Our text from 1st
Kings, Chapter 1, verse 11 reminds us also of the words of Mordecai to Esther in the book of Esther chapter 4 verse 13:
If you hold your peace at this time deliverance will arise from another quarter but you and your fathers house will be destroyed. And who knows if you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.
Speak up Esther! 'Oh, Mordecai, but don't you know; you surely know that nobody can go and approach the king unless he calls them. There is only one exception; that if they come and he holds out the golden sceptre, that's the only time they will escape the death penalty.' He said, 'Do it anyway!' What he was really saying was, 'Esther, put your life on the line, for GOD and for His people.' That is what Nathan did. And sometimes you and I take tremendous risks when we speak up for GOD and for truth. Well Nathan spoke up. It was right that he should speak.
Promotion, says the Book of Psalms, comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But GOD is the judge. He puts down one and sets up another. To my shame I must confess there was a time when I was in industry and research in a factory laboratory, when I got caught up in the rat race. I wanted so much to be promoted. I even tried to get another job where I could get a higher position. The LORD shut the door in my face. I had to learn the hard way; I shouldn't have had to learn the hard way: if GOD means us to be promoted, we'll get promoted. I didn't have the faith; and I only made more grief for myself. I disquieted myself in vain.
Well, here's Nathan. He is saying to Bathsheba, 'You go in and ask David, 'Is this your doing, your Majesty?' Reminding David of his oath. He says in verse 12:
'That you may save your own life and the life of your son, Solomon.' It was the usual practice in those days that when two kings, or two people were rivals for the throne, two or more; when the one person got in there, he eliminated the opposition. He made sure they never made a second try. He had them all wiped out.
And Nathan knew Adonijah had that kind of a heart. And he said, 'This is your only chance to save your life, and the life of your son, Solomon.' 'But wait a minute,' says someone. 'Didn't GOD say Solomon was going to be king? Doesn't that mean that, willy nilly, come wind, come weather; whatever happens, Solomon is going to be king. So how could Nathan speak about saving the life of Solomon? If GOD designated Solomon to be king, why should he be in danger of his life? Wouldn't GOD protect him?' Yes, but that's not the whole story. There is also our part to play.
'Trust in GOD and keep your powder dry,' says Cromwell to his army. And we find, also, the same principle brought out in the storm with Shaul on the ship, shipwrecked at Malta. The sailors were trying to flee the ship. They let down the little boat; they pretended they were going to put out some anchors. Now Shaul had just told them,
'GOD has told me that not a hair of your head is going to perish. Everyone of you in this ship is going to be saved alive. GOD has promised me that.' And yet, as the sailors are trying to leave the ship, he turned around to the Centurion; he said,
'Unless these people remain in the ship, you cannot be saved.' Was he contradicting himself? No, he wasn't.
It shows here, GOD's purpose includes our compliance. It includes our cooperation. That GOD expects our response, as well. And that's part of His plan. That's how you and I can steer a safe middle course between that belief; that kind of doctrine which says, 'GOD does it anyway; you're on a tram-line; it's kismet; faith; blind-faith; there is nothing you can do to change it.' And the other one which says, 'Nothing is sure; and it's up to you to make sure that you get there.' The middle course is, GOD is sovereign; but man is also responsible. We have something to do. And that is what we have here.
Nathan says, 'Yes, GOD is going to see to it that Solomon is on the throne; but we have a part to play in making sure that we protect him from those that seek his life.' So Bathsheba went into the King to remind him of his oath. Couldn't Jacob have done the same thing with his father, Isaac? Remember his mother, Rebecca said, 'I heard your father saying to Esau, 'Go and hunt me venison that my soul may bless you before I die. Hunt me venison; cook me savoury meat such as I love. Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice; go into your father; imitate Esau.' Jacob could have gone into his father and said, 'Father, remember what GOD promised?' He could have done that. Or if he had not done that, he could have done what Solomon did. Sit still, and wait for GOD to intervene. If Jacob could have done that, he would have saved himself a lot of grief.
Well, when Nathan said (verse 14);
'I will come in after you and confirm your words,'he was working on that principle: in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. You say it, but the king will say, 'How do I know you are telling the truth?' I will come in and back you up. In the mouth of two or three witnesses. Well, with that cliff-hanger, we have to leave it. But we see already here, that in the history of GOD's people, GOD is revealing to us some very important principles of how to carry ourselves, and how to trust Him when the heat is on.