Mar 17 — 2 Samuel 11-12

2 Sam 11 — David and Bathsheba
2 Sam 12:1-15 — The Prophet Nathan Rebukes David
2 Sam 12:16-31 — David’s Son Dies, Solomon is Born, Rabbah Captured

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One Reply to “Mar 17 — 2 Samuel 11-12”

  1. The story of David takes a sharp turn from the one who shows great wisdom and compassion to one who abuses the power of his position. This type of corruption plays well in the news media, we hear these types of stories every day. The challenge here is to look for an insight that may not be so obvious.

    The interaction between David and Joab continues in this story. Joab is a mighty warrior, but not much of a diplomat. He understand death and destruction and is very good at war. His decisions in the coming chapters will ultimately result in his end; it’s interesting to see how story unfolds.

    David sends all of the warriors out to battle, he remains in Jerusalem in his palace. We don’t see David asking the Lord for guidance here, just sending out his men and the entire army with Joab. Perhaps he was confident that Joab will win…not really sure, but that’s not the point. David was a bit restless and wanders around on the roof of his palace, he sees a beautiful woman bathing. He sends for Bathsheba, “she came to him, and he slept with her” (2 Sam 11:4) and became pregnant. David knows he’s in trouble, so he sends word to the battlefront to have her husband report to him, hoping he would sleep with his wife before returning to battle, thus covering David’s tracks. But Uriah is a faithful commander. He does not choose to take advantage of his chance to be home with his wife while his men remain in battle. Very boldly Uriah says to David, “How could I go to my house and eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” (2 Sam 11:11). David writes a battle plan for Joab and has Uriah carry the secret instruction, this will surely result in Uriah’s death on the battlefield and allow David to take Bathsheba. Joab receives the letter and complies, he doesn’t question David’s instructions and Uriah (and others) die as a result.

    Bathsheba heard the news and mourned for her husband. After mourning, David takes her as his wife, “but the thing David had done displeased the Lord” (2 Sam 11:27). God sends Nathan the prophet to confront David. He tells him a story of a selfish rich man who takes advantage of a poor man, “then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man!'” (2 Sam 12:7). “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you” (2 Sam 12:11). David truly confesses his sin, “I have sinned against the Lord” (1 Sam 12:13). God receives David’s repentance and he is punished, but notably, he is forgiven. Sadly, the illegitimate son dies even though David pleaded with God for deliverance. Following the death, David comforts Bathsheba then she conceives and gives birth to Solomon and the Lord was pleased (2 Sam 12:24-25).

    Psalm 51 is one of my favorites. In the last century, when I was in public high school, our 120-voice acapella choir won competitions singing the song, “Create in Me a Pure Heart” directly from this psalm. I still remember the song, it echoes in my mind, David truly repented, truly humbled himself.

    Though Joab did most of the work and lets David know he better get to work (2 Sam 12:28), so David returns to the battlefield and wins a great victory (2 Sam 12:29-31). These bookends are significant: chapter 11 begins with David sending everyone out and chapter 12 ends with David leading the army into victory. He moves from telling people what to do to getting into the battle himself. Repentance complete. This is the great lesson. Lord please put me in the battle, don’t let me walk around on the roof aimlessly. Create in me a pure heart, cast me not away from your presence, make me strong for you Lord, for your work and for your kingdom.

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