had not been easy. The glory days began with David killing Goliath, the mortal enemy of Israel. However, those glory days under Saul did not last very long. Soon, David became a hunted man, with Saul hating him, and stayed that way for probably at least ten years. He was probably about seventeen or eighteen when he killed Goliath, and it seems he enjoyed the favor of Saul for approximately two years but certainly not much longer than that. If those numbers are correct, the next ten years would have been years of acute hardship. David became king of the southern kingdom of Judah when he was thirty years old. He became king of the combined tribes some seven and a half years later. From that time, he was in almost constant war, subduing the enemies which had sworn the destruction of Israel. Then, when he was about fifty years old, the terrible sin with Bathsheba was committed, with the murder of her husband, Uriah. The balance of his days, some twenty years or more, saw very little but heartache.
And yet, David was one of the greatest men of God who ever lived, despite his failures, for which he paid dearly.
David's Old Age
"Then 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. And 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. And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. But 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. And 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:" (1 Kings 1:5-9).
The Plot to Overthrow the Will of God
The unholy trio of Adonijah, Joab, and Abiathar present a type of that which controls so much of the modern church world:
The Bible student would do himself well to study carefully the ungodly intentions of this trio. For, it pictures the modern church world. In this chapter, we will see this effort of satan derailed with God's man being placed on the throne. However, the far greater majority of times in the Bible and throughout the church history, there has been no David to carry out the will of God. Instead, "Adonijah, Joab, and Abiathar" gained the ascendency.
This young man was the 4th son of David, now apparently the eldest surviving one. At this time, he was probably about thirty five years old. The Scripture says,"[he] exalted himself, saying, I will be king." In reality, even though he was David's son, Adonijah did not know The Lord. In fact, Joab didn't either. Abiathar had once known The Lord in a great way but, somehow, had lost his way. So, the military leader of Israel, along with one of the high priests, seemed to be the strength that Adonijah needed. Did Joab know that Adonijah was not David's choice? He had always been faithful to David, whatever his other problems. The truth is he, no doubt, realized that, under any other king than Adonijah, his place and position would be extremely precarious. He resolved, therefore, to secure himself by helping Adonijah take the throne. One can somewhat understand Joab, but Abiathar's defection comes at a surprise. There had been close ties between Abiathar and David. Abiathar had stayed with David through the hard times and the good times, but the idea seems to have been, as with Joab, that David would soon be gone, so he must plan this and scheme for himself, and so he does.
It is sad, but what we are seeing here is so indicative of the world of religion, even from the beginning of time. It is no less prevalent today. The truth is, satan works far better from inside the church than he does outside. He tries to maneuver his man into place and position, and he usually succeeds. For The Lord to get His man into position has never been an easy task, even as it wasn't easy to get David on the throne. The world is not only opposed to sucha choice, but the church, most of the time, as well. In fact, the church, as a whole, is the greatest enemy of the will of God and the call of God. Of course, we are speaking of the apostate church, which makes up the majority of that which refers to itself as "believers". The short phrase, "exalted himself," as it regards Adonijah in 1 Kings 1:5, means that God did not exalt him. In fact, had he become the king of Israel, the plan of God would have been stopped dead in its tracks, More than likely, the split between the tribes would have taken place, as ultimately it did when the son of Solomon took the throne, which would be some forty five years later. However, as we shall see, The Lord would overrule this effort, which has all the earmarks of satan.
"But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not" (1 Kings 1:10). It is clear from Verse10 that Adonijah perfectly understood that he had, in Solomon, a rival. The word had, no doubt, gotten around that it was the will of God that Solomon would succeed David. Verse 11 makes it clear that David had nothing to do with the aspirations of Adonijah, proving they were not of The Lord. The 12th Verse says, in the words of Nathan the Prophet to Bathsheba, "Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon." This proclaims the fact that the men in question would go to any lengths to secure their positions, even to killing Bathsheba and Solomon and anyone else, for that matter, who would stand in their way. Such is the world of religion.
We see that Nathan the Prophet was highly recognized, at this time, in the administration of David and rightly so. We also see that David relied on him extensively. It was Nathan the Prophet who brought word to David that, through his family, The Messiah would come, which was the greatest honor that God could ever pay any human being (2 Samuel 7:4-17). Then, it was Nathan's duty to take to David one of the most ominous messages that any man ever had to deliver. It concerned David's sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. The Lord would speak to Nathan the Prophet, telling him what David had done and then pronouncing the judgment (2 Samuel12:1-14). Now, The Lord would use Nathan to save the kingdom, and I don't think we exaggerate when we say that. What Nathan now did was, no doubt, far more than his own personal sagacity. He was, undoubtedly, led by The Lord in his actions as it regarded advice to Bathsheba and then, of course, to David as well. Thankfully, his advice and counsel would be followed.
The Government of God in Old Testament Times
In Old Testament times, and I speak of the nation of Israel, The Lord led His people by and through the Ministry of the Prophet. The Prophet was basically a preacher of righteousness, although with some prophets, The Lord gave considerable predictions concerning the future. However, more than all, it was the task of the Prophet to serve as a preacher of righteousness, thereby, whipping the nation back into shape when it began to stray, which it often did. The king held great power, and,with some kings, as it regards Judah, The Lord used them greatly. However, the duty of the king had to do more with civil authority than anything else. To be sure, they were to follow The Lord and do so minutely. However, when it came to Spiritual leadership, while the king was to set the tone, which only a few did, it was the Prophet, and we speak of those who were truly Godly, who served as the de facto leader. What we are seeing here as it regards Nathan presents a perfect example. While David was one of, if not, the Godliest king who ever reigned over Israel, still, we can see the ministry of the Prophet taking the lead as it regards spiritual leadership. In fact, it was Samuel who first occupied the office of the Prophet (1 Samuel 3:19-20). While there were certainly prophets before Samuel, the office itself was not established until the time of Israel as a nation, which began with Saul.
The Prophet Samuel
Actually, under the Judges, Israel was not really looked at by The Lord as a nation proper but, in fact, was little more than an conglomerate of scattered tribes. It was not God's will for Saul to be the first kingof Israel but, rather, David. The people jumped the gun, so to speak, demanding a king, which caused them untold problems. Nevertheless, upon the advent of Saul, The Lord established the office of the Prophet and appointed Samuel to that position in order that everything could be done that was possible to unify the nation.However, this would not really be done, with Israel firmly established, until David became king. At any rate, the office of the Prophet began to play a tremendous part in Israel from the time of Samuel forward. That which we are studying now is very obvious as it regards Nathan the Prophet. He is a perfect example of Spiritual leadership, and we speak of Godly leadership.
Apostles and Prophets
Under the New Covenant, which actually began on the day of Pentecost and was all made possible by The Cross, the office of the Apostle was established. Actually, it was established by Christ, even in His earthly ministry, but came in to full bloom in the early church. That office continues unto this hour (Ephesians 4:11). While the office of Prophet continues and, in fact, will never cease, still, the Prophet is no longer the Spiritual leader of the work of God, although that office does play an important part. Now, it is the office of the Apostle that acts as the Spiritual leader of the church. This office, incidentally, did not exist during the time of Israel, and we speak of the time before Christ. The Lord now leads the church by and through the office and ministry of the Apostle. An Apostle is distinguished by the message he brings to the church. In other words, The Holy Spirit will greatly and grandly emphasize a particular aspect of The Word of God that He desires to be delivered to the church, and, to be sure, it will always coincide perfectly with the entirety of The Word. It might be grace as it was with Paul, which, as well, was the message of The Cross, or it might be faith or any great attribute of The Lord. To be sure, it will be from The Lord and, as stated, will always agree perfectly with The Word of God.
The Modern Church and the Apostle
Unfortunately, the modern church has attempted to replace this correct and, thereby, Scriptural Government of God with a government of their own making. In other words, we speak of man-devised offices. Unfortunately, there are actually individuals who have been elected on the 5th or 6th ballot (whatever) in particular religious denominations who think that by their being voted into this position that they now hold the position of the Apostle. Such thinking would be ludicrous if it weren't so sad. Apostles are not voted in by a popular ballot, and neither are they appointed by men. It is that which is instigated totally by The Lord, and the sign of Apostleship, as stated, is the message given to them by The Holy Spirit, which the church desperately needs. Despite all of these man-devised efforts, the office of the Apostle continues, and through all of the hinderances of organized religion, still, it's rightful office makes itself felt. It alone the Lord honors and blesses and, despite an apostate church, has its positive effect on the church.
The Original Twelve Apostles
Because it is so very important, please allow me to state the case again. While the original twelve Apostles were in a category of their own and will never be replaced, with Mathias taking the place of Judas, still, God continues to put in place the Apostles in the church. When we speak of the "church", we are speaking of all the blood-bought believers around the world, whoever they may be and wherever they may be. To which we have already alluded, let me quickly add that there is no such thing as apostolic succession. In other words, there is no such thing as a Bible pope. Such does not exist. Those things are figments of the imagination of religious men. Those whom God chooses as an Apostle are of His own personal choice, and they will be recognized by the emphasized message, which God gives them in order for such message to be given to the church.Let it be quickly understood that Apostles, as well, as previously stated, are not elected by popular ballot or appointed by man. Such thinking is facetious indeed. True Apostles are always called by God . Unfortunately, there are many men presently who call themselves Apostles, who have been appointed by other men and, thereby, have no Spiritual message whatsoever.
The question becomes, does an Apostle have Spiritual Authority? The answer is yes. What is Spiritual Authority? Let's first see what Spiritual Authority is not. True Spiritual Authority, which actually is Bible Authority, carries no idea whatsoever of authority over other people. Unfortunately, the modern church, in attempting to buttress its unscriptural position, has claimed that, when men are elected by popular ballot to offices in the church, they are meant to be obeyed, irrespective as to what their demands might be. Incidentally, as we have previously stated, these are offices that are man-devised. It is claimed that they have Spiritual Authority and that those who do not acquiesce to their demands are in rebellion against Spiritual Authority. There is nothing in the Word of God that lends credence to such activity. In fact, the very opposite is true. It is a sin for anyone to acquiesce to unscriptural demands, irrespective of their origin. Also, the idea is presented that believers are to obey those pastors or those who have been appointed by other men as Apostles and do so without question. While, of course, the pastor should be loved and respected, still, millions are in hell today simply because they believed a liethat was presented by a pastor. Let me say it again, no man, pastor, Apostle, or Prophet, etc., is to be blindly followed and obeyed. No man is to be the authority. That position is held only by The Word of God. In other words, the Bible is to be the final say on anything and everything. If a pastor or any preacher is proclaiming something wrong, he should be called to account and, in fact, can be called to account by anyone, even someone who just got saved a short time before. Of course, it should be done in the right spirit, but if something is being preached or demanded which is scripturally wrong, it should not and, in fact, had better not be obeyed. So, what is true Spiritual Authority?
True Spiritual Authority
Every single believer in the world has Spiritual Authority. While it is true that some have more Spiritual Authority than others, it is not because the Lord has necessarily designated such but simply because certain individuals walk closer to The Lord, thereby understanding The Word of God to a greater degree. All Spiritual Authority given to us in the Bible is strictly over demon spirits, fallen angels, and satan himself and never over other human beings (Matthew 18:18, Mark 11:23-24, John 15:7). The only thing that a believer owes another believer, irrespective as to whom that believer might be, is to love him or her (Romans 13:8). If a person loves someone else, he is not going to do anything that would harm that person, which should be obvious. When it comes to civil authority, that is totally different. Secular government has authorities in the government, all the way from the president down to minor offices. Citizens are to obey these authorities, at least as long as what they demand does not violate one's conscience or The Word of God. However, if such a situation would present itself, as it has in many countries, then the individual who is refusing to obey must be prepared to pay the price, which could be extensive. When it comes to rightful civil government , believers are obligated to obey (Romans 13:1-7). Unfortunately, however, some have attempted to claim that Romans 13:1-7 pertains to Spiritual Authority instead of civil authority. It doesn't.
Nathan and Bathsheba
While Adonijah proceeded to make himself king, the eighth verse of this chapter proclaims the fact that he did not call Zadok the Priest or Benaiah, one of the military leaders of Israel, or Nathan the Prophet or certain others to be with him at that time. Evidently the word had gotten out that David's choice was Solomon, who was probably about 20 years old at that time. Had Adonijah succeeded in his devilish plans, no doubt, Bathsheba, along with Solomon, and, quite probably, Nathan the Prophet would have immediately been executed. All of this was a diabolical plan of satan in order to thwart the plan of God. He would use those inside the church, so to speak. They knew God, at least as far as intellectualism could know Him, but they were not of God. I speak of Adonijah, Abiathar, and Joab, plus, no doubt, scores of others who were with him. Unfortunately, this type of thing is quite common in the modern church. Very precious few truly seek The Lord as to what His will is and, to be sure, He most definitely does have a perfect will for all things. All too often, religious men have their own desires with little concern for what The Lord actually wants. This type of thing has hindered and hurt the true work of God perhaps more than anything else. Seeing what is happening, no doubt, led by The Lord, Nathan the Prophet addresses Bathsheba, informing her has to what she ought to do and the urgency of it. Apparently, at this time, David was bedridden. Pulpit says that it was more from feebleness rather than age. As previously stated, more than likely, the great sin that David had committed some years earlier and its resultant fallout had aged David beyond his years.
The Appeal of Bathsheba
I think we could do no better than to quote exactly from the Word of God the appeal that Bathsheba made to David. The Scripture says, "And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou? And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not: And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called. And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders" (1 Kings 1:15-21). Bathsheba proclaimed to David that she knew that he didn't have anything to do with Adonijah attempting to become king. Bathsheba couched her words as she did in order to prove there was a plot. Pulpit says, "It showed a cloven foot." Obviously, the entirety of Israel was waiting for an answer as it regarded who would succeed David knowing that he did not have long on this mortal coil.
The Wisdom of Bathsheba
Bathsheba happened to be a victim, at least partially so, of a very evil situation, which resulted in the murder of her husband, Uriah, and, as well, brought such sorrow and heartache to the perpetrator, David. Still this woman was of great wisdom and, as well, greatly close to God. Witness the last Chapter of Proverbs, which clearly proclaims this. While her name may be, at times, sullied by religious practitioners who have not thought the subject through or else function from self-righteousness, still, God used her magnificently. To be sure, despite the involvement in which she found herself, nothing could be higher than to be favorably used by God. Sometimes preachers have the idea that the Christian experience is one of perfection or near so, and if there are adverse situations, then the person must be labeled as weak, etc. The truth is, only self-righteousness would come up with such a conclusion.
The clinging vines of the fall unfortunately still attach themselves to each and every believer. To be sure, satan takes full advantage of such. One of the great divines of the past was asked the question, "Does satan oppose every Christian to the same degree?" His answer was most revealing. He said, "Satan doesn't even know that most Christians are alive. They are doing no harm to him, so he, by and large, just leaves them alone." If, in fact, that is the case, and I think it definitely is, this means that those who are greatly used of God must be aware, at all times, of their precarious position. They must take the necessary defensive steps, which is always The Cross.
Living for God
Spiritually, there is no reason that any believer has to fail The Lord. If we do so, or perhaps one should say, when we do so, we must admit, because it's true, that the fault is entirely ours. If our faith is properly placed in the finished work of The Cross of Christ, and The Cross being the object of our faith on a continuous basis, The Holy Spirit will then grandly help us, which means that we do not have to fail. Unfortunately, getting from point A to point B is not always simple or easy. The moment the believing sinner comes to Christ, he is somewhat like a little baby. He has to be trained and instructed as to what to do and how to live. Unfortunately, most of the training and instruction that he receives is not Scriptural. Consequently, such a believer is going to find the ride very difficult.
God's Prescribed Order of Victory
The following should be noted:
God's prescribed order of victory is found in Romans Chapter 6. Of course, there are many other adjoining chapters and even entire epistles which are devoted entirely to this subject. In fact, the entire Bible strains toward this account, which account, i.e., "meaning" was given to the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:12. Let's say it another way, and quite possibly, it will be easier to understand.
How to Live for God
About 100th of 1 percent, if that, of the entirety of the Bible is given over to telling people how to be saved. The entirety of the balance, which is virtually all, is given over to telling believers how to live for God. If this were a simple task, I think we should understand that The Holy Spirit most definitely would not have delegated such time and space to this all-important subject. He did what He did simply because it's not a simple thing. In truth, the plan is simple. It is simply "...Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(1 Corinthians 2:2). There is nothing about that which is difficult to understand. In fact, the entirety of the Bible can be explained in that one phrase. All of it, in its entirety, is given over to presenting Jesus Christ and what He would do in order to redeem humanity, which pertains to The Cross. To Paul, as stated, The Lord gave the meaning of all of this. In the Old Testament times, and we speak of the Law of Moses, it was only above the blood-stained Mercy Seat that God would meet with sinful human beings because that's the only place that He can meet with sinful human beings and not malign His righteousness and holiness. Concerning this, Macintosh says, "Thus it is that the soul of the believing sinner finds peace. He sees that God's righteousness and His justification rests upon precisely the same basis, namely Christ's accomplished Work. When Man, under the powerful action of the Truth of God, takes his place as a sinner, God can come in the exercise of grace, take his place as Savior. And then every question is settled, for The Cross having answered all the claims of divine justice, mercy's copious streams can flow unhindered. When a righteous God and a ruined sinner meet on a blood-sprinkled platform, all is settled forever – settled in such a way as perfectly glorifies God and eternally saves the sinner."
Christ Is The Source And The Cross is the Means
If the reader pursues our commentaries at all, he will find that the statement "Christ is the source while The Cross is the means" is used over and over again. I do so simply because, better than anything else, it properly describes God's plan of Redemption and the means by which that Redemption is given to us. The believer must ever look to Christ as the source but understanding that it is through The Cross that all is given to us, whatever it might be. In other words, the believer can receive nothing from God unless he understands that Christ is The One Who is The Giver. Then, he must understand, without reservation, that the way and means by which these things are given to us, whatever they might be, are strictly through The Cross. In other words, The Cross of Christ makes everything possible.
Due to the terrible sin debt, which hung over the heads of all human beings, God as God could not actually give man anything except judgment. So, in order for this terrible dilemma to be addressed, God would have to become man. It is called "The Incarnation". Furthermore, He would have to be born of a virgin, exactly as Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. It should be understood that Jesus came to this world as our Substitute. This means that, whatever is needed, we simply could not do for ourselves. So, He came to do it all for us, which He did. He kept the law perfectly in every respect, not failing even one time in word, thought, or deed. The law, and we speak of the moral part of the law, i.e., "The Ten Commandments" is God's standard of righteousness. Unfortunately, due to the fall, man simply could not keep the commandments. Therefore, man had to come under the penalty of the broken law, which penalty was and is death. So, what was man to do? There was no way out of the dilemma, at least as far as man was and is concerned.
To answer the question and to solve a problem, as stated, God would become Man. It is called the Incarnation, God becoming man. However, with all that He did, the perfect life that He lived, and all of His healings and miracles, still, His destination, in fact, his eternal destination was The Cross – ever The Cross. This means that Jesus was not assassinated or executed. He was sacrificed. In fact, He came in order to be a sacrifice, a perfect sacrifice, which alone God would accept. With the Cross of Christ ever His eternal destination, we should understand from that just how significant, how important, and how all-encompassing was and is The Cross of Christ. Oswald Chambers said, "The Cross is not merely a gate through which we pass through but, rather, a gate through which we pass and there abide." The Cross made life possible, but it's not a one-time affair. In other words, even as many regrettably think, The Cross of Christ does not pertain only to one's Salvation.
Sanctification and The Cross
The Cross of Christ most definitely does pertain to our Salvation, for it was there that the price was paid, meaning that every sin was atoned in order that mankind could come into the presence of God through the born again experience. However, it didn't stop there, as many think. The Cross of Christ not only pertains to our Salvation but, as well, to our Sanctification, i.e., "the manner and the way in which we live for God." In other words, our total and complete life and living. This means that the believer cannot live the life he ought tolive, cannot be what he ought to be in Christ, and cannot get victory over the sin nature. This means that the sin nature will rule him in some way, bringing untold sadness and sorrow unless and until he understands that his faith must ever be anchored in The Cross of Christ (Romans 6:1-14; 8:1-13; 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18, 21, 23; 2:2; Colossians 2:10-15). Let's say it in a simple way, the object of our faith must always be, without exception, The Cross of Christ. Now that statement I've just made produces great animosity in the hearts of many believers. They are willing to talk about Jesus or even The Word of God, never really fully understanding what they are saying. However, they are loathe to speak exclusively about The Cross, meaning that The Cross must ever be the object of our faith. The truth is, the object of faith of most Christians is anything and everything except The Cross of Christ. To be sure, many of the things in which most Christians place their faith are good things within themselves; however, satan is not too much concerned about these "good things" as long as it's not The Cross.
Considering The Cross How Can Satan Continue to Hold Men in Bondage?
One might say that he does so by consent. What do we mean by that? It is understandable as to why many believers are held in satanic bondage, despite what has been accomplished at The Cross. It is simply because they refuse to believe. In other words, most do not think that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He came down to this world in order to redeem man and did so by going to The Cross. By refusing to accept God's provision for Salvation, thereby breaking satan's hold, and because they simply will not accept what Christ has offered, they remain in bondage. However, that doesn't answer the question as it regards believers. Considering that most believers presently are being ruled in some way by the sin nature, how can that be, considering that the price has already been paid, and, in effect, they have accepted Christ? Regrettably, most believers are not correctly taught as to how to live for God after they come to Christ. About everything they hear is wrong, and, if, in fact, it is wrong, it will not come out to a positive conclusion.So, that means, whether they understand it or not, they are consenting for satan to hold them in captivity in some way, which he always obliges. That's why we have been talking about God's prescribed order of victory. Perhaps the following little formula might help:
Now let us compare and contrast the same formula but used in the wrong way, which most believers, sadly and regrettably, are doing:
Nathan the Prophet
"And, lo, while she (Bathsheba) yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in" (1 Kings 1:22). In Verses 23-27 of the First Chapter of 1 Kings, Nathan the Prophet put forth his statement forcibly in order to draw from the king a disclaimer. The question asked by Nathan and the statement made were done so in this manner in order to force David to take action in one way or the other. The crowning of Adonijah without Zadok the Priest, Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the Prophet, or even Solomon being called spoke volumes. This tells us that Adonijah knew that David's choice was Solomon, and all of this shows that he was determined to take the throne. Nathan's statement was well calculated to impress upon the king the importance of nominating a successor at once.
David and Nathan
The fact that Nathan was now able to go before David as he did and speak to him in the manner in which he did, especially concerning that, some years before, he had to denounce David strongly to his face, greatly shows the character of David. I speak of the matter, of course, concerning Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah. Even though that happened some years before, it should be understood that Nathan's place and position had not diminished at all in Israel. This speaks volumes as it regards the righteousness of David. True prophets before most kings would not have survived the day, much less their place and position maintained.
The Humility of David
David knew that Nathan was right and that he was wrong. He did not blame Nathan at all for the situation, even as he should have, but only himself. In fact, as much as it hurt and as great as would be the pain and suffering, if truth be known, he was very pleased that the thing had finally now come to a head. Yet, precious few men would have taken the place and position that David took. The idea is, at least most of the time, if you don't like the message, kill the messenger. This audience before David at this time was important beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. Due to David's age and his obvious feebleness, he was presently not taking the authority that he should take. Consequently, he had to be jarred into doing so, and, above all, the impression had to be made upon him the of urgency of the matter and that the situation must be addressed immediately. Satan's plan was to put someone on the throne, in this case, Adonijah, who was not God's choice. As a result, he was pushing forth the issue and doing so severely. As someone said, "It's easy to see the cloven hoof in all of this."
"Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever" (1 Kings 1:28-31). No doubt, there were many others in the throne room with Bathsheba when David made this ringing declaration. In David's answer to Bathsheba concerning this situation, he used the phrase, "As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress." This is an expression that David had used in one way or the other any number of times through the years. In 2 Samuel 4:9, David said, "...As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity." Similar expressions are used, "out of the hand of all my enemies, and out of the hand of Saul," etc. Pulpit says, "And it is no wonder that he repeatedly commemorates it, converting every adoration into an act of thanksgiving."
So much is said in this statement given by David. By these statements, David knew that he did not deserve to be delivered. He realized that it was not because of his merit that such was brought about but strictly because of the mercy of God. He never forgot it. It was so seemingly always on his mind. As a result, this paean of praise and thanksgiving went up before The Lord with every given opportunity. As it regards the statement, "Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel," David had promised Bathsheba that Solomon, their son, would be the heir to the throne, even though he was younger, indeed, quite a bit younger, than Adonijah. There is more here than meets the eye.
The Lord God of Israel
By David using the term "the LORD God of Israel," this tells us that The Lord had spoken to David's heart as it regarded Solomon. Quite possibly, even though the Scripture is silent, The Lord used Nathan to do so. This is the reason that it was so urgent that David now take steps. He knew it was the will of God for Solomon to follow him. He also knew that Adonijah would be a disaster. In fact, anything that's not the will of God will not turn out right. So, the language given here proclaims the very opposite of an unsettled mind. David knew the will of God, and now it must be carried out. However, we must give credit to both the Prophet Nathan and Bathsheba for forcing the issue. The Lord used them well.
"And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too. As the LORD hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David" (1 Kings 1:32-37). The order of the names given marks the position of the persons with respect to the matter at hand. The first part of Verse 33 speaks of the Cherethites and the Pelethites, about 600 men and mighty men at that, a formidable force, to say the least. In other words, David could, by force, if need be, back up that which he was about to do and which he was, no doubt, led by The Lord. The riding of David's mule was not merely a mark of honor but a public and very significant indication of David's will respecting his successor. The populous would perceive, at once, who was destined to sit in David's seat. Actually, it was death to ride on the king's mule without his permission. The "anointing," especially considering that it was done by Zadok the High Priest and Nathan the Prophet, signified the spiritual aspect of the office of king over Israel. In fact, this was the single most important position on the face of the entirety of the earth. Through this family would come The Messiah, The KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Instructions According to The Holy Spirit
Once David saw the will of God, at least as it regarded the time, he now functioned with proper and vigorous actions. His instructions were to the point. It speaks of the old David and not of the one who was old and feeble. There is something about the will of God and, thereby, walking in its precepts that renews the soul, lifts the spirit, encourages the heart, and, in a sense, makes an old man young again. In fact, after this, and, again, because he was operating solely in the will of God, David seems to have regained strength and, thereby, delegated the ministry of the temple, which, of course, his son, Solomon, would build. In other words, every function of temple worship, all which pointed to the coming Redeemer, The Son of David, was given to the "Sweet Psalmist of Israel", even in the closing days of his life. Nothing was left to chance or happenstance, with everything laid out in perfection, all given by The Holy Spirit. It is all recorded in 1 Chronicles Chapters 22-29. The Lord even gave David the strength to address the entirety of Israel and to give a charge to Solomon. So, we see, and rightly so, how that David closed out his days, more perfectly, how The Holy Spirit closed out his days, even in the grand style it was meant to be. Satan had tried every way to hinder and hurt and had succeeded at times but whose evil success did not stop David from finishing the race. That's why Paul said, "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect (the Apostle is saying he does not claim sinless perfection): but I follow after (to pursue), if that I may apprehend (Paul is pursuing absolute Christlikeness) that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus (Paul was saved by Christ for the purpose of becoming Christlike, and so are we). Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (in effect, repeats what he said in the previous verse): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind (refers to the things the apostle had depended upon to find favor with God and the failure that type of effort brought about), and reaching forth unto those things which are before (all our attention must be on that which is ahead and not on what is past; 'those things' consists of all the victories of The Cross), I press toward the mark (this represents the moral and Spiritual target) for the prize of the high calling of God (Christlikeness)in Christ Jesus (proclaims the manner and means in which all of this is done, which is The Cross) (1 Corinthians 1:17:18; 2:2)" (Philippians 3:12-14).
"So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them" (1 Kings 1:38-40). The Cherethites and the Pelethites had the military might to back up whatever was done. They were David's royal bodyguard, consisting of sizeable forces. Considering this crack special guard accompanying Solomon, this must have been quite the procession. There was great joy in Jerusalem and rightly so. Despite all his efforts, satan did not take best. The day went to The Lord.
Despite the efforts of the enemy, as we've already stated, God's choice, who was Solomon, would now grace the throne of David. All of this is so very very important, actually having to do with the Salvation and Redemption of the entire human race for all time. Yes, it is that important. Through this family, David's family, The Messiah, The Redeemer of all mankind, The Savior of men's souls, The Baptizer with The Holy Spirit, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS, God manifest in the flesh would ultimately come. While it would be approximately 1,000 years, still, that day would finally arrive. Let us all take a lesson from this. Every single believer who has ever lived is of extreme significance in the great plan of God. In other words, God has a place and a position for every one of us in this great kingdom. And it behooves us to find what that place and position is and then to put all of our soul and might into our efforts, whatever it might be. Never think that any task is too small as it regards the work of God. As the Psalmist said, "...I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness" (Psalm 84:10). Sincere believers should earnestly seek The Lord as it regards the ministry or church in which they are involved. Tragically and sadly, most efforts are wasted, be it money or labor, simply because what is being preached is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, that characterizes the greater percentage that goes under the guise of the work of God.
The Anointing of Solomon
This which David organized was quite impressive, to say the least. As stated, the Cherethites and the Pelethites were the royal bodyguard of David, numbering approximately 600 men. These would have been drawn up in organized order, even as befitted the solemn occasion. The office of the king of Israel was, in effect, the greatest office at that time on the face of the entire earth. The king, a son of David, through whose family the Messiah would come, actually functioned as the emissary of God on earth. In fact, that's the reason that satan made such an effort to thwart God's will in this matter. The manner in which the anointing took place, that is, if it followed custom, which it, no doubt, did, was for "Zadok an High Priest" to take the "horn of oil", which was a substantial amount, and then to stand before Solomon and pour the oil over his head, with it running down over his shoulders soaking his garment even down to his feet. In fact, a ram's horn, for that was what was used, was fair size, possibly holding at least a half quart, if not more. All of this typified The Holy Spirit, Who was to cover and help the king govern God's people. Unfortunately, there were only a few kings who were Godly who occupied this office during the next approximate 500 years. When the holy anointing oil was poured over Solomon's head, "they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon." In fact, the rejoicing was so great that the Scripture also said, "so that the earth rent with the sound of them." And so was the inaugural of Solomon as the next king of Israel.
Adonijah and Joab
The Scripture says concerning this, "And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar? And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings. And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king. And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king's mule: And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom. And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way. And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the sword. And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house" (1 Kings 1:41-46; 49-53). By Adonijah referring to Solomon as the king, which verse 51 says he did, it is a virtual abdication of his claim to the throne and a direct acknowledgement of the new monarch. In this statement, Adonijah indirectly confesses that he has merited death. The sentence passed down by Solomon on Adonijah, as given in verse 53, was not a sentence of banishment from the court but merely a dismissal to a private life involving a tacit admonition to live quietly and be thankful that his life was spared.
Solomon's First Act as King
His first act was that of showing mercy. By all rights, Adonijah should have been executed. He had tried to take the kingdom, which was not God's will for him to have. There is no evidence that he consulted at all with David or those with David. In fact, he took advantage of David's feebleness, at that time, in reasoning that he was the oldest son leftalive, the throne should be his. He reckoned without God. Catching hold of the horns of the altar, which was the Altar of Sacrifice and sat immediately in front of the Tabernacle, he knew that he merited death. The right of asylum in sacred places was common to all nations. Though not formally declared in Mosaic law, it was clearly recognized as is evident in Exodus 21:14, where it is directed to be refused under certain circumstances. It would seem from the text and from 1 Kings 2:28 that if an accused person could take hold of the horns of the altar, he was safe unless a crime was of a certain nature. In fact, cities of refuge were appointed for the same purpose (Numbers 35:15-32).
Solomon, a Type of Christ
The 52nd Verse proclaims the mercy of Solomon granted to Adonijah, "If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth." However, future chapters will show that he was not a "worthy man." As his father David before him, Solomon was a type of Christ. In this type, he showed mercy, especially concerning that the altar, a type of Calvary, was in view. However, The Cross is never to be a means to keep on sinning. Had Adonijah conducted himself as he should have, he would have enjoyed prosperity and freedom and, in fact, could have been blessed greatly. However, despite his catching hold of the horns of the altar, thereby desiring to place himself under its protection, which Solomon granted, the future would show that there was actually no true faith. It is the same presently.
The Cross of Christ
Millions say "I believe." And by that statement, it is supposed that they are referring to Christ and what He did at The Cross. However, they keep right on sinning, making no effort whatsoever to get victory over the malady of darkness within their lives. While every Christian, even the Godliest, has struggled at times, it is far different than using something such as The Cross as a license to sin. The Cross gives us liberty to live a holy life, not license to do wrong. The very purpose of The Cross is to enable the Holy Spirit to rid all sin out of our lives. Anything else is unacceptable to God (Romans 6:14; 8:1-11).
Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
Until my heart is clean;
Let sunshine fill its inmost part,
With not a cloud between.
Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
My stubborn will subdue;
Teach me in words of living flame
What Christ would have me do.
Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
Fill me with power divine;
Kindle a flame of love and zeal
Within this heart of mine.
Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
Till I am all Your own,
Until my will is lost in Thine,
To live for You alone.