Nathan Rebukes David
12 And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house.
David’s Child Dies
And the LORD afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day 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 yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”
Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the LORD loved him and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.
Rabbah Is Captured
Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and took the royal city. And Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have fought against Rabbah; moreover, I have taken the city of waters. Now then gather the rest of the people together and encamp against the city and take it, lest I take the city and it be called by my name.” So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah and fought against it and took it. And he took the crown of their king from his head. The weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone, and it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount. And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor with saws and iron picks and iron axes and made them toil at the brick kilns. And thus he did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 12 Commentary
by Hank Workman
All was well, or so David thought. Nothing had been found out concerning the affair with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah; he carried on with his role and duties with no one the wiser.
This would be the darkest day of David’s life.
Having read this story so many different times there are angles at every portion to consider. There is the confrontation that we could glean ways to deal with sinful situations. There is David’s repentance and forgiveness which is truly amazing. There are the absolute results of David’s sin of which God will carry each one out for the rest of David’s days. Forgiveness is always offered and sins removed, but consequences often stay right there. There is even the aspect of dealing with mourning or how David’s tarrying through this whole affair put Joab in a tighter spot militarily. Oh, there’s a lot to consider.
But there has been one thing I continue to circle: The Love of God.
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? God loved David enough to have his secret revealed. He loved David enough to have him confronted with something that if not dealt with, more than likely he would have continued to justify his behavior for years to come. This would have drawn him further and further away from the Spirit of God’s voice and conviction. He loved David enough to deal with his sin, show him the results of such choices and yes restore him to wholeness through repentance. He loved him enough.
God loved David enough. Even though it brought pain, hardship in the future, embarrassment and grief – His love restored David.
2 Samuel 12 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Sin often causes innocent people to perish. This is because sin cannot be overlooked. Though David was forgiven for his sin, there was still a cost to pay. In this case, the consequences for David and Bathsheba would manifest upon their child and the Lord would allow it.
We don’t usually think about the collateral damage of our sin. This child would suffer for days until he went to be with the Lord. This was a heavy burden for David, who immediately went into extreme mourning. He fasted and prayed. He wept as he cried out to God for this child. This was the right thing for David to do. He showed genuine remorse for his actions.
Yet, in the end, God didn’t change his mind. David’s son died. Why?
In the next verse, we read something significant…
“Then David got up from the ground. He washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, went to the LORD’s house, and worshiped. Then he went home and requested something to eat. So they served him food, and he ate.”2 Samuel 12:20 HCSB
David accepted the Lord’s rebuke. He picked himself up and went to the Lord’s house… to worship. I find this fascinating. It’s just not a common response today. When people suffer tragedy, they pull back. It’s natural to isolate yourself after suffering extreme grief. It’s kind of expected that people will begin to slide in their spiritual journey. Instead, David goes immediately to worship God. He went back into God’s presence with confidence and peace.
I believe David’s time of fasting and praying was not meaningless. It connected Him back to His Father during a time when he had separated the relationship due to sin. It prepared him to accept the reality of God’s decision, and, it confirmed that God was still good despite the steep consequences He would hand down to David. I believe that David began praying for a miracle but, in the process, found a deeper revelation of His Father.
But keep in mind, that commitment from David was a choice. He didn’t harbor resentment or bitterness. He dug into his time with the Lord, accepted what was dealt to him, and worshiped God for being good and faithful.