Nathan and Bathsheba
11 Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our lord does not know it? 12 So now come, please let me give you counsel and save your life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go [g]at once to King David and say to him, ‘Have you not, my lord, O king, sworn to your maidservant, saying, “Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ 14 “Behold, while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”
15 So Bathsheba went in to the king in the bedroom. Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king. 16 Then Bathsheba bowed and prostrated herself [h]before the king. And the king said, “What [i]do you wish?” 17 She said to him, “My lord, you swore to your maidservant by the Lord your God, saying, ‘Surely your son Solomon shall be king after me and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 Now, behold, Adonijah is king; and now, my lord the king, you do not know it. 19 He has sacrificed oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king and Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he has not invited Solomon your servant. 20 As for you 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. 21 Otherwise it will come about, as soon as my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be considered [j]offenders.”
22 Behold, while she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 They told the king, saying, “Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came in before the king, he prostrated himself [k]before the king with his face to the ground. 24 Then Nathan said, “My lord the king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? 25 For he has gone down today and has sacrificed oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons and the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest, and behold, they are eating and drinking before him; and they say, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But me, even me your servant, and Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and your servant Solomon, he has not invited. 27 Has this thing been done by my lord the king, and you have not shown to your [l]servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”
28 Then King David said, “Call Bathsheba to me.” And she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29 The king vowed and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, 30 surely as I vowed to you by the Lord the God of Israel, saying, ‘Your son Solomon shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place’; I will indeed do so this day.” 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and prostrated herself [m]before the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever.”
32 Then King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” And they came into the king’s presence. 33 The king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34 Let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel, and blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne and be king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 36 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, “Amen! Thus may the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say. 37 As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David!”
A very important part of being a great leader (like King David), is to know when to turn over the reins. David failed to do that when he should have. When his health was failing to the point he could not keep warm, he ought to have followed through on his promise to Bathsheba.
But now he is caught up in a battle in his own household again, and he must make it right. Fortunately, when those around David confronted him about not knowing what Adonijah was doing, he took action.
It can be hard to let something go, especially if it’s a project or ministry that you’ve worked hard to build. Sometimes, it might not even be because you are “too old”. It may be that God wants you to let go because he has other plans for the next phase in your life. Don’t hang on until it is too late, and don’t hang on because of fear, or worry that no one will take on the reins.
Often, all it takes is an open opportunity for someone new to step up and take on the ministry that you are leaving behind. Whatever the case, don’t cling tightly to anything except Jesus, and be ready to move when He says “Go!”