Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.”
Psalm 40: 1
Today’s Study Text:
“Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly. And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, ‘Comest thou peaceably?’ He said, ‘Peaceably.’ He said moreover, ‘I have somewhat to say unto thee.’ And she said, ‘Say on.’”
1 Kings 2: 12-14
King James Version
“The Go-Between” Part 1
“Go-Between”: One who acts as a messenger between two sides. An intermediary.
“The go-between wears out a thousand sandals.”
What does the word “go-between” mean to me?
Have there been examples in my life when I became or was asked to be a “go-between” or a messenger?
What responsibility does the “go-between” have to properly convey the messages of the individuals they are conversing with?
“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, ‘Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”
Luke 2: 15
King James Version
You may be wondering what a text in the book of Luke in the New Testament has to do with our study in 1 Kings in the Old Testament regarding the life of Bathsheba.
Well, a great deal – which I have to admit surprised me at first. However, upon second-thought, this coordination in messages throughout the Bible, from beginning to end, only highlights the way God’s Word carries, not only a singular message of truth, but also a consistently illuminating light on how we as individuals can act and react in more harmonious ways with each other. This is truly the lesson we find in the lives of David and Bathsheba who both carried so much baggage it would have taken a mule-train to haul it all. Yet, at the end of their lives, with great unity and joy, they were able to see, together, their son Solomon ascend the throne of Israel, and as we are told in our study text for today, “Solomon took over on the throne of his father David, he had a firm grip on the kingdom” (1 Kings 2: 12, The Message).
By working together with God’s messenger Nathan the prophet, who was sent by God to call David to repentance, we find that David and Bathsheba’s partnership was crowned by the joy of watching their child fulfill the purpose God had for his life.
However, with Solomon’s rise to the throne, and David’s passing, some of the past problems began to surface and in one case, the problem’s name was Adonijah. Oh yes, Bathsheba hadn’t heard the last of him. Neither had Solomon. No sooner was Solomon crowned king than we find the weasel, Adonijah, sneaking around, trying to find out how he could get into the hen house and he decided he would target the king’s beloved mother, Bathsheba.
Somehow, Adonijah arranged to get to Bathsheba and he told her he wanted to have a chit-chat. Wisely, before Bathsheba ever agreed to talk with Adonijah, she inquired as to the motive behind his visit. “Is your visit peaceable,” she asked? Adonijah conveyed that it was and so the two came together where Adonijah began the conversation by informing Bathsheba, ‘Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign.” Frankly, this took a lot of gall on Adonijah’s part for it was as if he were reminding Bathsheba that if he had been on the throne, he could well have murdered not only her son Solomon, but herself as well, for this was often what monarch’s did to insure there would be no inner-family coups or insurrections from the family ranks. However, Adonijah didn’t stop there. He continued with this admission, “Howbeit, the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother’s: for it was his from the Lord.” There you have it! Adonijah knew that God had ordained that Solomon would sit on the throne. Yet contrary to God’s will, he tried his best to usurp what wasn’t his. After admitting to Bathsheba’s face that he tried with all his might and cunning to steal the throne away from Solomon, not only did Adonijah concede that Solomon was where God wanted him, but then he had the nerve to ask Bathsheba for a favor and here is where this story takes an ugly turn, for Adonijah asked Bathsheba to be his “go-between” to Solomon. We are told in 1 Kings 2: 17 (K.J.V.) that Adonijah said, ‘Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.”
Let’s stop here one moment. If we read this text closely, we’ll find that the real reason Adonijah was using Bathsheba was that he understood how much Solomon loved his mother and so he thought Bathsheba would be an easy-mark who could persuade Solomon to agree to his desires, for as Adonijah expressed to Bathsheba, “He can’t say ‘No’ to you!”
After spending a lifetime of seeing how the “job” of go-between can blow up in your face, I will be completely honest and tell you if I had been Bathsheba, my response would have been an unequivocal, “No!” With an immediate follow-up, “Go ask him yourself.” But we find that, most likely as an act of conciliation and kindness, hoping to smooth over some of the ripples in this complicated family, Bathsheba agreed to serve as Adonijah’s messenger.
The Bible continues this story in I Kings 2: 19 (K.J.V.) with this phrase: “Bathsheba therefore went unto King Solomon.” Possibly it was against her better judgment but it could easily have been because of her mother’s longing heart to have some form of peace in the family and a more settled family situation for her son, Solomon, on the throne.
Well, to say things didn’t turn out well would be an understatement for Solomon had the heavenly wisdom to see exactly what kind of game Adonijah was playing and furthermore, it infuriated Solomon that Adonijah tried to enlist his own mother in this way. As we will find out in coming days this experience unearthed the traitors within the kingdom who were siding against God’s chosen.
There are so many lessons in this one small story but I’d like to point out that being a go-between is a task fraught with many problems. In families, it can have disastrous consequences. In marriages it can be destructive. And in friendships it can be devastating. This is why next week, I want to share with you some of the lessons on communication that come from this story of Bathsheba, Adonijah and Solomon and the heavenly angels and shepherds on the fields outside of Bethlehem, as well. And yes, they are all inter-related.
See you next week and why not invite a friend to come to the Garden, too!
“May the joy of the angels,
the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ child
be yours this Christmas.
And the blessing of God almighty, the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you
and remain with you always.”
The Promise of His Glory
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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