II Sam. 12:1-31; Ps. 51:1-19; I Chron. 20:2, 3
The prophet, Nathan came to King David and told him a story of a rich man who had vast flocks and a poor man who had only a pet lamb. As was customary when entertaining guests, a lamb or calf would be butchered. On one occasion instead of taking from his own flock, the rich man took the pet lamb from the poor man to feed his guest.
David was enraged. “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!”
In one of the most scathing revelations in the Bible, Nathan replied, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: I anointed you king…Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house…”
Sometimes when one is convicted of his sins, he becomes defensive and belligerent. David was a mighty and powerful man—king of Israel. He was also subject to human frailties. Being convicted of his sin, he humbly replied, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
There are brief pleasures of sin. Moses recognized that when he chose to suffer affliction with God’s people instead of enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. The pain of a guilty conscience led David to repentance as he penned the words of another psalm. He began by calling for God’s mercy to forgive as he confessed his sins. Even though our sins usually hurt others, they are ultimately against God. David pled for cleansing and restoration to his former state of salvation. He further promised to help others to see the way to God as he renewed his worship praises to the Lord with a penitent heart. David closed the psalm with a prayer for Jerusalem.
David’s sin with Bathsheba was a critical turning point in his life and in the welfare of Israel. The prophet, Nathan had informed him that the “sword shall never depart from your house.” He added that, “Because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”
When the child got sick, David fasted and prayed for him to be spared. One’s prayers are answered according to God’s will. It was not His will that this child would live and cause His name to be blasphemed by wicked men.
After the baby had died, David ended his fast, bathed, changed clothes and moved forward with his life. Grief is healthy and natural. However, one must not continuously live in it. Life is for the living and after the death of a loved one, those who remain must move forward. In a declaration of life after death, David stated, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
David and Bathsheba soon became parents of another son. Solomon, who would become one of the foremost characters of the Scriptures was born.
Meanwhile, back on the war front, the war against the Ammonites continued. Joab captured the water supply of the royal city of Rabbah. To prevent the city from being named for him, he requested that David bring the rest of the people to take the city.
To the victor go the spoils. When they had captured the city, their king’s crown was placed upon David’s head. The Ammonite people were then put to work as servants of Israel.