Bible Rant: David & Bathsheba (and Uriah & Nathan & a Cast of Thousands and Us)

Well hello. Did you see my FB promo?

So … I think I’m a fairly good writer. And I’m very interested in Bible stuff and believe I am fairly knowledgeable in this area. Plus I’ve paid for a few years of web hosting. Which brings me to the question: how do I use this to give God glory and to help others. And this is one of the answers I came up with. So as long as God wants me to I’ll be posting “Bible Rants”.

Bible rants will either take a section of Scripture or an issue or perhaps song lyrics and analyze what the Bible says about it.

So a Bible Rant is my personal perspective and takeaways about Bible stuff.

A Bible Rant is NOT … designed to be a full treatment of the topic in question. It will not go through the original Hebrew or Greek nor will it seek to analyze every word, letter and punctuation mark. It is not error free (though I will try my best) and as with all such devotionals it is not a substitute for personal Spirit filled and Spirit led time in God’s Word – the Bible. Error free since the beginning of time.

Please note the format is a work in progress and might look different depending on what we are studying.

I will post the Scripture references as links to Bible Gateway. By clicking on the link the site will let you change the translation. My primary translation is the New King James Version (NKJV). I also use the New Living Translation (NLT – easier to read but loses something by its focus on easy to read), the English Standard Version (ESV) and the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB – since replaced by something not as good). the New American Standard Bible (NASB) is one I’m considering though the wording doesn’t flow as well as some others. And there is always trusty King James (KJV) though I find that while I understand it the mental strain can distract from the message (and no I don’t recommend The Message as your primary Bible as to me its a description of what the Bible says in Reverend Patterson’s own words but might be a good study supplement).

If you are studying I encourage you to pray for the Spirit’s guidance as you read the passage. If you are just curiously reading then read on …

2 Samuel 11-12 (NKJV)

OK so lets see what we got. The major players are:

Cast of Characters
David – King of Israel and Judah. After God’s Heart. Lust gets him in trouble. Hey you got them other wives. And why aren’t you out to war? Its spring King!
Bathsheba – Woman bathing next door. Sleeps with the king. Because that’s what you did.
Uriah the Hittite – Cursed by having a beautiful wife (Dr. Hook’s fear is realized – music reference). Yes cursed cause he gets offed for being a loyal soldier when David needs to do a little cover up.
Nathan the Prophet – Spinner of a good yarn and God’s voice to David (and boy does David get it).

The Skinny

This is “war season” for kings and their armies (kinda like football season) but David is chilling in the palace. He spies a beautiful woman and decides to commit adultery with her (I refuse to use the euphemism “slept with her”, if they just slept there wouldn’t be this mess we are about to see). And its all good. PLOT TWIST! Bathsheba is pregnant. So now David has a problem as he is about to be found out as an adulterer. So David figures if he can get Bathsheba’s husband Uriah to go home and have sex with his wife it’ll just be thought of as Uriah’s kid. But it appears Uriah is a much better man than King David. He won’t go home while his fellow soldiers are fighting. And in David’s army if you show yourself to be a loyal soldier (and if the king got your wife pregnant) you get the privilege of fighting the enemy all by yourself. Dilly dilly! Yes David sets up Uriah to be killed by having the other soldiers abandon him and it works. (Note: it might have been cool if Uriah defeated all the enemy soldiers then came back and said “I took care of it my King”, but alas it didn’t happen).

Chapter 12 begins with “Storytime With Nathan”. Nathan tells the sad tale of a rich man with huge flocks taking the one beloved lamb of a poor man. (I think David is the only one without a clue of what’s about to happen). David hears this story and is outraged, outraged I tell you. That man shall die AND return fourfold for the lamb (may I suggest reversing the order of events, once dude is dead he isn’t fourfolding anything) because he took without pity. (Should we tell him, should we? Yeah lets tell him). David you’ve been Godsmacked! You are the man!!!!! Nathan delivers God’s chastisement because David has all he wants and could have had more yet you took Uriah’s wife and killed him. So now a son of David (turns out to be Absolom) is going to rebel against him publicly (and sleep with his wives, a sign of usurping kingship in those days).

David knows he did wrong. Nathan says David won’t die but this child will. David pleads and fasts for a week that the child may not die but nevertheless the child dies. Once David finds out he rises up, eats, cleans himself up and goes about his business. His servants wonder why he is doing this when the child is dead. David says the Lord might have been gracious but the child is dead so why fast? Its done and that’s that.

Takeaways

  • David was probably not where he was supposed to be. Verse 11:1 doesn’t say David was wrong by not being in battle but the Bible isn’t always explicit in its moral judgments. There is a reason why that is mentioned. It might be to provide context as to where Uriah was when David was having sex with his wife and why the cover up didn’t work but its more likely its a warning that when we neglect our God given duties sin has the chance to creep in.
  • Sin is a descent. David does not set out to kill Uriah at first. He simply gave in to lust. But sin grows. Lust turns into pregnancy. So David tries to solve the problem by getting Uriah to sleep with his wife. Ironically and tragically Uriah’s honor does him in. David’s sin list grew in both number and severity as time went on. (all chapter 11)
  • Nathan didn’t just come out and tell David he sinned. David’s selfishness had probably blinded him to his own sin. Nathan related a story. Once David saw outside of himself then he was truly able to see the gravity of his own sin. (12:1-6)
  • You will notice that God comes down heavy on David because he sinned. No sugarcoating here. God will take you and I  to the woodshed (7-12)
  • From what Nathan says and what the story he told relays God is mainly angry at how Uriah is treated. This is not the Old Testament vengeful God some have created from some of the actions God had to take. This is a loving God Who loves all His people alike. Its not King David and Soldier Uriah. Its two people, both of whom deserve consideration. In God’s chosen nation David is sharply reminded that there is no “Divine right of kings”. (7-12)
  • To David’s credit once he realizes his sin he admits to it and accepts his punishment. (13). The righteous aren’t the ones who never stumble. They are the ones who stumble and get back up. That’s why David was called a man after God’s Own heart. Because he got back up and he repented when he did wrong.
  • David still paid a heavy price for his sin. God’s forgiveness doesn’t wipe away the consequences of our choices. (11-12, 14-15)
  • David loves the child who was stricken with a disease. He fasts and prays all day and night for a week. But once the child dies David accepts it and moves on. I take this as a good example for prayer, for God’s judgment and for life. I do all I can, give every ounce just like athletes do but when the decision is made its just like when the game is over. I accept the decision or outcome and move on. This to me is a very powerful lesson. Give it everything but when God decides or the result is in let it be. Clean up and go forth, another adventure awaits.

All of these are lessons to us. Sins festers and grows. We get blind to it and have to be reeled back in. Forgiveness is there when we repent but our choices have consequences. And give it everything but accept the answer if God says “no” or “not now”.

I might revise this a bit but for now its good. Thanks for reading, read the Word when you can and even when you feel you can’t. Blessings!

 

 

 

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