2 Samuel 12

I Have Sinned

The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David almost a year after the adulterous affair. David receives Nathan, and he begins to tell the king a story about two men and a prize ewe lamb. The story was simple, a rich man and a poor man lived next to each other. The rich man had many flocks and herds while the poor man had only one little ewe lamb. This lamb was a prized pet that was dearly loved. It grew up with the family and was treated more like a child than a pet. A traveler came to visit the rich man who was so greedy that he would not take one from his own flock to serve his guest. Instead, he took the poor man's lamb and slaughtered it for his guest. David was a shepherd, so he empathized with the poor man and was enraged at the rich man who acted so wickedly. In his anger, David swore an oath that the rich thief should die for this transgression and ordered that the man should have to restore the lamb fourfold because he showed no pity. David's righteous indignation would soon turn to devastation as Nathan announces that David is the rich man in the story. God gave David the kingdom and delivered him from Saul. God would have continued these blessings, but David despised his word and done evil. David was guilty of Uriah's murder, and he had stolen his wife. The declares that the sword would never leave the house of David and that God would raise up evil against him from his own house. David sinned in secret, but one of David's neighbors would take his wives and lie with them in public view. David is overcome with remorse and recognizes that he has sinned against God. He offers no excuses and confesses his sin. Nathan explains that the Lord had put away David's sin and declares that he would not die, but the child of this illicit union would perish. Nathan left and returned to his house. 

Sin Brings Death

The Lord struck David and Bathsheba's child with a serious illness. David sought the Lord on behalf of his child. He fasted and stayed on the ground all night. David's advisers implored him to eat, but it was to no avail, and the child suffered for seven days. David's servants were afraid to tell their king what had happened for fear that he might harm himself. David saw his servants whispering and understood that the child had perished. He inquired of his servants who confirmed his suspicions. David arose, washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, and went to the house of the Lord and worshiped. Afterward, he returned to his house and asked for food to be placed before him, and he finally ate. David's servants are confused by his behavior, and they ask him to account for his conduct. David explains that he fasted and wept for the child while he was alive because he hoped to receive a reprieve from the Lord, but after he died, his grief would not bring his son back. David declared that he could go to the child, but the child would not return to him. 

Grace And Comfort

David comforted Bathsheba over the loss of their son, and eventually, they conceived again. The son born to them was named Solomon, and the Lord loved him. He sent the prophet Nathan to bless the child with a special name, so he called his name Jedidiah, beloved of the Lord. Joab continued the assault on Rabbah and took the royal city. With the end in sight, Joab sent for David to bring the remaining forces and lead the final attack. Joab wanted his king to receive the credit for capturing the city. David followed Joab's counsel and was credited with the victory. A massive crown was taken, and a jewel from this crown was put in David’s crown. Israel took the spoil of the city, and the haul was great. Those who survived the siege were put to forced labor, and David returned with the people to Jerusalem.

Things To Consider:

  • Why does God have to judge sin?
  • Why do you think the parable was so effective with David?
  • Why are seldom satisfied and content with what we have been given?
  • Where do you see mercy in the story?
  • What is repentance?
  • Why did David pray if God had already determined what he would do?
  • Why would David worship under such dark circumstances?
  • How does God bring beauty from such evil and loss?
  • How does Joab show more loyalty than David?