The very well known story of David’s sin with Bathsheba is found in 2 Sam. 12. Frankly, it is surprising that this account is recorded in scripture! God’s chosen king sins and experiences strong discipline for it.
Why was this event included in the Bible? There may be many reasons for this, but one certainly is to show the character of David. Even though he had committed atrocious sin, when he was confronted by Nathan the prophet, he did not debate or dodge the accusations. Instead, he confessed. Psalm 51 which was written at this time shows us that David was in great distress over his sin and would welcome a way to be restored to fellowship with God.
The second question that flows from this story is why David is forgiven, and his child still dies? I think Bill Arnold answers this question well by clarifying the difference between forgiveness and consequences when he says,
“The child’s death is a result of David’s sin, but this is not the same as punishment. It is a fundamental principle of life that God may forgive and cleanse us of all wrongdoing, but the consequences of our sin may, and in fact often, remain. The innocent suffer for crimes committed by someone else, but such suffering is not punishment for those crimes. A crack baby may die soon after birth because the mother used crack during pregnancy. The child dies; the mother lives. The child’s death is not the punishment but the consequences of the mother’s sin.”
Our sins can have implications for others. Often sin is not just between God and me as the Evil One wants us to think. Therefore, I must remember that how I live can impact others for good and for ill.
The third thing that stood out to me on this reading of the story is what is said in 2 Sam. 12:24-25,
“Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went into her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the LORD loved him and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.”
David had addressed his sin and experienced God’s forgiveness and cleansing. In that restored state of fellowship with God, he sought to comfort Bathsheba as God had comforted him. That again is a great picture of David’s character. I doubt his motive was to have another child. He wanted to care for Bathsheba, and she became pregnant with Solomon.
What do we learn about God through him allowing David to not only have a son through Bathsheba but that the son is Solomon? Solomon turned out to be the heir who would eventually become king in the place of David and through whom the Messiah would come! Answer: the God we serve is a gracious God! David did not deserve such blessing from God, but God, being gracious continued the line of the Messiah through Bathsheba.
Father, I thank you that you love me as a father loves his son. Thank you for your patience with me and my imperfections. Thank you for your commitment to me and your endless grace that I experience moment by moment now and will continue for eternity. Help me to live with you being my primary allegiance!
Following Jesus with you,