Reading

  • 2 Sam. 21:15-22
  • 1 Chron. 18:1; 19:1-19
  • Psalm 60
  • 2 Sam. 11:1-12:13a
  • Psalm 51
  • 2 Sam. 12:13b-17

Devotional

David had numerous wars with the Philistines, and GOD steadily gave them into his hand. During one battle, the great Philistine warrior Goliath's brother Lahmi was killed. Over the course of time Israel took control of the Philistine cities, including Gath. After this, Israel fought against the Ammonites and defeated them. The Ammonites had made an alliance with the Arameans and both of them were defeated.

While the Israelites were fighting the Ammonites David had stayed in Jerusalem. One evening David went up on the palace roof where he saw a woman named Bathsheba who was bathing. She was very beautiful so David inquired who she was. The messenger told him that her name was Bathsheba and that she was married to Uriah the Hittite. David sent for her and when she arrived, David committed a great sin with her. The woman returned home and, in the course of time, she discovered that she was pregnant.

Upon hearing this, David devised a plan to cover up his sin. He sent word for her husband Uriah to come to the palace to inform David regarding the battle. David sent Uriah home to be with Bathsheba, but Uriah slept on the palace steps instead. He didn't feel it was fair that he be able to go home and be with his wife when his fellow soldiers were off fighting. David told Uriah to stay one more day and have dinner with him and then he'd send him back to battle.

That night David got Uriah drunk and he sent him home but once again Uriah slept with the palace servants rather than going home to his wife. Desperate, David sent word to Joab, the commander of the Israelite army, to have Uriah placed in the midst of the fiercest fighting and to withdraw the troops so that he would be killed in battle. This happened and Uriah died according to David's plan.

Once Bathsheba had mourned for her husband's death, David sent for her and married her. Thus David hid his sin from the Israelites. But there was a problem: GOD knew! GOD sent Nathan the prophet to David.

And [Nathan] came to [David], and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “ As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’”
(2 Sam. 12:1-12 NKJV)

Upon hearing these words David confessed his sin, he repented, and he penned the beautiful words of Psalm 51. However, as punishment for David's sin, GOD struck the young child and he died a few days after birth.

This is a most tragic story of a man who, otherwise, did so many great things and lived with a heart for GOD. There are many lessons we should learn from these events:

  1. GOD knows everything that we think, speak and do—even before we do it. Don't be so foolish as to think you can hide something from His sight. He sees and knows all!
  2. Regardless of your circumstances, GOD has blessed you mightily, and we should never look to steal from another person's blessings.
  3. Even great people make poor choices at times. Everyone has sinned and falls short of GOD's glory (Rom. 3:23). Don't think of yourself or anyone else too highly because if we knew what GOD knows, we'd see the bad things that have been done and we'd be greatly disappointed.
  4. If you make a mistake, correct it immediately. Ignoring problems or covering up mistakes only makes things worse.
  5. Actions have consequences, and we need to think about what the end result might be before we choose a course of action.
  6. Despising GOD's commands often results in Him disciplining us (Heb. 12:5-7), which isn't fun to endure.
Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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