Abishag was young and beautiful. Bathsheba, also, had been ‘very beautiful’ (2 Sam. 11:2). It seems that old age is forcing upon David a standard of morality that he should have followed as a younger man!
The main focus of this chapter, however, is David’s throne (mentioned 14 times); in particular, who will occupy it after his death? Adonijah was David’s 4th son (2 Sam. 3:4), and appears to have been rather spoilt (v6). He gathers round him a team of supporters, including both military and religious leaders (Joab and Abiathar), although some refused to join him (v8), and puts himself forward as a kingly candidate at a ceremony of sacrifice. Significantly, not everyone is invited (v10).
Nathan the prophet hears of Adonijah’s plan to take the throne, and, with the help of Bathsheba, brings this to David’s attention (v11-31). David promises before the Lord who has delivered him out of every trouble that Solomon (Bathsheba’s son) will be king after him, and will sit on David’s throne in his place (v29, 30).
In the presence of ‘all the people’, Solomon is then anointed as king (v32-40), and takes his seat on the on the royal throne (v46). In the midst of the uncertainty and unrest, the Lord’s anointed, the son of David, is seated on his throne, showing mercy to those who once opposed him (v49-52).
What a comfort for us in these uncertain times! Our anointed King Jesus, great David’s greater Son, the one who is ‘greater than Solomon’ (Mt. 12:42), is seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebs. 1:3). At the announcement of his birth, the angel explained to Mary, ‘You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’
In Revelation 4 & 5, John has an amazing vision of the throne of the universe. He sees ‘the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David’, the slain Lamb, ‘standing at the centre of the throne.’ Regardless of what may be happening around us, the throne of the universe is occupied. Things are not out of control; our gracious and merciful Sovereign Lord Jesus is on the throne, and nothing takes him by surprise. He works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Eph. 1:11), and he warned us that ‘there will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven’ (Lk. 21:11). As his people, chosen by grace, we do not fear the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. (Ps. 91:6). The Lord’s Anointed is on the throne!