David’s Sin and Punishment
Taught November 12, 2023
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In our lesson last week, we took a look at the need for those who are of faith to recognize when they have sinned, and to repent – to correct our ways – to find mercy and forgiveness. Blatantly choosing to sin and not acknowledge our wrongs nor strive to correct our ways does not please the Lord. This lesson is driven home through David’s sin which we will be taking a look at in our lesson this week.
Our lesson opens us this week by taking a look at David’s sin. Scripture tells us that David got out of bed one evening and walked out onto the roof of the king’s house. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, and scripture tells us that she was very beautiful (v.2). David wanted to know who she was and someone told him that she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah (v.3).
Now, let’s be clear about this: David wanted to know who she was for a very specific reason that was born of lust. David coveted Bathsheba and had messengers bring her to him; they laid together, (committed adultery) and afterwards, Bathsheba washed herself from impurity and returned back home (v.4).
David, I want you to understand, knowingly sinned. Something I have said in recent weeks is that we, the sincere believers, know when we have sinned most of the time. How is it that we know when we have sinned against the Lord? Well, firstly, when we disobey the Lord, the Holy Spirit will let us know it! Secondly, when we have studied and know the word of God, then there is a really good chance we know right from wrong in the eyes of God.
David compounds his wickedness
So, we are told that over time Bathsheba conceived a child and she sent word to David of her pregnancy (v.5). After learning that Bathsheba was pregnant with his child, David could have acknowledged his transgression, but David did what many of us do when we have knowingly did wrong and are ashamed; he moved to cover up his sin.
David’s cruelty against Uriah
Our lesson skips to David sending word to Joab by the hand of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband; Joab was to set Uriah on the frontlines of the hottest battle, and then retreat from him (vss.14-15). To be clear, David, like a mob boss, was arranging the death of an innocent man! Why was David setting Uriah up to be killed? Let’s go back to some verses that the Sunday School book skips.
When David knew that Bathsheba was pregnant, he sent for Uriah to return home from the battlefield (2 Sam. 11:6). David had come up with the idea to send Uriah to Bathsheba so that Uriah could be with his wife (2 Sam. 11:8). Therefore, when her pregnancy was finally beginning to show, then it would appear like Uriah was the father of the child. Sounds like something out of a soap opera, doesn’t it?
However, there was a problem with this plan. You see, Uriah didn’t go home to be with Bathsheba because he felt bad that his brethren was still out on the battlefield (2 Sam. 11:9-11). So, David tried again to get Uriah to go home to be with his wife by getting the man drunk, but that plan also failed (2 Sam. 11:13). David was compounding sin with more sin until he truly moved with malicious intent against Uriah.
Uriah died on the battlefield just as David desired (vss.16-17). Let’s be very clear about this: David had an innocent man killed all because he lusted after that man’s wife! David could have left it at the thought of the woman, but he puts his thoughts into sinful actions and afterwards, he kept making things worse by moving in a manner that certainly was not in obedience to the word of God.
David’s sin catches up to him
Word of Uriah’s death was sent back to David. When Bathsheba had heard about her husband, she mourned his death; David truly was a homewrecker! After she had finished mourning, David had Bathsheba brought into his house and he took her to be his wife (vss.26-27). Again, when she would eventually give birth, nothing would be apparent about her giving birth.
Honestly, if this was a soap opera, David would be the guy we would all detest for all that he had done to Uriah and Bathsheba who were both innocent. Now, some of us may not think that way with Bathsheba, but in the end, she was just the lustful desire of a man that didn’t fight his temptation. Yes, she laid with the king but the position that the king had put her in was a position that men are destroyed for doing today.
God rebukes David’s sin
Now, David may have thought that he was in the clear by successfully hiding his adultery from the people. However, one day there was a knock on his door and Nathan, the prophet of God stood at the door. You have to imagine the pit that formed in David’s stomach went when he saw Nathan entering his home.
At this point in our lesson, we skip to 2 Samuel 12. In the opening of this chapter, you can see where Nathan shares a story with David about one who had wronged another (2 Sam. 12:1-4). David grew angry as he to the story about how a rich man who had much cattle, took the one and only lamb that a poor man. David, in his anger, said that the rich man should be killed for his wicked actions, though he did not realize he was actually talking about himself (2 Sam. 12:5).
Nathan, after David had made his statement, revealed that the story was about what David had done to Uriah (2 Sam. 12:7). Something that you and I should understand, we may be able to hide our skeletons in our closet and under our beds from people, but God knows exactly where and what our sins are that we try to hide. You cannot hide your sins from the Lord and they eventually will catch up with you.
Was the Lord pleased with David? Absolutely not! The Lord said to David that He would have given David much more if he felt he required much more in his life (2 Sam. 12:8). God was displeased with David because David had despised His commandments and had done evil in His sight (2 Sam. 12:9). Our lesson skips over these verses but I want to establish that the Lord was rebuking David for what he had done.
If you recall our lesson from last week, you should know that when the Lord rebukes you, He desires that you heed His rebuke. You see, the Lord was taking steps to see if David would work to be forgiven of his or would he continue in his sin. If David desired to be forgiven of his wickedness, he would acknowledge his wrong and then he would move to correct the wrong he had done.
So, what did David do? David, humbly, acknowledged to Nathan that he had sinned against the Lord (v.13). This, we should remember, is David taking the very first step in working towards being forgiven by the Lord.
Now, what will really jump out to you is what we see happen next in our lesson. Scripture tells us that after David had acknowledged his wrongdoing, Nathan said to him, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die (v.13).” God had already moved past David’s transgression, which according to the Mosaic Law should have resulted in the stoning of David for both murder and adultery!
Though the Lord had put away David’s sin, we now see the punishment of David’s sin; the child that Bathsheba had just given birth to died (vss.14-15). In scripture outside of our lesson, we will see that David was understanding and accepting of his punishment. In Psalm 51, we will see that after his great sin, David lost the joy of his salvation as he prayed earnestly for the Lord to restore the joy of his salvation.
Our big takeaway from this week’s lesson should be this: do your best not to give into temptation. I know, that is certainly easier said than done, and because none of us are perfect, we must do our best not to compound our sin if and when we do get into temptation. Always be ready to turn to the Lord in the day of your sin and don’t try to hide or cover up your sin from God; that is useless because God knows your sin. All the Lord desires of us is to confess our wrongdoings and then strive to live in repentance.