Friday, February 29, 2008

Nathan's Rebuke of the King

David’s Son Dies

2 Samuel 12

1The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to David, he said, “There
were two men in a city. One was rich, but the other was poor. 2The rich man had
many sheep and cattle. 3But the poor man had nothing except one little female
lamb he had bought. The poor man fed the lamb, and it grew up with him and his
children. It shared his food and drank from his cup and slept in his arms. The
lamb was like a daughter to him.

4“Then a traveler stopped to visit the rich man. The rich man wanted to feed
the traveler, but he didn’t want to take one of his own sheep or cattle. Instead, he
took the lamb from the poor man and cooked it for his visitor.”

5David became very angry at the rich man. He said to Nathan, “As surely as
the LORD lives, the man who did this should die! 6He must pay for the lamb four
times for doing such a thing. He had no mercy!”

7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the
God of Israel, says: ‘I appointed you king of Israel and saved you from Saul. 8I
gave you his kingdom and his wives. And I made you king of Israel and Judah.
And if that had not been enough, I would have given you even more. 9So why did
you ignore the LORD’S command? Why did you do what he says is wrong? You
killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and took his wife to be
your wife! 10Now there will always be people in your family who will die by a
sword, because you did not respect me; you took the wife of Uriah the Hittite for

11“This is what the LORD says: ‘I am bringing trouble to you from your own
family. While you watch, I will take your wives from you and give them to
someone who is very close to you. He will have sexual relations with your wives,
and everyone will know it. 12You had sexual relations with Bathsheba in secret,
but I will do this so all the people of Israel can see it.’”

13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

Nathan answered, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You will not die.
14But what you did caused the LORD’S enemies to lose all respect for him. For
this reason the son who was born to you will die.”

15Then Nathan went home. And the LORD caused the son of David and
Bathsheba, Uriah’s widow, to be very sick. 16David prayed to God for the baby.
David refused to eat or drink. He went into his house and stayed there, lying on
the ground all night. 17The older leaders of David’s family came to him and tried
to pull him up from the ground, but he refused to get up or to eat food with them.

18On the seventh day the baby died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him
that the baby was dead. They said, “Look, we tried to talk to David while the
baby was alive, but he refused to listen to us. If we tell him the baby is dead, he
may do something awful.”

19When David saw his servants whispering, he knew that the baby was dead.
So he asked them, “Is the baby dead?”

They answered, “Yes, he is dead.”

20Then David got up from the floor, washed himself, put lotions on, and
changed his clothes. Then he went into the LORD’S house to worship. After that,
he went home and asked for something to eat. His servants gave him some food,
and he ate.

21David’s servants said to him, “Why are you doing this? When the baby was
still alive, you refused to eat and you cried. Now that the baby is dead, you get up
and eat food.”

22David said, “While the baby was still alive, I refused to eat, and I cried. I
thought, ‘Who knows? Maybe the LORD will feel sorry for me and let the baby
live.’ 23But now that the baby is dead, why should I go without food? I can’t
bring him back to life. Some day I will go to him, but he cannot come back to

24Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife. He slept with her and had sexual
relations with her. She became pregnant again and had another son, whom David
named Solomon. The LORD loved Solomon. 25The LORD sent word through
Nathan the prophet to name the baby Jedidiah, because the LORD loved the

David Captures Rabbah

26Joab fought against Rabbah, a royal city of the Ammonites, and he was
about to capture it. 27Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have fought
against Rabbah and have captured its water supply. 28Now bring the other
soldiers together and attack this city. Capture it before I capture it myself and it is
called by my name!”

29So David gathered all the army and went to Rabbah and fought against it
and captured it. 30David took the crown off their king’s head and had it placed on
his own head. That gold crown weighed about seventy-five pounds, and it had
valuable gems in it. And David took many valuable things from the city. 31He
also brought out the people of the city and forced them to work with saws, iron
picks, and axes. He also made them build with bricks. David did this to all the
Ammonite cities. Then David and all his army returned to Jerusalem.

The Holy Bible, New Century Version

Don't Place Yourself in the Way of Unnecessary Temptations

David fell headlong into temptation without thinking of the consequences. What makes his spiritual descent even more perplexing is that he was known as being “a man after God’s own heart." He was the one who, as a boy, had killed the gigantic Philistine, Goliath. David was also the same man who had been divinely appointed to lead the nation of Israel and had guided his army into a string of military victories. How could a man of such character, who often spoke of his love for God, make such a grave mistake? In this story, we find at least four mistakes David made that led him into committing sexual sin:

1. David lowered His Guard. David was idle. Instead of leading his troops into battle, he was on his roof, taking some time off. In addition, he didn't seem to engage in any of the activities of his youth, like worshiping God in song, spending time alone with God, and depending upon God for strength. By moving away from that intimacy with God, he had become more vulnerable to the pull of temptation.

2. David Entertained Temptation. When David saw Bathsheba bathing herself, he could have turned away, but he didn't. Jesus warns us, "Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). It is wrong to put yourself in a place where you know you will be exposed to things that could sinfully arouse you or hurt you. He could have left after that first look, but he didn't.

3. David Acted on the Temptation. David had allowed lust to build in his heart to the point that he wanted to act on it. He could have repented right then and there, but he went into an immoral relationship with her

4. David Developed a Dullness toward Sin. When David found out that Bathsheba was pregnant, instead of making matters right, he went on to commit other sins, including deception and murder He had allowed this sin to so control him that he could no longer distinguish between right and wrong. .

While David eventually repented of his sin, he was still left with the consequences of his actions. The child born from David’s affair with Bathsheba died shortly after birth. In addition David had other family problems that may have been attributed to his sin with Bathsheba. Learn from David's tragic mistake; do not place yourself unnecessarily in "harm's way." Instead, ask God to strengthen you to live a life that is pleasing to him – a life of purity.

Barry J. Beitzel, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

V Philips Long, Covenant Theological Seminary

J. Robert Vannoy, Biblical Theological Seminary

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