2 Samuel 12
-Nathan the prophet is sent to deliver a confronting word to the king. He used tact in a brilliant illustration that helped David get the point (see 2 Samuel 12:1-4). David’s anger burned when he heard about a rich man’s lack of compassion. He exclaimed that a man like this surely deserved to die with restitution made fourfold. When he found out it was himself that the prophet was talking about, David acknowledged his sin against the LORD. It was a humble display of repentance by a powerful individual. He allowed God’s messenger to point out that even though he had been anointed and delivered from all his adversaries and lifted up with his master’s house and his master’s wives and all of Judah and Israel under his control with more promised, he had done this great evil in the sight of the LORD by despising His Word. David was rightly accused of striking down Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the sons of Ammon (see 2 Samuel 11), and taking his wife away from him as his own in a selfish-lustful act. There were additional prophetic curses placed on the house of David as consequences for this sin. The sword (violence) would never depart his house. Evil would be raised up against the king from within his own relatives. His wives would be taken before his eyes and given to his companion in broad daylight for everyone to know. David accepted his fate with resignation and sorrow though; we can easily discern this from the text (2 Samuel 12:5-13a). In the days ahead, all of these prophecies would come to fruition.
-When Nathan was through with his courageous encounter, which I am sure was not an easy task, he noted that the LORD, because of David’s repentant heart, had taken his sin away. Not the consequences, but the sin, let us note that. He would not die because of his transgressions. However, because of this deed that he committed, David had given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme; therefore, God told David through Nathan that his son would surely die. Upon stating this, Nathan returned to his house (2 Samuel 12:13b-15).
-Then, according to His word, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s widow had borne to David with severe sickness. David once again inquired of God with his life’s issues (see 1 Samuel 23:2-4; 30:8 2 Samuel 2:1; 5:19, 23 for other inquiries). He fasted and wept and lay all night on the ground in utter sorrow for what he had caused. The elders of his household tried to get him up, but he was despondent and would not even eat with them. On the seventh day of the crisis, the child finally died and went to be with the LORD. David’s servants were afraid to tell the king this news thinking that he might harm himself because of it. But when David observed them whispering to one another, he was perceptive enough to know that his child was deceased. He plainly and straightforwardly asked if the child was dead, to which they confirmed the bad news. David did an unusual thing upon hearing this. He arose from the ground where he was lamenting, washed and anointed himself, changed his clothes, and came into the house (tabernacle, tent) of the LORD and worshiped. Afterwards, he returned to his own house, requested food, and ate it. His servants were astonished by his actions and inquired why he had done this in such a fashion. David’s reply was insightful, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him (as in Heaven, indicating an age of accountability theology), but he will not return to me (2 Samuel 12:16-23).”
-In the following days, King David comforted his wife, Bathsheba. They had further marital relations, this time more appropriately in the LORD’s sight, and conceived another son. This son was named Solomon, and “the LORD loved him.” Word was sent through Nathan the prophet that he be named “Jedidiah (beloved of the LORD) for the LORD’s sake.” God was showing both His justice and His merciful compassion throughout this ordeal (2 Samuel 12:24-25).
-The scene shifts back to the war with the sons of Ammon in Rabbah in the remaining verses of this enlightening chapter. Joab fought against Rabbah and captured the royal city that had been secure for quite a while. Messengers were sent to the king to inform him of the victory over this “city of waters.” It had water supply, which was crucial in this region, especially in ancient cultures. Joab called for the rest of Israel to come and camp against the city to fully capture it for the nation; else he would do it by himself and name the city after him as the conqueror. So David gathered everyone upon this request, and they went and fought to fully capture the city. David took the exclusive crown of their king, Hanun (see 2 Samuel 10:2), and placed it on his head. The crown weighed a talent of gold and had a precious stone in it. Great spoil was also brought out of the city for Israel’s benefit. David also brought out the people who were in the city and set them under saws, sharp iron instruments, iron axes, and made them pass through the brickkiln. In fact, all the cities of the sons of Ammon were subjected to this plight, and then David returned with all his people back to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 12:26-31).
-*Application* The courage and wisdom of the prophet Nathan to confront an evil act should be noted here. It’s not just confronting sin that is important, but how we do it that can provide effectiveness and restoration in a situation. David’s heart for accepting his fate and consequences should also be admired from this narrative. God forgives when we come clean and admit our sins. Let us not forget though that there are always consequences that can be quite severe in our lives when we decide to take a licentious stance and do evil in the sight of God as His children. David’s relationship with God was intact, but his fellowship was truly tested because of his wrongful decisions. They had long lasting effects on his family. We need to learn from his mistakes and avoid these pitfalls. Avoid the sorrows, live a holy-blessed life by resisting any and all temptation as a child of the King.
Verse to Memorize: 2 Samuel 12:13