2Samuel 10-12

Sunday Evening Bible Study

April 14, 2002

Introduction

David has grown as king over Israel. He has expanded its borders. He’s conquered the Philistines. He has a solid, established government in place.

2Samuel 10

:1-5 David’s messengers are shamed

:1 Hanun his son reigned in his stead.

HanunChanuwn – “gracious”

:2 I will show kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness unto me.

NahashNachash – “serpent”

Nahash was the name of the king who had laid siege to Jabeshgilead after Saul had been anointed king over Israel (1Samuel 11), about sixty years prior to this. He was the one who demanded that the people either fight or come out and let him poke out their right eyes. The people of Jabeshgilead sent out messengers who told Saul about the attack. Saul raised an army and rescued the people of Jabeshgilead.

This might be the same Nahash, or it could Nahash Jr. Apparently, this Nahash had been kind to David. We don’t know the particulars. Perhaps when David was fleeing from Saul, he had found refuge among the Ammonites for a time. We don’t know.

David now sends servants to convey his condolences towards Hanun.

:2 David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

David’s servants are probably visiting Hanun at the capitol city of Rabbah - see map

:3 to spy it out, and to overthrow it?

Hanun has some suspicious people around him. They think that David isn’t really trying to be nice. They think that David is going to take advantage of the situation and end up overthrowing the Ammonites.

Lesson

We’re going to be misunderstood

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, people are going to misunderstand us.
The following is meant to be a helpful tool to men who often misunderstand the women in their life. It was written as coming from a woman to a man:
Illustration
WORDS WOMEN USE
FINE

This is the word we use at the end of any argument that we feel we are right about but need to shut you up. NEVER use fine to describe how a woman looks. This will cause you to have one of those arguments.

FIVE MINUTES

This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so I feel that it’s an even trade.

NOTHING

This means something and you should be on your toes. “Nothing” is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and backwards. “Nothing” usually signifies an argument that will last “Five Minutes” and end with the word “Fine”.

GO AHEAD (with raised eyebrows)

This is a dare. One that will result in a woman getting upset over “Nothing” and will end with the word “Fine”.

GO AHEAD (normal eyebrows)

This means “I give up” or “do what you want because I don’t care.” You will get a raised eyebrow “Go Ahead” in just a few minutes, followed by “Nothing” and “Fine” and she will talk to you in about “Five Minutes” when she cools off.

LOUD SIGH

This is not actually a word, but is still often a verbal statement very misunderstood by men. A “Loud Sigh” means she thinks you are an idiot at that moment and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over “Nothing”.

SOFT SIGH

Again, not a word, but a verbal statement. “Soft Sighs” are one of the few things that some men actually understand. She is content. Your best bet is to not move or breathe and she will stay content.

THAT’S OKAY

This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can say to a man. “That’s Okay” means that she wants to think long and hard before paying you retributions for what ever it is that you have done. “That’s Okay” is often used with the word “Fine” and used in conjunction with a raised eyebrow “Go Ahead”. At some point in the near future when she has plotted and planned, you are going to be in some mighty big trouble.

PLEASE DO

This is not a statement, it is an offer. A woman is giving you the chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason you have for doing whatever it is that you have done. You have a fair chance to tell the truth, so be careful and you shouldn’t get a “That’s Okay”.

THANKS

A woman is thanking you. Do not faint, just say you’re welcome.

THANKS A LOT

This is much different than “Thanks”. A woman will say, “Thanks A Lot” when she is really ticked off at you. It signifies that you have hurt her in some callous way and will be followed by the “Loud Sigh”. Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the “Loud Sigh”, as she will only tell you “Nothing”.

:4 shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments

The whole point is to send David’s servants away shamed.

Shaving off a person's beard is still regarded in some parts of the world as a great indignity. In David’s day, it was a sign of slavery, only slaves shaved their beards. You could spot a runaway slave because he didn’t have a beard.

Probably the idea here is that half of the face was shaved, and the other half remain bearded, adding to embarrassment.

Cutting a person’s clothes off like this also brought shame.

(Isa 20:4 KJV) So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

:5 Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

Lesson

Tarry at Jericho

There is a lesson here about restoration.
These men have been brought to shame.
Rather than force them into more public shame, David encourages them to wait until the time of their shame has passed, when they “beards are grown”.
Then they were to come back.

:6-14 Joab fights the Ammonites

:6 the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians …

The Ammonites know they’ve insulted David, and they get ready for the war that they assumed was going to come.

Ammon - see map

Syrians – or, “Aramaens” see map

Bethrehob – the house of “Rehob” - see map

Zoba - see map

Maacah - see map

Ishtob – “man of Tob” see map

:8 put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate

Medebasee map – the writer of Chronicles tells us that the battle takes place here. (1Chr. 19:7)

The Ammonites station themselves in front of their city, while the Syrians surround the Israelites out in the field outside the city.

:9 he chose of all the choice men …against the Syrians:

Joab quickly puts together a plan and divides his troops into two groups. He takes the smaller group of stronger fighters and has them face the Syrians out in the field.

The Syrians are the stronger fighters, the “mercenaries”. Joab takes on the tough assignment.

:10 the rest of the people … against the children of Ammon.

The larger, less experienced force of Israelites will face the Ammonites.

:11 If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me …

The picture is that Joab and Abishai’s armies will have their backs to each other and if one gets into trouble, the other will come to help.

Lesson

The importance of fellowship

Support for each other.
(Eccl 4:9-12 KJV) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. {10} For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. {11} Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? {12} And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

:12 Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people …

Lesson

Encourage to action

This is what “fellowship” is all about. Encouraging each other to keep going. Encouraging each other to fight the fight.
(Heb 10:24-25 KJV) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: {25} Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

:15-19 David conquers the Syrians

:15 And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together.

The Ammonites seem to have learned their lesson, but the Syrians want revenge.

:16 Hadarezer sent…they came to Helam

Hadarezer – or, Hadadezer, the king of Zobah (2Sam. 8:3). David has already defeated him once, but as he’s rebelled, helped the Ammonites, and is now again confronting David directly.

Helam – about forty miles east of the Sea of Galilee see map

:19 So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.

This is probably the high point of David’s reign as king. He is at his peak.

2Samuel 11:1-5 David and Bathsheba

The mighty Niagara River plummets some 180 feet at the American and Horseshoe Falls. Before the falls, there are violent, turbulent rapids. Farther upstream, however, where the river’s current flows more gently, boats are able to navigate. Just before the Welland River empties into the Niagara, a pedestrian walkway spans the river. Posted on this bridge’s pylons is a warning sign for all boaters: “Do you have an anchor?” followed by, “Do you know how to use it?”

-- Paul Adams in Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.

I want to give you some anchors that might keep you from going over the falls.

:1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired,

Lesson

There’s danger at the top

David has “arrived”. He has just conquered the Ammonites and the Syrians. He’s about to take his trip to Disneyland.
It’s at this point of greatest strength that David will fall into his deepest sin.
(1 Cor 10:12 KJV) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Illustration
“A time to be careful is when one reaches his goals.” In other words, vulnerability accompanies achievement.

-- Charles R. Swindoll, The Finishing Touch (Word, 1994), p. 76.

:1 at the time when kings go forth to battle

Fighting wars is a king’s business. Kings are supposed to be in battle with their troops. David is taking a vacation when he should be at work.

If you consider the fact that David might have had a hand in what is being recorded, you get the idea that David is telling us that it all started because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. He was supposed to be in a battle.

Lesson

Defeat comes when you stop fighting

Peter writes,
(1 Pet 5:8-9 KJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: {9} Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Paul wrote,
(Eph 6:10-13 KJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. {11} Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. {12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. {13} Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Illustration
Columnist Herb Caen wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

:1 But David tarried still at Jerusalem.

tarried stillyashab – to dwell, remain, sit, abide. David’s sitting around in Jerusalem is going to get him into trouble.

There’s another passage that talks about tarrying in Jerusalem. It’s what Jesus says to His disciples just before He ascends into heaven.

(Acts 1:4-8 KJV) And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. {5} For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. {6} When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? {7} And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. {8} But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The disciples had been with Jesus, training for three years. Training is VERY, VERY important as Christians. God wants us to know the Scriptures. He wants us to know His heart. But these disciples who had trained with Jesus for three years were also the same guys that fled in terror when Jesus had been arrested. It wasn’t until they were empowered with the Holy Spirit that their training was of value. And so Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit had come upon them.

Lesson

There’s a time to wait and a time to go

For some of us, there needs to be a yielding of your life to God. If you try to go out and conquer the world for Jesus and yet you aren’t willing to yield your life completely to God, you’re headed for trouble. You need to listen to what Jesus said to His disciples. You need to “tarry in Jerusalem”.
I don’t consider the empowering of the Holy Spirit to be a feeling you will experience as if you need to wait for some kind of feeling. I consider it to be a yielding, an opening of yourself to the things of God. It’s giving as much of yourself as you are aware of to the Lord. It’s allowing Him complete access to every area of your life.
But for many of us, we’ve been learning to yield to the Lord each week. Some of us have learned to do this every day. Some of us are learning that we have to turn our hearts over to the Lord minute by minute.
And for those of us like this, we need to “get out of Jerusalem”. We need to be careful about waiting for some “experience” when God gives us a command to “go”.
Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit would come upon the disciples, they would receive the ability to be witnesses “both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”.

That means “go”.

:2 in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed

 (NLT) Late one afternoon David got out of bed after taking a nap

:2 walked upon the roof of the king's house:

In those days, the roof was flat, and people often had something like a patio on their roof.

Lesson

It can happen at “home”

Struggles, temptations, battles can come at places where we think we ought to be safe.
We might think that the battles are always going to be at work with the obnoxious atheist who is always calling you names. But sometimes the battle is going to come when you come to church, or when you’re in a place where you let your guard down.

:2 from the roof he saw a woman washing herself

Lesson

Temptation’s open door

It’s not uncommon for temptation to get a hold on us through the eyes. With Eve, all it took was a look, a good look –
(Gen 3:6 KJV) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

She didn’t notice all this with just a glance. She took a good long look.

Once the temptation gets planted through the eyes, we get into trouble if we let it take root.
(James 1:14-15 KJV) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. {15} Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Martin Luther said: “It’s not a wrong for a bird to fly over your head, just don’t let it build a nest in your hair”

Billy Graham said: “The first look is free. It’s the second look that kills you.”

Be careful what you let your eyes look at.
TV, movies, Internet.
Job said,

(Job 31:1 NLT) "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.

Close the door. Stop it before it gets started.

:3 Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite

David is without excuse. He now knows this is another man’s wife. When he is with her, he will be committing adultery. She will be too.

daughter of Eliam – There are two times in the Bible that the name Eliam is used, and I believe that they are the same person. It is found here and in the list of David’s “Mighty Men”:

2Sa 23:34 …Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,

Eliam was one of the guys closest to David. He was also the son of Ahithophel, one of David’s top advisors (2Sam. 16:23).
Ahithophel would be one of the men who would betray David and join Absalom to overthrow the kingdom (2Sam. 15:12). Could it be that Ahithophel’s treason was related to how David had treated his granddaughter, Bathsheba?

Uriah‘Uwriyah – “Yahweh is my light”

Uriah was also one of David’s mighty men (2Sam. 23:39).

Even after Uriah is dead and David is married to Bathsheba, we see several places in the Scriptures where she is still known as “Uriah’s wife” (2Sam. 12:15; Mat. 1:6)

Lesson

Think of who you’re going to hurt

I think a very healthy practice is to think about the people your sin will hurt. Think it through.
Think of how it would devastate your spouse.
Think of what it will do to your friends. David’s sin would kill one of his friends (Uriah) and may have been the cause of another of his friends to betray him (Ahithophel).
Think of the very real effect it will have on your children. David’s sin would have a profound influence on his sons, even in seeing some of the same behavior acted out in their lives (2Sam. 12:11; 16:21). Some people say that getting a divorce would be better for the kids than seeing their parents argue all the time. I’m sorry, but I don’t see it. I think kids are way better off in a family where the parents are struggling than in a divorce. I think statistics would justify my position.
I think of what it would do to my family, my parents, my relatives.
Think of what it will do to your testimony. Because of David’s sins, the enemies of God would have a reason to “blaspheme” (2Sam. 12:14). People who mock Christians will have more fuel for their fire.
Think of what it will do to your ministry. We all have people that we influence positively for the Lord. Think of how those people will be hurt. From time to time I run across people who stopped going to church because someone they respected had fallen into sin.
Think of what it will do to those involved in your sin. David carried some responsibility to what he did to Bathsheba. Even though we think of her as Solomon’s mother, the main thing we remember her for is the woman who committed adultery with David.

:4 And David sent messengers, and took her

At this point in David’s life, David has at least seven wives (2Sam. 3:2-5, 11)

There was Michal, the daughter of Saul and David’s first wife. (2Sam. 3:11)

Once David became king of all Israel and ruled in Jerusalem, he would take more wives and “concubines” (2Sam. 5:13). I haven’t found a complete total, but he had to have had at least 18 wives and concubines (2Sam. 15:16).

Lesson

One is enough

Illustration
A Second Wife
One Father writes, “When our second child was on the way, my wife and I attended a pre-birth class aimed at couples who had already had at least one child. The instructor raised the issue of breaking the news to the older child. It went like this: “Some parents,” she said, “tell the older child, ‘We love you so much we decided to bring another child into this family.’ But think about that. Ladies, what if your husband came home one day and said, ‘Honey, I love you so much I decided to bring home another wife.’” One of the women spoke up immediately. “Does she cook???””
Solomon wrote,
(Prov 5:18 KJV) …rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

Lesson

Don’t give yourself permission

Somehow, it seems to me that David has given himself permission to do something that God has not given him permission for.
David might have thought, “Well, Michal hasn’t been very nice to me lately”.
David might have argued to himself, “Well, other kings have their harems”. He might have said, “Well, Saul had many wives.” He might have said, “Hey, lay off me, even Jacob had two wives and two concubines!”
Does that make it right? See what God says about kings:

(Deu 17:17 KJV) Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away:

God’s original ideas about marriage for all of us are found in the very design of the first marriage. How many wives did God make for Adam? One.
I think we get ourselves into trouble when we look at our particular situation and think that somehow we are the exception to the rule. We think that somehow we ought to be treated differently.

:4 and she came in unto him, and he lay with her;

We focus on David’s sin, but Bathsheba is sinning as well.

:4 for she was purified from her uncleanness

(2 Sam 11:4 NLT) She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period

Under the Mosaic Law, a man was not supposed to be intimate with a woman during her period. It was considered “unclean” (Lev. 15:19; 18:19).

If I’m not mistaken, I think things went like this –

David: Are you at that time of month?

Bathsheba: Nope.

David: Great, let’s go to bed.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Lesson

Be careful of focusing on the small things when you’re missing the big things

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
(Mat 23:23-24 KJV) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. {24} Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

The Pharisees were good at obeying every little detail of the Law. But they were missing the big picture. They were good at the “little” things, but failed miserably at the “BIG” things like justice, mercy, and faith.

It’s not that we should ignore the smaller things, but we need to be sure that we don’t try to feel good about ourselves because we do the “small” things when we are ignoring the BIG things.

It’s nice that David is concerned about being “clean”, but what about committing adultery?
Could it be that sometimes we tell ourselves we’re doing okay because we think of the “little things” when we have a HUGE problem in our life?

:5 And the woman conceived …and said, I am with child.

It’s now too late. David has not only sinned, but now he’s going to be caught.

Lesson

Your sin will find you out

Don’t think you are going to get away with it forever. If you are a Christian, you will be caught one day. God will be sure of it. He loves you too much to let you stay in your sin.
(Heb 12:6 KJV) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Turn from your sin.
Turn to Jesus. Turn to Him now. He will give you a new start.

:6-13 David hides his sin

:6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.

David comes up with a plan to try and cover his sin. His intention is to create a situation where Uriah will sleep with his wife, and then when Uriah comes back at the end of the war, he’ll think that the child is his. David’s intention is to cover his and Bathsheba’s sin as if it never occurred. But someone will know. God will know. David will know. Bathsheba will know. I would imagine that even some of David’s household servants knew.

Lesson

Covering up sin is nothing new.

Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to try and cover themselves.
Moses killed the Egyptian and tried to hide the body in the sand.
Illustration
Family Tradition
The Joneses were proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower. They had included Senators and Wall Street wizards. They decided to compile a family history, a legacy for their children and grandchildren. They hired a fine author. Only one problem arose—how to handle that great-uncle George, who was executed in the electric chair. The author said he could handle the story tactfully. The book appeared. It said “Great-uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a great shock.”

Uriah is at the battle of Rabba, about forty miles east of Jerusalem. This would be about a two days’ journey. see map

:8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.

mess of meatmas’eth – portion, present, largesse, gift, contribution, offering, tribute

Think about the utter depravity of what David is doing. He is pretending to be nice to the man whose wife he’s just slept with. He is trying to manipulate the man for his own purposes, to cover his own sin. If I were filming this scene, I’d dress up David in a polyester suit, shirt opened showing his hairy chest, gold chains around his neck, with his hair slicked back …

I wonder at the pain that David must have felt later as he retold this story to the court records keeper.

Lesson

The depravity of man

There is nothing that our hearts are incapable of.
We need to be careful that we don’t fall into the trap of the finger-pointers who look down at those who are fallen into sin. We too could very easily do the same things.

:11 as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.

To make things worse, Uriah is a downright honorable man. He couldn’t even think of having any pleasure while his comrades are out in the field of battle. It would make the story much easier if Uriah was some sort of a creep who beat his wife and cheated on her. But it isn’t so. Oh if David only had Uriah’s kind of heart at the beginning of the chapter!

:14-17 David plots Uriah’s death

:14 David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.

It’s hard to know if David is now going to come up with a new plan, to have Uriah killed, or whether this was his intention all along.

Lesson

Hiding sin makes things worse

When you handle your sin by trying to cover it up, things go from bad to worse.
One lie leads to another.

:15 Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle

To make things even worse, Uriah will be carrying his own death warrant back to Joab in a sealed scroll.

:17 there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.

Not only does David get Uriah killed, but it seems reasonable to conclude that Joab took risks he shouldn’t have and other men were killed in order for Uriah to be killed as well.

:18-21 Joab sends word to David

:20 And if so be that the king's wrath arise

It would seem to me that Joab knows that David gets angry from time to time.

:21 Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth?

Jerubbesheth – another name for Gideon.

Joab is suggesting that David might even quote some historical story to say that Joab shouldn’t have had his army so close to the wall at Rabbah.

Abimelech was the bastard son of Gideon, who had tried to become king of Israel. He died a shameful death being killed by a woman when she threw a stone over the city wall and hit him on the head (Judg. 9:53).

:21 then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.

If David gets angry, there will be one thing that will calm his anger, the news that Uriah is dead. I wonder what the messenger was thinking for those two days as he ran back to Jerusalem with this news? I wonder if he was thinking, “Why would Uriah’s death make David happy?”

:22-25 The messenger tells David of Uriah’s death

:24 and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.

The servant doesn’t wait for David to get angry. He gets right to the important part, that Uriah was dead.

:25 the sword devoureth one as well as another

Kind of like saying, “Oh well, we’re in a war and people will die …”

:26-27 David marries Bathsheba

:26 the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.

Note: The writer doesn’t call her by name, but calls her “the wife of Uriah”.

mourned – normal mourning was seven days.  Sometimes mourning was extended for thirty days.

I wonder if Bathsheba was truly sad over Uriah’s death, or she was just putting on the required show.  We don’t know.

Lesson

It’s hard to fix a marriage when there’s another person

We don’t know what kind of a marriage Uriah had with his wife. We don’t know if it was a good marriage or a bad one.
But there was a bigger problem than anything between Uriah and Bathsheba. His name was David.
I see this way too many times. You usually don’t understand until after it’s all over. People will come in for counseling, trying to get their marriage fixed. But it seems that no matter what you do, there’s some invisible thing keeping things from working out. Usually it’s not until the divorce is final that you begin to see that there was another person involved.
It doesn’t have to be an actual adulterous relationship that is going on. Sometimes it’s just a “good friendship”. But when there is someone in your life of the opposite sex that is closer and nicer to you than your spouse, you’ve got a HUGE problem.
Don’t wait and see if things work out in your marriage. They won’t if you keep cultivating this other relationship.

:27 But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

David may be feeling like he’s gotten away with it. But he hasn’t.

Lesson

God sees

This is another of those “anchors” that can keep us from going over the “falls” of temptation.
God sees what we’re doing.
Illustration
A burglar had been watching a house in Indiana for a few days and was sure that the people were away, so one night he went up to the door, rang the doorbell, and upon getting no response, he picked the lock and let himself in. Once inside, he turned on his flashlight and to his surprise he heard a voice say, “I see you and Jesus sees you!”, he turned instantly toward the voice and then he laughed because his flashlight revealed a parakeet in a cage who once again said, “I see you and Jesus sees you!”. Now relieved, he turned on the light in the room and looking back at the bird, he again became alarmed, because below the cage was a Doberman-pincher. And then, the parakeet said, “Sick ‘em, Jesus!”.
Your sin will find you out.

2Samuel 12

:1-6 Nathan’s story

:1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David.

Nathan is a prophet of God. He’s going to tell David a story. David doesn’t know that this story is being made up. In his role as king, David is constantly being asked to sit as judge over matters like the ones in this story. As far as David knows, he is being asked by Nathan to give a judgment in this matter.

:4 took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

The wealthy man could have taken a lamb from his own flock, but instead takes the poor man’s only lamb, kills it, and has it prepared for dinner.

:5 And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man

David is incensed at this story. He can’t believe that someone would do such a thing. He pronounces judgment – the man shall be put to death.

Lesson

Our own sins look worse on other people.

Sometimes the very things that we get so incensed about can be a form of the very things that we ourselves struggle with.
We can tend to make excuses for our own sin, but when we see someone else to it, WATCH OUT!

:6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

fourfold – This is the correct punishment for stealing a sheep.

(Exo 22:1 KJV) If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

:7-14 Nathan confronts David’s sin

:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.

Nathan confronts David with his sin. “Thou are the man”.

:8  I would moreover have given unto thee

One more anchor for handling temptation.

Lesson

Contentment

We need to learn contentment in what God has provided for us.
God is telling David that He would have given David even more than he already had.
(Phil 4:11-13 NASB)  Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. {12} I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. {13} I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
If you think you don’t “have enough”, then ask God and learn to be satisfied in what He provides.
This is truly a “secret” in life.  Learning to be content with what God puts on your plate.

:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

One of the results of David’s sin would be the sword. He would have one trouble after another for the rest of his life.

The sword would be in David’s house:

Amnon would be killed by his brother Absalom.
Absalom would be killed by Joab.
Adonijah would be killed after trying to subvert Solomon’s kingdom.

Lesson

There are consequences to sin

Even though David will confess his sin and be forgiven, there will still be consequences to his sin.
Illustration
The Fence
There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.
A person who commits a sexual sin can be forgiven. But they may contract a disease. The disease doesn’t go away because the sin is forgiven. There are consequences to sin.

:11-12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

This would happen with David’s son Absalom. After Absalom has come into Jerusalem to take over …

(2 Sam 16:20-23 KJV) Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do. {21} And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. {22} So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. {23} And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.

Notice who gives Absalom the idea. Ahithophel, Bathsheba’s grandfather.

Lesson

Your kids learn from your example.

Jacob was a deceiver. His sons grew up to be deceivers.
David committed adultery and murder.
Absalom commits adultery with his father’s own concubines and had already killed his brother Amnon.

:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD.

Lesson

Confess your sin

David is finally getting back on track. He has been running from the Lord. And now that he’s finally confronted face to face with his sin, he is smart enough to admit it.
David wrote a Psalm to deal with this incident.
(Psa 51 KJV) To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. {2} Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. {3} For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. {4} Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
{10} Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. {11} Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. {12} Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

:13  And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

Lesson

Confession brings forgiveness

David also wrote,
(Psa 32:1-5 KJV) A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. {2} Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. {3} When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. {4} For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. {5} I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

David had learned that when he tried to cover up his sin, he was miserable. When he admitted his sin, he finally found relief and forgiveness.

:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme

I think this is one of the worst parts of our sin. We bring reproach to the name of Jesus when we sin. We give excuses to unbelievers who are looking for reasons not to believe.

:14 the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

God decided that the child born from David’s adultery would not live.

:15-23 Death of the child

:18 how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?

They think that since David has been so grieved with the child’s illness, he will be in much worse shape if he finds out the child is dead.

:21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done?

David’s actions surprise the servants. They don’t understand.

:23 I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

Lesson

Children go to heaven

We have very little said about the issue of what happens to a small child when they die.
This is one of the few places that we can draw a conclusion from.
David knew that he would not be able to bring the child back. But he fully expected one day to go to the child, seeing him in heaven.

:24-26 Solomon is born

:25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.

Jedidiah[email protected]@yah – “beloved of Jehovah”

Lesson

God’s grace in our sin

As this horrible episode of David’s life comes to a close, we see a glimpse of God’s grace.
David would indeed suffer much from the consequences of his sin.
But God also put a ray of light in the darkness.
Solomon would one day be king in David’s place.
Solomon would one day build the temple.
Solomon would be in the line of Jesus, the Messiah.
God wants to transform the darkest chapters of our lives into a place of hope.

:26-31 David conquers Rabbah

:28 take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name.

It seems that Joab knows where David ought to be. He is supposed to be with his army conquering Rabbah.

:31  made them pass through the brickkiln.

The Ammonites worshipped the god Molech. This was done by burning their children in the fiery arms of a red-hot idol. David gives them what they gave to their children.

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