2 Samuel 12
by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin
There are a great number of lessons that can be learned from this particular passage including: how to confront a sinner, how to repent of a sin, how the consequences of sin can linger for many years in our lives, and how the Lord grants free forgiveness for all our sins, even the heinous ones. Additionally, it grants some hope to believers concerning their children who have died in infancy. But in the great scheme of things it shows us that David is not the savior we are looking for. Although he was and is a man after God’s own heart, proving that by his full repentance and extraordinary trust in God, still, in a moment of weakness, he did the unthinkable in stealing another man’s wife and then murdering that man in an attempt to cover over his sin. And David thought that he got away with it, for many months at least. But the Lord graciously sent the prophet Nathan to confront him in love.
Keep in mind, that this was the same prophet that the Lord had sent to David to confirm his covenant of love with him back in 2 Samuel 7. In that pivotal chapter the Lord had promised to give David rest from all his enemies and to make him a house. Additionally he promised David that he would raise up one of his offspring who would build a house for the Lord and that the Lord would establish the throne of his kingdom forever. The Lord had promised that his steadfast love would never depart from David’s son as it had with Saul, and that David’s house and kingdom would be made sure forever before the Lord. Now the question is: did David jeopardize the word of the Lord by his sin and rebellion?
Even though the Lord was quick to forgive David for his sin, quicker than any of us would ever be; nevertheless, there would be some serious consequences. First, the rest that God had granted to David from all his enemies would still hold, but, now, instead new enemies would rise up from his own household, for Nathan told him that the sword would never depart from his house and that he would raise up evil against him from his own house. This is later fulfilled by David’s son Absalom. Additionally, because of David’s sin, the Lord struck the child who was to be born to him through Bathsheba. As hard as that it is for us to accept, our sins do, in fact, affect not only ourselves but even our own family members at times. Just as Adam’s sin still affects us, so our sins may affect our lineage, our church and even our communities. Of course, the Lord judges each person individually and holds each person accountable for his or her own sin. Therefore, although the Lord took the life of the child because of David’s sin, he did not hold the child culpable for that sin.
What is even more extraordinary, though, is God’s unexpected grace granted to David and Bathsheba despite their reprehensible sin. After the death of this child for whom David prayed and fasted, the Lord enabled Bathsheba to conceive a second time and sent Nathan the prophet once more to David informing him that his son Solomon would be called Jedidiah which means “beloved by the Lord.” As Paul would say, “where sin abounded, grace would abound all the more.” Truly, this word from the Lord defies all our assumptions and expectations, for we do not fully grasp the greatness of God’s grace nor the faithfulness of God to his promises to us. If God promises to love us and keep covenant with us, He will, for God is not like a man; he never lies but always keeps his word.