2 Samuel 12:14-25
“However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” 15 So Nathan went to his house. Then the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16 David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18 Then it happened 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 to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20 So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ 23 “But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD’S sake.
David has committed adultery and then murder in an attempt to cover up his sin, God has sent Nathan the Prophet to confront and convict David. David had confessed and repented and many of us want the story to end with 2 Samuel 12:13:
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.”
We like stories were it all works out and we can have our perfect ending, in reality what we really want is our sin forgiven without consequence. However, in the real world we can be forgiven for breaking down the door but we still have to deal with the gaping hole we created in the house. There are always consequences to our actions, and like it or not, we have to coexist with those consequences, David did.
- The first consequence was the death of David’s newborn son, which may seem to be an unfair punishment of an innocent child. There are many views on this, including that the child would have lived a painful and disgraceful life, as an illegitimate son, and his death as an infant was merciful. Others look at the ramifications of this illegitimate child becoming king. Still others see the example of atonement, an innocent life being given to redeem the life of the guilty. Me, I don’t know, but this death underscores an important truth; our sin doesn’t just affect us, it also infects those around us. The long-reaching effect of a moment of sinful self-indulgence can be far reaching and deadly. In that moment of temptation we rarely think about others and in moments of rebellion we make life long decisions for more than just ourselves.
- The second consequence was the judgment proclaimed in verses 11-12 came to pass, David’s sin affected more than one of his sons. Nathan told David that what he tried to keep as a secret would be made public. 2 Samuel 16:20-22 records Absalom’s rebellion as he publicly takes his father’s wives, and David’s public disgrace and humiliation. Talk about a broken family; see, “What happens in Vegas, does not stay in Vegas!”
- The third consequence affected Bathsheba, she had to live with humiliation and disgrace in the midst of the king’s other wives and in their society, the loss of a son was a sign of God’s judgment upon them that was a matter of deep, scarring disgrace.
Yet the good news is that the story does not end with the consequences of sin but the grace of God. Where there is sin, there are consequences, but where there is grace, there is a cure, restoration and healing:
24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD’S sake.
Scripture does not record Bathsheba’s journey of healing as it does David’s, but don’t miss the hand of God in their relationship. What are the chances that that a marriage born out of adultery and death could even survive, much less prosper. God demonstrated His grace in the sanctification of a relationship that had once brought the condemnation of death. This is not a “healed but always crippled” relationship, but a “healed and whole relationship,” which may have been born in death, but after God’s healing, births life. The life of Solomon, a child of wisdom, who succeeded his father as King, and his name appears in the direct bloodline of Christ in the New Testament genealogies. I for one am tired of the “once an alcoholic always an alcoholic” syndrome in the church, are there consequences yes, but then there is God’s healing. God can bring beauty from ashes; it’s not your past bloodline that defines you, it’s the blood of Christ. The restored and sanctified marriage of David and Bathsheba bears the handy work of God and his blessing, not David’s work harder self-effort. Don’t miss the grace of God in who He sends to deliver God’s blessing, it is the same prophet, Nathan, who earlier was chosen to bring the condemnation of sin! The message: God had a special name for this special child: Jedidiah which means “beloved of God.”
God brings condemnation but He always offers grace and healing, this is the recurring theme throughout the Bible culminating in the offering of His only Son, Jesus. God wants to have an intimate relationship with you and He has gone out of His way to invite you into that relationship. The whole point of God’s charge against David was not to punish him, but to restore him, yet too often we don’t accept God’s plan.
David wasn’t the first man to fall into sin and he won’t be the last, there have been both kings and commoners fall, but the ground at the foot of the cross is level for all. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, or where you’ve been, God’s healing and restoring grace is available to all. Like David, you will have to be honest with God, and with yourself. Are you ready to take the first step toward seeing your life rebuilt? Then you, like David, need to:
- Stop trying to hide your sin behind cheap excuses and lies
- Get real and confess your sin and repent
- Be willing to deal with and accept the consequences of your sin
- Accept God’s forgiveness
Are you ready for a fresh start? Is it time to get alone with God and allow Him to restored and rebuild your life?