Shmuel II Twelve: Consequences

To recap, David has committed adultery with another man’s wife, and while she was pregnant with his baby, had her husband killed in battle. Way to go. “And the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said to him, ‘There were two men in one city, one rich, and one poor (Samuel II 12:1).'” Nathan goes on to craft a scenario where the poor man takes good care of his only possession, a female lamb, throughout his life. When a rich man shows up with lots of flocks, he takes the poor man’s lamb, in spite of having many of his own, and slaughters it. David’s reaction is to be very angry at this man, and he says to Nathan that the man deserves to die.

“And Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man. So says the Lord the God of Israel: I anointed you as king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul (Samuel II 12:7).'” The rich man and the poor man were metaphors, and now David has passed judgment on himself as a reslut. Nathan reminds David of all of the blessings that he’d been given, and how in spite all of those things, and all of his own wives, he had to take from Uriah. As a result, just like Saul was cursed for his misdeeds as king, David is going to have to pay for his actions. “And now, the sword shall never depart from your household for ever because you have despised Me and you have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife (Samuel II 12:10).” David repents, and his life is spared. But he can’t go without punishment. As a result, the baby that Bathsheba has given birth to becomes deathly ill.

“And David besought God on behalf of the child; and David fasted a fast, and he came in and slept lying on the ground (Samuel II 12:16).” For seven days, David won’t be consoled, and the baby is sick. Then, on the seventh day, he dies. The people are scared to tell David the truth, but he figures it out. They’re worried about how he’ll react, but upon hearing the news, David dresses, washes, and eats. The people are confused, but he explains his seemingly strange behavior. “And he said, ‘While the child was alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows? Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me, and the child will live (Samuel II 12:22).'” But now that the baby is dead, there’s nothing more to be done. This says a lot about human nature and the grieving process. As long as something could be done, David did all that he could. But he accepts his fate and moves on, rather than wallowing, once it’s clear that his attempts didn’t pay off.

David returns to Bathsheba. She has another son, Solomon. Meanwhile, Joab is still battling in Rabbah, meaning that the war has been going on for quite a while. The city is captured, the spoils are taken, and David and the people come back to Jerusalem.

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