Unfortunately, we are not finished looking at the ramifications of the sad story of David and Bathsheba. David had Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba's husband, murdered, he took Bathsheba as his wife, and she gave birth to their son. That means a period of months passed before God sent Nathan the prophet to carefully and skillfully confront David concerning what he had done. It seems that David had wanted to forget and move on like nothing had happened, but God wasn't about to let that happen.
TRUE TO THE LORD
Even though David had done wrong, he still had a vibrant relationship with the Lord! After Nathan confronted David,
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die" (2 Samuel 12:13-14).
While there were consequences for his sin, David acknowledged the Lord and God was still speaking with him. What a remarkable show of fatherly love and discipline on God's part! And then when the baby became ill, we read,
After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them (2 Samuel 12:15-17).
Who did David turn to in his day of trouble, interceding for the child? David turned to his God, and then when the child died, we see,
David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate (2 Samuel 12:19-20).
Throughout this sordid story, God is in the forefront of David's thinking and God didn't seem to mind, for God was the one who had "taken away his [David's] sin."
What can we learn from this incident and the way it unfolded? Here are some quick lessons to consider:
- God is always watching what you do. Just because He's silent, doesn't mean He approves or endorses.
- God has "seen" it all. There's no sin you can't bring to Him and ask for forgiveness.
- God's forgiveness doesn't mean that all the consequences have been abbreviated or eliminated.
- When you stumble, it's not time to run from God but rather to Him.
I'm sure you see other lessons, but let's close with this reminder from Deuteronomy you would do well to remember whenever you enjoy success from God's hand:
"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery" (Deuteronomy 8:10-15).
Have a blessed week!