Reading through the Bible together
This chapter is linked to 11 with David’s sins. It is the intent of the Holy Spirit in this part of the Word of God to tell us about the prophet Nathan confronting David about his sins. The scribe in the palace of David jotted down every single word of Nathan and every single word of David. The Lord was not happy with David’s deeds and sent Nathan the prophet to talk to him. He was to “hang out the washings” for David, and it was not going to be clean.
In a compassionate story of a rich and poor man, the rich man has lots of sheep but the poor man has only a pet sheep. David was angered about this arrogant, evil rich man killing and eating the pet sheep of the poor man. This was unacceptable to David who knew all about the value of sheep. As judge, David gave his sentence that the rich man should die or pay four times as restitution. In doing so, David was judging himself and pronounced the verdict over himself. Nathan’s words, “You are the man” rings in the guilty conscience of David.
Now the Lord is the Judge and David the accused. Roles changed fast. Many good things the Lord did for David, his appointment as king, his deliverance from enemy and enemies, his other gifts from the Lord. But for this evil deed with Bathsheba punishment was to follow. The sickness and death of the child from David’s sin, was just the beginning of a long line of tragic events. David fasted for seven days and when the child died he finally consented to eat. David’s life normalized and a year later Solomon was born.
The scribe is not done with this part of David’s story. He wanted us to know how David suffered and how his sin caused his conscience to become out of balance for all fingers of blame pointed to him. David wished to overshadow this blame by creating a picture of himself as a victorious general conquering city after city in Ammon. Joab had already conquered the city, but David could not resist the opportunity to have his name attached to the victory. This is nothing else but Fame-theft. This propped-up fame was accompanied with severe acts of persecution and brutality (verse 31). David did this to many cities in Ammon and then returned to Jerusalem. When we read this, we are left with a sick view of the King of Israel. We cannot miss the overreacting aspects of his mental judgments as a result of sin.
Help us not to overreact in our lives, not just because of our sinful condition as children of Adam, but also at times, because of our own private sins. David and his sin demonstrates for us how much we need Your grace, Your guidance and Your Spirit. Keep us in the hollow of Your Hands. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea