In 2nd Samuel, Chapters 11 and 12 we are presented with a story of temptation and lust; sex, lies, a cover up and ultimately a death. The story of David and Bathsheba covers every possible desire a human can experience. However, we also learn the consequences of those actions; and how it lead to contrition and then, forgiveness.
The scripture starts with David the powerful King of Israel at his palace in Jerusalem, where he was taking a rest from the ongoing battle with the Ammonites. It was a late spring afternoon and David had just awaken from a midday nap.
Walking on the roof of the palace, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty bathing. Querying the servants, David learned the name of the beautiful woman and the magnificence of its meaning. Her name was Bathsheba, “daughter of the oath” (in Hebrew).
Despite knowing that she was married David calls Bathsheba to the palace and willfully violates her oath of marriage by seducing her.
Time passes; Bathsheba sends word to David that she is pregnant with his child. Wanting to conceal his illicit affair, David calls for Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband; who is serving in David’s army fighting the Ammonites.
When Uriah arrives at the palace, twice with elaborate schemes, David attempts to get Uriah to go home to “spend time with his wife.” However, remaining loyal to his men that were still on the battlefield, Uriah tells King David:
“The people of Israel and Judah and the covenant chest of the Lord are in tents; my general, Joab, and the king’s other servants are sleeping in the open fields. Do you think I would go to my home to eat and drink and sleep with my wife while everyone else suffers? As you live, good king, I will not do such a thing.” 2 Samuel 11:10-13
In Hebrew the name Uriah means “Yahweh or God is my light”. (Remember Bathsheba means daughter of oath.) Uriah, staying true to his name, demonstrated to David God’s light in his fidelity of keeping an oath.
Dismayed, but still obsessed with covering up the affair, David devised another plan. He ordered his General Joab to place Uriah in the frontline of the battle. The order was obeyed and Uriah was killed by the Ammonites troops.
After an acceptable time of morning David sent for Bathsheba and made her one his wives. Later, she gave birth to the son conceived on that spring evening.
God was not pleased with David’s behavior. So, the Lord sent the profit Nathan to David. As recorded in 2nd Samuel, Chapter 12:1-7, this was the conversation between David and Nathan. (Amplified Bible, The Voice):
Nathan: Two men lived in the same city. One was quite rich and the other quite poor; the rich man’s wealth included livestock with many flocks and herds, but the poor man owned only one little ewe lamb. He bought it and raised it in his family, with his children, like a pet. It used to eat what little food he had, drink from his meager cup, and snuggle against him. It was like a daughter to him.
Nathan: Now, a traveler came to the city to visit the rich man. To offer a proper welcome, the rich man knew he needed to fix a meal, but he did not want to take one of the animals from his flocks and herds. So instead he stole the poor man’s ewe lamb and had it killed and cooked for his guest.
Narration: Nathan stood back, waiting for the king’s verdict. David grew very angry at the rich man. It was his royal duty to protect the poor and establish justice.
David: As the Eternal One lives, the rich man who did this deserves to die. At the least, he will restore that lamb four times over because he acted without pity.
Nathan: You are that man!
- David, the boy that was chosen by God to be King; because of the disobedience of Saul
- David who slayed Gath, the Philistine giant
- David the beautiful player of the harp and the writer of poignant Psalms David a man after God’s own heart was nothing more than an adulteress and a murderer. He was that man!
And while the seduction, the pregnancy and the murder was hidden from Israel it was not hidden from God.
And as we start a brand new year, perhaps, You are that man! I know that I am that man.
-You are that rich man: Who like me have stolen from the poor, despite the fact I have plenty.
-You are that fornicating man: Who like me have fallen to the temptation of sexual desire, despite the fact that I know I should not.
-You are that sinful man: Who like me have committed all manner of sins against God under the asylum of darkness or hidden in the daylight of the cover-up.
You are that Man! I am that Man! Yet, we can both be forgiven!
In 2nd Samuel, Chapter 12:12, David confesses his guilt to God. Nathan replies: “Yes; but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. “
The name David in Hebrew means “beloved” God so loves us that whatever sins we have committed He will forgive us. If we do three simple things:
1. Confess our sins to the Lord
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1st John 1-9
2. Ask for the Lord’s forgiveness
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
3. Request the Lord’s help in our repentance so we will not commit that sin again.
Psalm 51 was written by David to atone for his affair with Bathsheba. The 19 versus of this Psalm is a plea to God to forgive us of our sin and to provide us with His protection to keep us from committing the same sin again and again.
I hope you will join with me in using Psalm 51 as a prayer of forgiveness for the times we are “That Man!”
For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just 5 For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.
16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. 18 Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit— with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland │
Marben Bland is a born again Christian studying to become an ordained minister. The intent of these blogs is to spread the gospel in support of the Great Commission: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20
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