Summary: This is about God’s forgiveness.
Last week we looked at the sin of David. He had an affair with the wife of one of his best soldiers. She wound up pregnant. He tried to cover it up. He sent her husband back to the war carrying his own death sentence. In verse 24 of chapter 11 we find the words of the messenger to the king, “Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”
David’s plan worked. The other man was out of the picture. Bathsheba went through a period of mourning. Then they got married, and she moved into the palace. It was all taken care of. Right?
Not so fast. David is restless. He can’t forget what has happened. His stomach is in knots. He can’t sleep at night. Every time he sees Bathsheba, he thinks about the events that unfolded. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. Things just got out of control. Everything just happened so fast.
At the end of chapter 11, we read, “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” God wasn’t pleased with the actions of his anointed king. Turn with me to 2 Samuel 12. No one is really sure exactly how long after the adultery and murder that this passage took place. It may have been as little as six months, but it was more likely about a year after the sorry episode.
Read 2 Samuel 12:1-14.
We are confronted with two concepts here: truth and consequences. The truth is David sinned, and God wasn’t happy about it. The consequences were horrible and ugly. The first 9 verses of the passage deal with…
I. The TRUTH
The truth was something that David had been trying to hide. He had tried to trick Uriah into spending the night with Bathsheba. He had sent Uriah to his death. He had been running full-speed away from the truth. Then the prophet Nathan enters the picture. We saw him chapter 7 of 2 Samuel telling David of God’s covenant with him and the promise of the coming Messiah through his descendants.
Now Nathan comes with a most unpleasant task. He had a…
A. Divine COMMISSION.
Verse 1 says, “And the Lord sent Nathan to David.” Nathan is charged with a most unappealing task. He has to face the king and confront him with his sin.
At any moment David could have picked up his sword or given the order to have Nathan executed. Nathan should be given credit for his bravery and fortitude in this matter. Even with the call of God, it still takes a person of courage to carry out the call of God.
It was routine practice of kings in that day to just run roughshod over the laws of their land. If someone confronted him, he would kill him. This week I watched the news about the death of Saddam’s sons. I was horrified at the stories of his eldest son, Ousay. Ousay Hussein was a man of incredible wickedness. He was a torturer. He was a rapist. He was a villain in every sense of the word. Could you imagine going up to him and telling him that God was displeased with his lifestyle? Even with a commission from God, it would take someone of great bravery to do that.
Nathan was a smart man. He tells David a parable, or story. He makes…
B. An appeal to COMMON justice.
Nathan tells David about 2 men, a rich man and a poor man. The rich man has a huge herd and flock, and the poor man has only one little ewe. The ewe was a pet. It wasn’t mere livestock. It was a pet in the same sense as many of us who have dogs and cats. David would also have taken interest in this since it involved sheep. After all, he had been a shepherd as a boy. David is struck by…
1. The ruthlessness of the CRIME.
David was struck by the down right meanness of the crime. This rich man had enough sheep of his own. Why on earth did he need to steel the pet of this poor family? The rich man was unwilling to take one of his own flock. He took the poor man’s sheep because he could. This was a heinous crime. There is something that David didn’t see, and that was…
2. The parallels of the CRIMES.
There are two interesting parallels in this story. Let’s look at it closer. Starting at the end of verse 1. Read 1b-4.
Look at verse 11 of chapter 11. Uriah says to David, when asked why he didn’t go to his house, “Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife?” We see here in verse 3 that the little lamb used to eat the poor man’s food, drink out of his cup, and lie in his arms. It is interesting that David didn’t remember the words of Uriah.