Leaders can discover it is difficult and hard going right to the very end and this leaders certainly experienced the reality of that.
King David was old. He had been through a lot, and from what we read he was physically frail and fragile.
He is King of Israel, anointed of the Lord, and nearing the end of his days upon the earth. We are coming near to the end of the life of David, and it is a sad tale.
We can read all the ongoings in the first book of Kings in Chapter 1.
Adonijah, wanted to be king. He was the fourth son of David and next in line to the throne. He begins to preen himself for kingship.
His father had never disciplined him not trained him nor discipled him.
Was David an over indulgent parent? Now he was reaping the harvest of undisciplined days. Indulgent parents bring about unnecessary sadness in later years.
Adonijah had a degree of support, from various people who did think that he should be king. There is intrigue in the palace as he exercises his improper ambition. He has designs on becoming king and makes a move, by embracing Joab and thereby bring the army on board, and by inviting Abiathar to join his circle, thus bringing in the church of the day to his side.
Adonijah tries to gather support for his claim to become king as he possibly can..
There was rivalry among the priesthood too.
Think of what is being transacted within these walls, and it is so interesting to note whom he did not invite.
These are days when division is real and serious. This was nothing other than sin.
This is all going on behind David's back. David the King is bed-ridden. The health of the king is sinking. David used to be able to run over rocky crags down by the Dead Sea and keep his feet on the narrow Judean paths, but now he cannot even keep warm without some nursing help and that is the meaning behind the bringing in of the girl.
He still has to deal with rebellion in his family, resulting from earlier neglect.
Nathan the prophet approaches to Bathsheba, and Bathsheba approaches David and speaks of a promise he made concerning who would succeed him as king.
David, if you do not do something about this, then one day I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.
There must have been a lot of hatred jealousy and competition around, in the palace circles.
Nathan, the prophet of God, who knew David so very well, came in.
Nathan knew the Will of God and Nathan knew David inside out. He had spoken strongly to him regarding previous misdemeanours. Nathan reveals amazing courage.
Is it not interesting that God had strong leadership around at this time when there was such animosity and evil competition going on?
He tells David about the serious situation in the nation.
This is the chosen people of God we are reading of - it is terrible what man will do at times.
David makes a decision that Solomon would succeed him.
The pattern of Crown going from father to son has not yet been established.
David did not become king by that route.
Instructions are given to take Solomon and anoint him King over Israel.
Nathan knew that it is God who chooses leaders and he swings this whole sad saga in the direction it ought to go. It is a passage with much to teach us regarding good leadership and the consequences of bad leadership.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org/ entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.