Today’s reading: 2 Sam 21-24, 1 Kings 1-2, Psalm 44-45
The end of today’s reading marks the passing of the torch from David to his son, Solomon. As David approaches the end of his life, the man who has been with him since the beginning of his kingship is still close by. In the Biblical record, Nathan the prophet does not show up as often as other figures in the story of David’s life; but whenever he does, his presence is always significant.
For forty years, he devotes himself to serving this king, while always keeping an eye on honoring God in his work. In contrast to others who want to get close to David merely for their own personal gain, Nathan comes close when David most needs him. He takes on the responsibility of being honest with the king, even when he has to speak the hard truth.
Remember when David first settles in Jerusalem after being crowned and wants to build a house for God? It is Nathan who, after listening to God, confronts David about the foolishness of his plans. When David’s moral compass falls off the cliff, it is Nathan who brilliantly weaves a tale that enables David to see for himself the horror of his actions against Bathsheba and Uriah.
Today, we see Nathan’s devotion to the king as Adonijah tries to usurp the throne while David is on his deathbed. While other key leaders abandon David, jockeying for position in Adonijah’s attempted coup, Nathan remains steadfast. And once again, he speaks the truth to the king, helping ensure that the throne of Israel will transfer to its rightful heir.