This is the Lordâ€™s response to Davidâ€™s adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah.Â Nathan, the prophet, has gone to David with a story of a rich man who takes the only lamb of a poor man and slaughters it to feed a traveler instead of using one of his many lambs.Â David has said the rich man should die for what he has done to the poor man.
Then Nathan said to David, â€œYou are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you your masterâ€™s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriahâ€™s wife to be your own. This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.â€ Then David confessed to Nathan, â€œI have sinned against the Lord.â€ Nathan replied, â€œYes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you wonâ€™t die for this sin.â€ 2 Samuel 12:7-13 (NLT, my emphasis)
I was struck by the simplicity of Davidâ€™s answer to Nathan.Â No excuses.Â No explanations.Â Just â€œI have sinned against the LORD.”Â He didnâ€™t blame it on his flesh.Â He didnâ€™t blame his parents. He didnâ€™t blame satan.Â â€œI sinned.â€
Nathan replied, â€œYes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you wonâ€™t die for this sin. Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the Lord by doing this, your child will die.â€Â Â vv.13b-14
When I sin â€“ I say to the world (and to myself!), â€œI know better than You, God.â€Â Contempt is a harsh word but sin comes from rebellion and arrogance before God â€“ and that is contemptible! Do I understand that it is not that I have been â€˜caughtâ€™ in my sin. It is that I have distanced myself from God through my sin.
After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriahâ€™s wife. David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused.Â Â Â Â Â vv. 15-17
David repented for his sin and he asked God for mercy for his son.Â He knew his sonâ€™s illness was a consequence for his sin.Â â€œWhy did God allow an innocent child to die?â€Â I believe God knew that David would be a great servant for Him and a leader but he needed to learn discipline and fear of the Lord.Â This got Davidâ€™s attention and he did learn Godly principles.Â See what follows after David is told the child is dead:
When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. â€œIs the child dead?â€ he asked. â€œYes,â€ they replied, â€œhe is dead.â€ Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate. His advisers were amazed. â€œWe donâ€™t understand you,â€ they told him. â€œWhile the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.â€ David replied, â€œI fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, â€˜Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.â€™ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.â€
Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means â€œbeloved of the Lordâ€), as the Lord had commanded. vv. 19-25
I donâ€™t know that I am in the place that David was.Â But I want to get there.Â David saw with â€˜eternalâ€™ eyes.Â He may have lowered his eyes to the flesh with Bathsheba but he has learned the lesson and lifted his eyes to eternity and grabbed on to the lesson learned.Â And God sent him a confirmation blessing through Solomon.
Hard lesson.Â A growing Christian life is not for â€œweeniesâ€!!!Â Itâ€™s hard.Â Itâ€™s keeping my eyes on the eternal and Godâ€™s Kingdom even when I feel the pull of the â€˜meâ€™ and â€˜nowâ€™.Â Itâ€™s awesome! Itâ€™s GOD!