2 Samuel 11-12

2 Samuel 11. It is interesting that as we have come to the end of chapter ten, we have come to about the peak of the strength of the nation. God has subdued their enemies round about. They’re strong, they’re powerful. It is noteworthy that at the time of the great strength, was the time of David’s fall. The bible warns us that a man needs to take heed, when he thinks he stands, lest he fall. When I feel that I am weak, when I know that I am weak, when I know that I’m not able to handle the situation, I am more apt to depend upon the Lord. For I know that I can’t do it in myself. Thus those times, when I know that I am weak, I am really strong.
Paul the apostle said that he would glory in his weaknesses. For when he is weak, then he is really strong. Because he knows, “I have to trust in the Lord. I can’t handle this”. And, “The Lord’s strength is made perfect in our weaknesses”. The time that I am in real danger, is the time when I think, “Well I am strong. I don’t need any help here Lord. I’m able to manage this quite readily by myself”. It is in that time that I am usually gonna fall, because I am not relying on the Lord, but I am relying on my own strength, in my own will at this point. That is the time that you are really in danger and you are subject to falling.
David had come now to the peak of the strength of the nation, and it is interesting that it’s at this point, that David stumbled, and fell into this great sin.
So it came to pass, after the year was expired, [They had subdued their enemies, they’re in great strength. They have not thoroughly put down the Ammonites.] and so the kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all of Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged the capital city of Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem (11:1).
Up until this point, David had led the troops, year by year, in their conquest of the nations. But now that things are pretty well settled, he sends Joab on with the troops, over to completely subdue the uprising of the Ammonites, against Israel. They had gained victory over them the year before, they had not totally destroyed them. Now they’re going to bring them into complete subjudication. But again, David feels that, not necessary for him to go. Joab can do the job quite readily.
Now it came to pass that in the eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, [In the areas where there are hot climates, it is usually a custom to take a siesta. In the heat of the day people will just lie down and take a nap. I don’t know but what it’s not a good idea. So David really got up from his siesta.] and he was walking on the roof of the king’s house: [Now that sounds a little peculiar perhaps to us, but if you were over there it wouldn’t be peculiar at all. Their gardens were usually on the roofs, it was the patio area of the house, quite often. Even to the present day, you find a lot of activity on the roofs of the houses. That’s where the ladies hang their washing, and as you are walking the walls of Jerusalem, you can look down on the roofs and you can see women even mopping their roofs. They hang their clothes out on the roofs, and there are patio tables, and all. There’s a lot of activity on the roofs of the house. Actually, they are flat roofs, and it’s a good way to pick up a lot of square footage, of nice yard you know. Just have it up on the roof. And, “David was walking on the roof of the king’s house”.] and from the roof he saw a woman who was bathing; and she was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and inquired after the woman. [“Who is she?”] And one said, is it not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite (11:2- 4)?
And that should’ve ended it for David completely right there. She’s a married woman. Being the daughter of Eliam, we are told that Eliam was the son of Ahithophel. Now we will be coming to Ahithophel pretty soon. Ahithophel was a friend of David. In fact, he was one of David’s counselors. A close friend, in fact turn to the fifty fifth Psalm, verse twelve, and we find David making a reference to Ahithophel. He said, “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was you, a man my equal, my guide, my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in company”.
When David’s son, Absalom rebelled against his father, and drove his father out of the kingdom, Ahithophel became a counselor to Absalom. He turned against David. Now, Bathsheba then would have been the granddaughter of Ahithophel. It is interesting that, though there is this tie, Ahithophel turned and sided with Absalom, in the rebellion against David. He was a, might say, a poor loser. He gave counsel to Absalom, and David had a friend who also counseled Absalom, and the counsel that he gave to David, was different from, uh, to Absalom, was different from Ahithophel. David took the counsel of Husham, this other fellow, and it made Ahithophel so mad, he went out and killed himself. So, sort of a hot head, and a hard loser. “Don’t listen to me, you know, I’ll kill myself”, and he did! But we’ll get to this fellow Ahithophel, as we move along with the story.
David sent messengers [As I said, he should’ve just stopped when they said, “The wife of Uriah”. Uriah was one of David’s mighty men. He was one of the captains of David’s army. He was numbered with the uh, thirty nine mighty men of David. “David sent messengers”,] and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. [So David called her, and had an adulteress relationship. As the result,] She conceived, and she sent and told David, and said, I [have] am with child [“I’m pregnant”] (11:4-5).
There is a scripture that Moses declared to the men of Gad and Manessah. He said, “And if you don’t do this, you have sinned against the Lord, and you can be sure your sin will find you out”. People talk about secret sins, but that is a misnomer. Sin is against God, and the bible says, “Everything is open and naked with Him with whom we have to do”, in other words you can’t hide anything from God. There’s no secret sin. God even knows the thoughts that precede the sin, the desire, the intent.
So, David sinned against the Lord. He violated the commandment of God. He went in to another man’s wife. As a consequence, she became pregnant, sent the message to David. Now David’s first attempt was to cover his sin. A very natural characteristic of man. Try to hide my sin. Started in the garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve, after they sinned, conscious of their nakedness, sewed together fig leaves, to hide their nakedness. Trying to hide their guilt, their sin. Moses, when he killed the Egyptian, tried to bury him. Thought that no one saw him, “He looked this way, he looked that way”, it said. Then he killed the guy and tried to bury him. Thought that no one saw him. It’s just a common thing for a person, the first reaction when I realize that, “Hey, it’s catching up with me”, is try to hide my guilt.
So David sent to Joab, and he said, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And so Joab sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how that Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war was prospering (11:6-7).
Just sort of like, you know, just talking to one of his captains, “How are things going? How’s the war progressing? What’s been happening? How’s the moral? Is everything alright?”, and so he was getting a report first hand, from one of his captains concerning the battle against Rabbah, the capital of the Ammonites.
And David said to Uriah, Why don’t you go home and wash your feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a portion of meat from the king. [David sent him a present of you know, some fillet mignons, and uh…] However Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all of the servants of his Lord, [He slept in the guard house, with David’s body guards.] And he did not go down to his own house (11:8-9).
Now of course, David in trying to cover his guilt, the smart ploy, you know. He thought, Bring Uriah home from battle for a couple of days, let him go home with his wife, and he’ll no doubt have relations with her, so later on, when he finds out she’s pregnant, he’ll just figure, “Well, it was when I was home on leave that it happened”. So Uriah, is thwarting in a sense, David’s plan. He stayed in the guard house. He didn’t go home.
And when they told David, saying, Uriah did not go to his house, David said to Uriah, How come you didn’t go from your journey? why didn’t you go to your own house? And Uriah said to David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, live in tents; and my Lord Joab, and the servants of my Lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into my house, and eat and drink, and lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as my soul liveth, I wouldn’t do such a thing (11:8-11).
So Uriah seemed to be a pretty honorable guy. He was thinking about how that, the people are living in tents, and Joab and all of the troops are out there on the open ground at night sleeping, and, “Man for me to have that kind of comfort, go home and eat, and drink, and go to bed with my, and, ah, I can’t do that. Not when my friends are all out there suffering the discomforts of war”.
So David said to Uriah, Well spend the day here, and tomorrow I will let you depart. [Let you go back.] So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. And then when David called him, he did eat and drink before him; and [David just had his servants keep pouring his cup until he was drunk. Now David figured if he gets drunk enough, he won’t know what he’s doing, he’ll go home, and you know, he’ll be out of it, and he’ll just stagger home.] so he made him drunk: and at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his Lord, but he didn’t go home (11:12-13).
He just staggered out to the guard house again, and there plopped down, and wouldn’t go home.
So it came to pass in the morning, [David is faced with a dilemma. This first ploy’s not gonna work. This guy’s not gonna go home. “So it came to pass in the morning,”] that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. He wrote in the letter, saying, Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and then retire from him, that he may be smitten, and die (11:14-15).
So David, is conspiring to murder Uriah. Sin has an interesting way of compounding. You get involved in something and it’s not very serious maybe, at first. You know you shouldn’t. It was wrong. But then things start piling up. You try to cover it, and it’s gets deeper, and deeper, and deeper, until you’re so embroiled that you’re doing abhorrent things that you never dreamed you would ever do. Tragic how, that sin has a way of just, well leaven is a good type of sin, because you put a little bit in the dough, and it just permeates through the whole loaf. So sin, a little bit of tolerated sin in your life, will permeate until it just fills the entire life.
Leprosy another type of sin, which slowly spreads through the body, beginning at the extremities, in the fingers or toes. Leprosy deadens, first of all the nerves. It kills the nerves, so leprosy is painless. But because you can’t feel pain, if you have leprosy in your hand, you can put your hand down on a hot plate, and not even know it’s hot, till you smell the seared flesh. Then of course, the gangrene, and the loss of the hand. Leprosy is a horrible, loathsome disease that gradually just destroys. It creeps along until it hits a vital part of the body.
So, David. Infected with sin, finds the thing growing, finds the thing compounding, until he finally is sending, with Uriah, a note to Joab, that is the death now, for Uriah. David is in conspiracy to murder him.
And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, [That is he had been studying it.] that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew the strongest men were. [Of the enemy.] And the men of the city came out, and they fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite also died. Then Joab sent and told David all of the things concerning the war; He charged the messenger, saying, When you have made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, If it so be that the king’s wrath arises, and he says unto you, Why did you approach so close to the city when you fought? did you not know that they would shoot from the wall (11:16-20)?
And he makes reference to a case in the book of Judges, which shows that the book of Judges was written by then, they had their history recorded by this point.
Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? was it not a woman who cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, and he died in Thebez? why did you go so close to the wall? [David is challenging Joab’s strategy.] then you’re to tell him, Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead. So the messenger went, and he came and he showed David all that Joab had sent him for. And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate (11:21-23).
That is, “We pursued them right back to the gate”, which was a poor battle strategy.
And the archers shot from the wall upon your servants; and some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead. Then David said to the messenger, Go tell Joab, Don’t let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another: make your battle strong against the city, overthrow it: and encourage him (11:24-25).
So rather than sending back a message that would castigate him for this poor strategy. Just go back and tell him, “Well can’t help it. The sword is gonna, you know some are bound to fall, and shame”.
And when the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. [Now the general period of mourning was for seven days, or for a notable person, thirty days. She probably mourned for his death for thirty days.] And when the mourning was past, David sent and called her to his house, and she became his wife, and she bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord (11:26-27).
Now David really thought that you know, “That takes care of it. It’s all over”, and probably just sort of congratulating himself on his clever treachery. David is sort of a hero now, in the eyes of the people. He has taken into his harem, the poor, pregnant wife, the widow of one of his fallen captains, so that the people say, “My look at the way he stands behind his men! He takes care of their widows when they are killed in battle. My what a marvelous king! Monogamous David!”. David no doubt felt, that, “That’s pretty clever! The bases are all covered. I’ve got this new wife”.

Chapter 12
But the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and he said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one was rich, the other was poor. The rich man had exceeding flocks and herds: [Very wealthy.] But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, drank of his own cup, it lay in his bosom, and it was unto him as a daughter. [It was just a family pet. You know, it was just like we have little puppies around the house, or little dogs, and little cats. Little lambs were oftentimes family pets.] There came a traveler to the rich man, and he would not take one of his own flock, or one of his own herd, to dress it for the wayfaring man that was come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that has done this thing shall surely die (12:1-5):
David pronounced the death sentence upon a man for such actions.
And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou are the man (12:6-7).
It’s interesting how horrible our sins look when someone else is committing them. When I’m doing them, I can always give an excuse. I have a rationale, there’s a reason. But if you’re doing it, “Oh how could you! Shame! I can’t believe you would do such a thing. I’m disappointed in you!”. That’s human nature, isn’t it? Let someone else do it, man I’m quick to judge. I’m ready to sentence them to death. “Man, you know they ought to get wiped out for that!”. Our sins look horrible when someone else is committing them. But, if I’m committing them, it’s not really that bad. I’m very generous to myself. Very gracious.
Our Lord talked a lot about forgiveness, gave some interesting parables concerning forgiveness. Knowing human nature, He realized that we have a tendency to hold grudges against people. But really the things for which we often hold grudges, are far less than our own offenses against others. So the parable of the master who had a servant, who owed him seventeen million dollars. He called him in, and he said, “Note is due. I want you to pay”, and the fellow says, “Oh I can’t. Give me some time and I’ll try and work it out”, and he says, “Well, tell you what, forget it”. This same servant went out and got a fellow servant that owed him fifteen bucks. Took him by the neck, and said, “Alright, you pay me!”, and the guy says, “Oh, I can’t pay you right now, give me a little time and I’ll get it to ya”. He says, “No way man! You’ve had enough time!”, and he had him thrown in debtors prison. Word came back to the master of what he had done, and he called him in and he said, “Hey, how much did you owe me?”, “Seventeen million bucks”, “And did I not forgive the debt?”, “Yeah.” “How is it that I heard that you went out, and you had a fellow servant thrown into prison because of a fifteen dollar debt?”, and he said, “Take this fellow and throw him in prison, until he has paid the last penny!”.
Speaking of forgiveness. Again, it’s so important that we have a forgiving spirit. God has forgiven us so much, we need to forgive others. We have a tendency to forgive ourselves, very readily, very easily. But to forgive others, is something again. David was judging himself. “That man shall surely be put to death, as the Lord lives!” Nathan said, “David, “You’re the man”.
And thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, [David, a man who had experienced the anointing of God upon his life.] then I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul (12:7);
A man who had, had God’s anointing, a man who had known God’s deliverance. And then he said…
I gave thee thy master’s house, thy master’s wives unto thy bosom, I gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. [“I would’ve given you whatever you needed, David.” Notice, “I anointed thee, I delivered thee, I gave to thee”. So we’ve been anointed of God, we’ve been delivered by God, and oh the gifts of God to us, and yet, in spite of all of this, David went out and coveted more. Lusted for more.] Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do this evil in his sight? [“David you hid it from man, but you didn’t hide it from, you did it in God’s sight. God was watching that whole nefarious affair. God was watching. You did it in His sight.” Remember that, whenever you sin, that you’re doing it in His sight. “Why would you do this to violate the commandment of God and do this in His sight?”] for you have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and you’ve taken his wife, to be your wife, you’ve slain him [You’re guilty, you slew him.] with the sword of the Ammonites (12:8-9).
“Just as much as if you had run the sword through him yourself, David. You’re guilty.”
Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house: because you have despised me, and you have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife (12:10).
David’s oldest son, Amnon, was killed by his brother, Absalom. David’s second son, Absalom, was killed in his rebellion against his father, in the battle. David’s third son, Adonijah, was killed by Solomon, when Solomon took the throne. The sword did not depart from his house. David saw his three oldest sons, well he didn’t see Adonijah, but he saw the two older sons slain. He experienced the grief of the sword coming to his own house. “You’re guilty David, you’re the man. You’ve done it.” The Lord said…
Thus saith the Lord, [verse eleven] Behold I will raise up evil against thee out of your own house, I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them unto your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of the sun. For you did it secretly: but I will do this thing before all of Israel, and before the sun (12:11-12).
Now when Absalom rebelled against David, and was coming from Hebron with an army, David fled from Jerusalem. He didn’t want to fight against Absalom. He couldn’t bring himself to fight against his own son. So rather than fight, David fled from Jerusalem, and said, “We’ll let the Lord take care of it. The Lord wants to give the throne to Absalom, fine.” He just committed the whole thing to the Lord. When
Absalom came, and took Jerusalem, this fellow Ahithophel, his counselor said, “No. You want to really establish yourself in the eyes of the people as the king? The best way to do that is, on the top of the palace, there on the roof, put a little tent, and put David’s concubines there in the tent. And then, in the sight of all of the people, you go into that tent to David’s concubines.” Actually, when a new king took over the kingdom, he inherited the concubines, or the harem of the previous king. That was just sort of a cultural thing, it was signifying, “Hey, I’m the new boss around here”.
So, Absalom, right there in the sight of all of Israel, would openly go into the tent of the concubines. Thus David was disgraced and humiliated by his own son, as his wives were used by Absalom in the sight of all the people. “You did it secretly David, it’s gonna happen to you, before the sun. Now, at this point, at this point, let’s turn to Psalm fifty one, and let’s read the response of David, to this news from God.
You see we have the problem that God said that, “David was a man after His own heart”. And when we read these kinds of activities, we say, “Wait a minute! How could David be a man after God’s heart, and do these horrible things?!”. Psalm fifty one will give you the insight. Having heard, and notice what the uh, title of the Psalm is. It is to, “The Chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba”. David’s been faced with his guilt. “Thou art the man.” David has prayed unto the Lord, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” David crying out unto the Lord, crying for mercy, crying that he might be washed and cleansed. “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” “Man, it’s been on my conscience. I couldn’t escape it! I acknowledge my transgressions. Let the wicked forsake his ways! The unrighteous, his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord. For he will abundantly pardon.” David acknowledging, confessing. And then he said, “Against thee, and thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:”
What we need to realize is that all sin is against God, it may affect other people, it may be involved with other people, but the sin is against God because it is God’s command that I am violating. So every sin is against God, and God sees, God knows, there is no secret sin. “Against thee, and thee only have I sinned, I’ve done this evil in thy sight: that you might be justified when you speak, and be clear when you judge. Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” “I confess to my nature of sin. My fallen nature.” “But behold, you desire truth in the inward parts: and in the inward, in the hidden part you shall make me to know wisdom. Now purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which you have broken may rejoice.” Remember he talked about his bones being weary within him, and like an old man. “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a clean heart, O Lord; and renew a right spirit within me.”
“Give me a clean heart God, let me start over again.” “Cast me not away from thy presence, take not your holy spirit from me. And restore to me the joy of thy salvation;” That’s the thing that David had lost. The joy of walking with the Lord. The joy of fellowship with God, it was gone, and that is always the consequence of sin, is the broken fellowship with God, and the joy of that fellowship. David’s saying, “Restore to me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with your free spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways; and sinners shall be converted to you. Deliver me from the bloodguiltiness, O God, for thou art the God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open your lips, or open my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For you do not desire the sacrifice; else I would give it: you don’t delight in burnt offerings. But the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: and a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good in your good pleasure unto Zion: build up the walls of Jerusalem. And then you shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, the burnt offering the whole burnt offerings: they shall offer the bullocks upon thine altar.” So David’s prayer unto the Lord, at this time when he is facing the awareness of his guilt. David prayed unto the Lord.
And David said to Nathan, [verse thirteen] I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die (12:13).
Forgiveness is as close as confession. As soon as you confess your sins, there is forgiveness. “If we confess our sin”, John tells us, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. God cannot forgive and cleanse, apart from confession. That would be unrighteous. But God will cleanse and pardon, the moment there is that confession of guilt. “God, I have sinned.”
You remember, Thursday night, the two men that had gone in to the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, the other Publican. The Pharisee said, “Lord, I thank you that I’m not like other men, like that Publican over there, an extortioner, the thief, an adulterer, and Lord I thank you I’m so good. I pay tithes of all that I have, I fast twice a week.”, and I, I, I, five of them as he expresses himself to God in prayer. The other fellow, a very noted sinner, notable sinner, the publican, the worst in the crowd, standing afar off, wouldn’t even lift his head towards heaven, but just low, on his chest and said, “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner”. The confession of sin, and the Lord said, “I say unto you, he went away justified”. Why? Because of confession. How important is confession for forgiveness? David found it.
Now, in Psalm thirty two. “Thy sins are forgiven. The Lord has forgiven your sin, you will not die.” David had pronounced the sentence of death, to David, it won’t happen. Here is David’s exclamation now, that his sins had been declared forgiven. The word “blessed” in Hebrew is, “O how happy”. “O how happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. O how happy is the man, unto whom the Lord imputes not iniquity and in whose spirit there’s no guile. “When I kept silent”, when he was trying to hide this thing, when he was trying to cover this thing. When he thought that no one knew, he had gotten by with it, as far as man was concerned, “my bones were waxing old, through my roaring all the day long”. There was just this inner turmoil that wouldn’t let him rest. “For day and night your hand was heavy upon me”, the heavy hand of God upon him. “And my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” “Man, I became so spiritually dry. I lost my fellowship with God”. “And then I acknowledged my sin unto thee.” That’s when he said, “I have sinned.” “And my iniquity I have not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. I have sinned.” “You are forgiven, you will not die.” Just that quickly! “Thou art my hiding place, you will preserve me from trouble, you will surround me with songs of deliverance.”
Now, notice God then responded to David. This is God’s response, to David’s declaration of the joy, the blessing of the sins forgiven. God said, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go, and I will guide you with my eye. But don’t be stubborn, like a horse or a mule, who have no understanding, who must have a bit and a bridle in their mouth, lest they trample on you”. What the Lord is saying is, “Look, I want to guide your life, but I want to guide you the easy way. I just want to guide you with my eye”. In other words, keep your eyes on the Lord, and He’ll direct you. “It’s that way man.” You know, and just as we keep our eyes on Him, God will guide your life and God will take care of you, but God says, “Don’t be stubborn. Because if you’re stubborn, then I have to use painful processes.”
With David, his stubbornness led to the painful processes. God dealt with him, but it was painful. “David, the sword will never depart from your house. You’re gonna experience the pain of the sword in your own house. You shamed your neighbor’s wife, you’re gonna be shamed in the sight of all the people. And the child that is born David, is gonna die. You’re gonna feel the pain, I’ve got to put the bit, and the bridle in your mouth. Don’t be that way. Don’t be stubborn.”
Now God loves you, and He loves you so much that it’s necessary to keep you on the right path. He will use painful processes. He will take someone very close and dear to you. He’s not adverse to that if it means your salvation. And God will allow you to go through painful experiences to guide you, but God says, “I don’t want to do that!”.
Jonah is a classic example of a man learning the hard way. That whole miserable experience in that whale was unnecessary. He talks about it and, and he said, “I, three days, and three nights, you know I went down into the depths of hell! Hot in there man! The waves were sloshing over me. It was just, seaweed wrapped around my head!”. Learning the hard way. God said, “Go to Ninevah”, he said, “I won’t go”. God wanted him in Ninevah. God had used the bit and the bridle. It’s really sort of a sad thing when God has to use the bit and the bridle, the painful processes to guide us. He would rather not. He would rather that you be very open and sensitive to His voice, that He can guide you just with His eye. That you’re just that sensitive to the things of God, that you don’t become stubborn.
So “David said, I have sinned against the Lord, Nathan said to David, The Lord also has put away your sin;” Oh glory, glory, whee! Forgiven! The Lord has put away your sin, and then grace, “You will not die.” Though he had pronounced death upon himself. “That man shall surely be put to death.” “David, you are the man.” “God is more gracious than you David, you won’t die.”
However, because this deed has given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child that is born unto thee, shall surely die (12:14).
Now the enemies of God were blaspheming. “Yeah, well look at David. He’s supposed to be a man of God, but look what he has done. Why would God allow him to get by with it? You can sin and get by with it.” And God says, “It was because it’s given great cause for the enemies of God to blaspheme, the child will have to die”. God will have to be just in this thing. People will have to see that you just can’t sin, and get by with it. There is a price.
So Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had born unto David, and he was very sick. And David prayed to God for the child; and David fasted, and he went in, and he laid all night in the dust in the earth. [Just right there, his face in the ground.] And the elders of his house arose, and they went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, and neither would he eat bread with them (12:15-17).
Just lying there on his face, before God, praying, fasting.
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke unto him, and he wouldn’t even listen to our voices: [What’s gonna happen?] how will he vex himself, when we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was perhaps dead: so David said to his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, he washed himself, anointed himself, he changed his clothes, and he came to the house of the Lord, and worshiped: [Interesting, the response of David, now that the child is dead. He gets up, washes himself, anoints himself, goes into the house of God, and he worships the Lord. He acknowledges that God is righteous, and God is just. Acknowledging the justice of God.] and then he came to his own house; and ordered that they set a meal before him, and he ate. Then his servants said unto him, [“Man, you’re weird!”] What is this that you have done? for you were fasting and weeping for the child, while it was still alive; but now that the child is dead, you get up and you want something to eat. [“I don’t understand you man!”] And David said, While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live (12:18-22)?
“Don’t know God might be gracious. God might change, the child might live. Who can tell?”
But now that the child is dead, why should I fast? I can’t bring him back again. But I shall go to him, but he cannot return to me (12:23).
So, David had a consciousness of life after death. “As long as the child was alive, I fasted. Maybe God will change, who can tell. Maybe God would be gracious and spare the child. Now that its dead, why should I fast? There’s no way that I can bring the child back. I shall go to be where the child is, but it cannot return to me.” Our children who die are with the Lord in heaven. We shall go to be where they are, they can’t return to us. The awareness of the resurrection. Life after death.
But David went in and he comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon: [Which is, “peaceable”.] and the Lord loved him (12:24).
Now that’s grace! Same wife, punishment was meted out upon the first born, but God gives to them now, another child. Actually we’ll find that there will be four more children, sons, born to Bathsheba. Or three others, besides Solomon. And God is gracious. David calls him peaceable, and the Lord loved him.
So the Lord sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, which means beloved of the Lord (12:25).
Jedidiah, Nathan came and said, “Ah”, David said, “See my new son Solomon”, and he said, “No, God’s calling him Jedidiah. God loves him. Beloved of the Lord.”
Oh the grace of God is something that’s beyond my capacity to really grasp. How gracious is God. In the forgiveness, in the cleansing, in the pardon. The word “justification”, means, “just as though you’ve never done it”. God doesn’t go on holding it against you forever. You pick up the pieces, you say, “I’ve sinned God, I’m sorry”, and God says, “Okay let’s go from here now”. And he starts a new life! It’s, you know it’s a new walk. The old things are passed away. Everything becomes new! God takes the very reminder of your fall, and He turns it into something that becomes worthwhile. Jedidiah.
Now Joab, was, meanwhile, back at, actually we’re getting back to the story. The writer went ahead for a period of time, you see. Several months. Now we get back to the story of Joab, who is out there still in battle, but he hadn’t been there you know, over the years, period of time and so forth. But we come back now to the story.
Joab was fighting against Rabbah the children of Ammon, and he took the royal city. [So he saw that, “Hey the thing’s ready to fall. The people are ready to give up.] So Joab sent messengers to David, and he said, I have fought against Rabbah, I’ve taken the city of waters (12:26-27).
Rabbah was on the river of Jabbok, and it was thus called, the city of waters, because of the river Jabbok, upon which the city was built.
Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it’s called after my name. [“Okay David, I’ve got the thing, it’s ready to fall. Just get the men and come on out, so that you can take the city, you become the hero in the thing.”] So David gathered all the people together, he went to Rabbah, he fought against it. And he took the king’s crown from off of his head, the weight of it was about a talent of gold with these precious stones: [A talent of gold is worth, um, at the present price of gold, somewhere around three hundred and fifty, to four hundred thousand bucks. So, pretty expensive crown.] and he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance. And he brought forth the people that were therein, and he put them under the saws, [That is he sawed them in two.] and under the harrows of iron, [Under the axes of iron, they really hacked up the people, and made a bloody mess of the whole thing. Which, no excuse for, it really is just the culture and the way things were.] he made them pass through the brickkiln: [Or he actually, uh, they were worshiping Molech, they would throw their children in the fires, and burn their babies. It was part of their ritual, and the practices in their worship of Molech. So David did to them, he took the fires of Molech, in which they had tossed their own children, and he tossed them in those fires.] and thus did he to all of the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and the people returned to Jerusalem (12:28-31).
Well, I thought we were gonna get through thirteen, but we’re not. So, next Sunday we’ll take thirteen through fifteen, as we see now, David beginning to experience that law of sowing and reaping. It’s gonna start coming back on him now. The things that he did, the things that were prophesied, they’re gonna start coming into David’s own house. So, rated “R”, as we move along.
The prophet Isaiah said, “Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they may be white as snow. Though they be red as crimson, they may be as white as wool”. God offers forgiveness, pardon, cleansing, a new life, to all who will but confess their sins, and seek His forgiveness. Sin alienates you from God, and some of you have been alienated from the life of God, because of your sins. You know exactly what David was talking about when he said, “My bones wax old, through my roaring all day long”. And there’s been just that inner turmoil, day and night, God’s hand’s been heavy upon you. You haven’t been able to sleep. Just a sense of guilt. You wake up at night, and you’re thinking about it. It’s just hounding you! You’ve been trying to hide it, you’ve been trying to cover it. You’re only getting deeper, and deeper all the time. Time to confess, time to get it over. Time to come to the Lord and say, “God, I’ve sinned”, and hear those glorious words, “Your sins have been forgiven, you shall not die”.
God be with you, and God bless you, may He give you the strength to walk with Him, in all purity, holiness, and righteousness. That we might be as God would have us to be, living in complete trust in Him, not relying upon our own strength, but relying upon His Spirit, and the power of His Spirit, to give us victory over our flesh, and things, and the deeds of our flesh. Thus this week, may God set you free, and may you experience His victory, and His power, working in you, for the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7095
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