David instructed his military commander Joab to put Bathsheba’s husband Uriah into the danger zone so that he’d be killed. Joab obeyed, and “Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers” (II Samuel 11:17b, NLT). “When the period of mourning was over, David sent for (Bathsheba) and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives” (II Samuel 11:27a).
Then the time came for the baby to be born and Bathsheba “gave birth to a son” (II Samuel 11:27b). But the Lord knew everything that David had done in bringing Bathsheba into the palace before and after their marriage, and Second Samuel 11:27c tells us that “the thing David had done displeased the Lord” (II Samuel 11:27c).
“So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: ‘There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest” (II Samuel 12:1-4).
David listened intently to Nathan’s words and couldn’t believe anyone could behave so callously. His response? He “was furious. ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ he vowed, ‘any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity” (II Samuel 12:5-6).
And then the man of God, Nathan, had the courage to speak the truth to the most powerful man in the nation: “Nathan said to David, ‘You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife” (II Samuel 12:7, 9).
David foolishly thought he’d covered his tracks. But not only were his evil deeds known, God was about to pronounce the consequences David’s wrong choices had set into motion: “‘From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised Me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.’ This is what the Lord says: ‘Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel” (II Samuel 12:10-11a, 12).
One weak moment; one evening of being where he shouldn’t have been; and David’s life was forever changed. Yes, God forgives, but nothing erases the earthly consequences set in motion by our sins.
Life has plenty of unavoidable heartache. Why add needless pain by disobeying the One who loved you enough to die for you?
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates