1 Kings 1; Psalms 37, 71

Old, But Not Forgotten.

“Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” ­– Psalm 71:18 NLT

David has reached the end of his life. He is advanced in years and no longer the strong, virile young man he used to be. He is mostly bed-ridden and under the constant care of a nurse. Yet even in old age, David is still seeking the Lord and confident in His activity in his life. He has learned over the years that He can trust God to come through. And God does come through yet again. We have seen before that if David had a weakness it was in his parenting skills. He has lost two sons to death and had one of his daughters raped by her half brother. Now we see one of his sons attempting to usurp the throne without David’s knowledge or permission. David is oblivious to what is going on. But Nathan the prophet is not. He gets wind of Adonijah’s plan and informs David’s wife Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. David had promised Bathsheba to make her son Solomon the next king of Israel. Yet Adonijah is just hours away from having himself declared king, leaving Solomon as a potential threat to Adonijah’s kingship and therefore in danger for his life. Nathan and Bathsheba inform David what is going on and he responds by immediately having Solomon crowned king in his place, thus thwarting Adonijah’s plan.

This story reflects David’s understanding of how God worked in his life. God was protecting him by using Nathan and Bathsheba. The protection and presence of God in our lives does not mean we will not have opposition or trouble. It is going to come because it is part of living life in a fallen world. Yet we have the assurance that God will intervene in ways we can’t always anticipate or see. God was fully aware of what Adonijah was doing, and God used Nathan the prophet to expose it to Bathsheba and David. God was protecting David even in his advanced years. While David was old, weak, and vulnerable, God was not. He was going to make sure that His plans for Solomon and his kingship would come about just as He had promised David.

David does not seem surprised at the news about Adonijah and appears to react calmly and quickly. He immediately has Solomon crowned king. He didn’t hesitate or waver, because he knew this was what God wanted. Adonijah had simply created the unplanned impetus for Solomon to be crowned at this time. This all caught David, Nathan, and Bathsheba by surprise, but not God. It was countless experiences like this over the years that made it possible for David to write, “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7 NLT). “The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming” (Psalm 37:12-13 NLT). “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7 NLT). “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly forsaken, nor seen their children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25 NLT).

David was old, but not forgotten by God. And he had not forgotten that God was still in control. The plans of God would not be stopped, even by a disobedient son. God was watching over David even in his old age.

Father, thanks for the reminder that You are there for me even when I am oblivious to the danger around me. You are always alert and ready to step in, protecting me in ways that I don’t even see. Thanks for surrounding each of us with friends like Nathan who are sensitive to Your leading and help us know what to do. You are always there for us. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org