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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: 2 Samuel

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FRAMEWORKS: 2 Samuel 12: David's Sentence


v.1-4 Nathan tells a story

v.5-6 David's righteous anger burns

v.7-9 Nathan denounces him

v.10-12 Nathan pronounces the Lord's Judgment on David

v.13-19 David repents but the child dies

v.20-23 David accepts his punishment

v.24,25 Solomon is born

v.26-31 Joab hands victory to David



v.1-4 Nathan tells a story


v.1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 

v.2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 

v.3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 

v.4  “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 

[Notes: The Lord is not happy about these events and sends Nathan to challenge David. He does this by telling him what is basically a parable.]



v.5-6 David's righteous anger burns


v.5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die! 

v.6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” 


[Notes: The parable gets home to David who gets angry with the man in the story.]



v.7-9 Nathan denounces him


v.7  Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 

v.8 I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 

v.9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 


[Notes: The sentence is passed on David – you are that man! The Lord confronts him directly with his sin.]



v.10-12 Nathan pronounces the Lord's Judgment on David


v.10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.' 

v.11  “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 

v.12  You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.' ” 


[Notes: The sentence that follows in v.11 & 12 is exactly brought about as we see in the following chapters, in chapters 13 & 14 the events that lead up to the fulfilment and then chapters 15 to 17 the exact fulfilment.]



v.13-19 David repents but the child dies


v.13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 

v.14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.” 

v.15  After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 

v.16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 

v.17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. 

v.18 On the seventh day the child died. David's attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn't listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.” 

v.19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” 


[Notes: David acknowledges his sin. We must not take this for granted. He has sinned and he does not make excuses for it but accepts it. In accordance with the teaching we now find in 1 Jn 1:9 his confession opens up the way for forgiveness. However we should not confuse forgiveness with practical outworkings of the sin. In this case the child, the outworking of their sin, will die. This is too big an issue to deal with here, suffice it to say the child would not be lost in eternity, but David's heart would be cut and the point made clearly – sins have consequences. Once he has been dealt with in this manner, he is free to get on with his life. Yet the bigger judgment of v.11 & 12 is still to come. Part of its outworking, we will see, is down to David's inability to manage his own household. We might suggest that having taken so many wives and had so many children, his family is ripe for the upset that follows.]



v.20-23 David accepts his punishment


v.20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 

v.21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” 

v.22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' 

v.23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 


[Notes: David is very matter-of-fact about what has happened. While there was a chance the Lord would spare the child, he would plead for it, but once the child has gone, he will take his loss and get on with life. He is a king with responsibilities.]



v.24,25 Solomon is born


v.24  Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him; 

v.25 and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah. 


[Notes: What follows is a lesson in the grace of God, the God of second chances. Still married to Bathsheba they now have another child who will become a great king. It is almost as if the Lord accepts the situation for what it now is, grants forgiveness and that opens the way for new life and blessing to come forth. A single sin, as great as it is, when genuinely repented of, will not hold back a life and God's blessing.]



v.26-31 Joab hands victory to David


v.26 Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. 

v.27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. 

v.28 Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.” 

v.29 So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. 

v.30 David took the crown from their king's head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city 

v.31 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.


[Notes: Joab is still fighting the Ammonites and overcomes the royal city. He calls for David to come and take the honour of its capture, which David does before returning to Jerusalem.]