What does it say?
In one of the lowest points of David’s life (2Sam 11), as Joab and the troops are fighting the Ammonites, David spots the beautiful Bathsheba bathing and takes her to himself. She conceives and David tries to cover his sin in recalling her husband Uriah from battle so that he might be with his wife. As a good soldier, Uriah refuses to go in to wife while his comrades are in the field. David then arranges for his death as he returns to battle. David marries Bathsheba.
God sends the prophet Nathan to rebuke David by means of a parable and foretells the death of the child that would be born of David’s adultery. When the child become ill, David repents, fasts and begs God for mercy to spare the child. Despite David’s pleas, the child dies. Bathsheba conceives again and Solomon is born. Joab gains decisive victory over the Ammonites.
1Chr 20 is another account of Joab’s victory over the Ammonites at Rabbah. It also tells of a series of three battles against the Philistines in which three of the remnants of the giants are killed.
What does it mean?
David has a reputation as such a lover of God and man of character that it is hard for us to process what we discover in 2Sam 11 as David commits adultery, murder and other sins in a short span of time. This is a reminder that none of us is but a single decision from the most heinous of sins. To his credit, David repents in humility. Truly this is the test of an individual – how does one handle defeat and the humiliation of being caught in sin?
This is not the first time we have observed how God uses flawed people to carry out his mission. Even in the midst of these horrible sins, God gives victory to the nation and his story moves forward.
How will I respond?
How have I responded in the lowest points of my life? Is there a sin of which I need to repent today? Must I own up to my sin in humility, even if this means embarrassment?