Thoughts About What We’re Reading…
As we turn to 2 Samuel 11-12, we come upon one of the most tragic stories in all of Scripture.
Our story begins in the spring, the rains are over and David decides to resume his military campaigns, launching an invasion of Rabbah, the capital of Ammon.
Although David usually led his army personally, he stays behind in Jerusalem and sends his commander, Joab in his stead.
While walking along the rooftop of the palace, David observes Bathsheba, the wife of his neighbor Uriah, bathing out in the open.
David inquires about the beautiful woman and has her brought to the palace and takes her to his bed, although he knows she is married.
Sure enough, Bathsheba sends David a note with the worst news he could hear – she is with child!
The crisis brought by the pregnancy required some kind of suitable resolution, so David determined to “legitimize” the impending birth by bringing Uriah back from the Ammonite campaign, thus making it possible for him to enjoy the intimacies of marriage.
But the plan does not work. So David resorts to two schemes (2 Samuel 11:8-13) trying to induce Uriah to go home and be with his wife, but the noble Hittite refuses.
Why should he, Uriah argued, be allowed the comforts of home and a conjugal visit while his friends in combat were deprived of them?
Even after David plied him with wine, Uriah’s sense of loyalty to his comrades prevails over his desire for his wife.
In utter frustration, David resorts to a third scheme and writes a memo to Joab, commanding that Uriah, when he returns to the front line, be abandoned to the enemy by an unexpected Israelite withdrawal.
The plan succeeds – Uriah is surrounded and slain. This is the same Uriah listed in 2 Samuel 23:39, among the exploits of David’s warriors – Uriah was one of the Mighty Men. What a sad end to one of such courage and character.
After a time of mourning, Bathsheba moves into the palace with David, becomes his wife and bears him a son.
The Lord is displeased and set events in motion that will trouble David throughout his life. We will read about these events later in 2 Samuel.
It is only after being called out for his sin by the prophet Nathan, that David repents.
Shortly after the interview with Nathan, the child becomes terminally ill. Despite David’s intense fasting and prayer, the baby dies within a week.
One may wonder, why David was not punished with death as he had so sternly advocated for the guilty man in the parable told by Nathan.
The answer lies in the genuine and remorseful repentance that David expressed, not only in the presence of Nathan, but more fully in Psalm 51, David’s magnificent prayer of repentance.
David’s sin was heinous, but the grace of God was more than sufficient to forgive and restore him.
David and Bathsheba would go on to have another child – Solomon. The name Solomon means “Peace”.
Although David is restored in fellowship with the Lord, the consequence of his sin remained and would continue to work its sorrow in the nation as well as in his life.
This story serves as a reminder to all believers that although we are forgiven of our sin, through the redeeming work of Christ, the consequences of our sin and the choices we make, can last a lifetime.
Until next time… keep reading.
Excerpts for this blog were taken directly from The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Volume 1.