During a time when kings go out to battle with their men, David, now comfortable in his mighty position as king, stays back relaxing on his rooftop while Joab leads the men in war. David’s eye catches sight of beautiful bathing Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah, two of David’s mighty men. David has Bathsheba brought to him, sleeps with her, and she becomes pregnant. Now David is making plans to cover up his adultery, which ultimately ends in David having Bathsheba’s husband, the faithful warrior Uriah, killed in battle. Then David sends a message to Joab telling him not to mourn over the death of Uriah, whom David setup to be killed in battle, because these things happen in war.
However, the Lord isn’t going to let King David get away with adultery and murder. So He sends Nathan to David with a story about a rich man taking a poor man’s only lamb. Since David doesn’t realize that the story is about himself, David gets angry, says kill the rich man, and now is interested in following the book of the law by saying the lamb should be restored fourfold (Exodus 22:1). Nathan points out that the rich man is David and says as punishment there will never be peace in David’s household, which we will see later in the story.
Nathan also tells David that the Lord said He will “raise up adversity against you from your own house, and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.” This is exactly what will happen, and that neighbor will be one of David’s sons.
“So David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’”
Under the weight of his sin, David repents and cries out to the Lord – “Against You, You only, have I sinned… Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow… create in me a new heart… Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous spirit… Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation… You do not delight in burnt offering… The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise.” This is what makes David a man after the Lord’s heart – His repentance is out of true love for the Lord and a desire to be in right relationship with Him.
The Lord hears David’s repentant heart and He restores him. After the death of their first son, David and Bathsheba give birth to another son, Solomon, who will grow to become the wisest man ever to live. However, even the wisest man can make poor decisions when it comes to women, as we will see with Solomon. But before we get to the story of Solomon, tomorrow we will read another tragic story when David’s oldest son, Amnon, allows his lust for a woman to overcome him. Keep reading. (1 Chronicles 20:1, 2 Samuel 11:1-12:14, Psalm 51, 2 Samuel 12:15-25, 2 Samuel 5:14-16, 1 Chronicles 14:3-7, 1 Chronicles 3:5-9)