David & Bathsheba — David’s sin, confession, judgment, & birth of Solomon.
Reading 1: 2 Samuel 11
Reading 2: 2 Samuel 12:1-25
Reading 3: Psalm 51
Today there is so much in our readings it is hard to know where to begin!
David, the man after God’s own heart, shows his sinful humanity in several ways: he neglects his duty (to fight battles and win wars) which he was so sincerely fulfilling in yesterday’s readings; he takes advantage of his position in many ways, and he commits adultery and then murder. What a huge turnaround for the godly king!
The weakness in David has always been with his multiple wives and concubines. Whilst polygamy and the keeping of concubines were common practice among the powerful in David’s day, we do not find anywhere an instruction from God to follow this pagan practice. And David did much of this in secret, especially the adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. Secrecy and sin go hand in hand: whenever a matter is concealed it is usually to avoid sin being discovered (a futile exercise because God sees everything).
Our reaction to David’s sin would be to condemn him (just as David reacted to the Nathan’s story about the rich man taking someone else’s lamb for a feast). But whenever we point the finger of accusation at others we must humbly recognize our own sin too.
And we would do well to confess our sin openly as David finally did – he wrote a worship song about it! God longs to forgive, and waits only for us to admit our need. He gave David another son, through his marriage to Bathsheba, and David knows that this son will be the one God promised – he names him Solomon – the son of peace who will grow up to build the Temple that David has been forbidden to build himself.
God is redemptive and forgiving, merciful and restoring. The only requirement is that we acknowledge and take responsibility for our sins. Psalm 51 is a great start – why not read it to God today and insert your own shortcomings where David lists his?
Have a great day!