NATHAN: LOYALTY AND LEADERSHIP

Max Dawson

I am impressed with the number of leadership lessons found in the early chapters of First Kings. Last week we saw the failed attempt at leadership of one of David's sons, Adonijah. He was a usurper and political opportunist. Because of his folly, he met a terrible fate.

In the opening chapter of First Kings we also saw one of the final acts of King David. While he was very old and about to die, one of his final acts of leadership was to make sure of his successor. David made Solomon his coregent so that the throne would be secure.

But there was one more name in that opening chapter that we did not address last time. The great prophet Nathan showed himself to be a true leader in the transition from David to Solomon. Nathan had long been a loyal friend and adviser to David. If you recall, in the matter with Bathsheba, it was Nathan who said to David, "You are the man!" His action reminds us of Proverbs 27:6, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend..." David's loyal friend pointed out his fault; Nathan's actions helped the king see the error of his ways.

It was Nathan's loyalty that guided David through those dark days after the king's adultery. It was also Nathan who brought the good news to David about a future king who would sit on his throne (2 Samuel 7:1-17).

And, in First Kings chapter one, it is Nathan who immediately goes into action when he hears that Adonijah has declared himself king (1 Kings 1:11-27). Nathan knew that Solomon was to be the next king; that had been proclaimed by David himself when he announced the building of the temple (1 Chronicles 22:5-11, 28:5). Nathan also knew that when Adonijah declared himself king, that King David was old, feeble, and unaware of what had happened.

Nathan's loyalty to God and to David would not allow him to stand idly by and let this take place. Nathan was a leader. Leaders must act in times of crisis. Nathan immediately went to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, and told her of Adonijah's treachery. Nathan instructed her on what to do to save the kingship. She followed his plan and Solomon was coronated. Please read all of First Kings chapter one to see the faith and loyalty of Nathan. Note also the loyalty of Zadok the priest and the faithfulness of Benaiah, David's bodyguard.

The quality of loyalty cannot be overestimated--especially in time of crisis. Those who would be true kingdom leaders like Nathan must have the fearlessness to be loyal to God and to His cause, no matter the situation. Loyalty sometimes demands courage. It did with Nathan.

Proverbs 18:24 says, "There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." While it is typically good to be loyal to our friends, it is much more important to be loyal to God. Jesus was loyal to God and to the mission God had given Him (John 6:38; Matthew 26:39).

The question for us: Will you and I be loyal to Jesus? It is what kingdom leaders do.