Tag Archives: 2 Samuel 12

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 114/260: David

Read 2 Samuel 12:13-23; Psalm 32

Personal Responsibility

Suffering is not always caused by sin, but sin always causes suffering. King David learned this the hard way and was confronted by the prophet Nathan about his sin. In response to Nathan’s accusation, the king admitted his wrongdoing and acknowledged the just punishment of the Lord. He also rejoiced in the forgiveness that was offered. It is God’s mercy that we read about in Psalm 32.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1-2).

Guilt can gnaw at a person’s insides and make them sick—emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. David wrote, “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4).

He could not get past the guilt of what he had done as long as he tried to hide it, but there was a solution: admit his transgression and seek the restoration of his relationship with the Almighty. “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).

The king understood that God wanted to forgive him; still today, God wants to forgive man! We need to own up to our shortcomings and seek to repair the damage we have done to our relationships with other people as well as our relationship with God.

Some have described repentance as a change of heart and mind that leads to a change in action. That is exactly what happened in Thessalonica. Paul reminded those Christians that they had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). Repentance requires not only a cessation of wickedness, but also a commitment to righteousness.

David acknowledged his sin and after the death of his child, “he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped” (2 Samuel 12:20). “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11).

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 113/260: David

Read 2 Samuel 12:13; Psalm 51

Godly Sorrow

The apostle Paul wrote, “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).

When the prophet Nathan confronted David about the king’s sin, he humbly acknowledged his wickedness and said, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). It was not mere lip service, but true contrition. He knew he had done something evil, and he knew he had to behave more properly in the future.

David composed the fifty-first Psalm after these events. A 16th-century writer said, “This psalm is the brightest gem in the whole book, and contains instructions so large, and doctrine so precious, that the tongue of angels could not do justice to the full development.”

The king pleaded, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1). This was no mere lip service; David was truly sorry for the things he had done. It pained him so deeply that he wrote, “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight” (Psalm 51:4).

While it is true that he sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah, the greater sin was against God Himself. In similar fashion, the patriarch Joseph declined Potiphar’s wife’s advances by asking, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). Certainly, Joseph would have sinned against Potiphar as well, but he recognized that all sin is truly against God above all else.

Perhaps if we had this view of sin we could more easily combat temptations. Considering what God has done for us and how much He loves us, how could we commit sin so easily and so frequently? When confronted with our failures, may we have the same penitent attitude as David, who cried, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 112/260: Nathan

Read 2 Samuel 12:1-15

Confronting Sin

Confronting sin is often awkward and embarrassing. Confronting the sin of a powerful person can be intimidating and at times dangerous. The prophet Nathan was tasked with exposing the sin of the king who had just murdered a man by putting him on the front lines of a battle. The king who had executed the giant Goliath. The king who killed the Amalekite who took credit for Saul’s death.

Wouldn’t you be nervous in such a situation? The Scriptures, however, do not reveal any hesitation or avoidance on Nathan’s part. “Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him” (2 Samuel 12:1). Moses offered excuses when God called him; Jonah tried to run away! But Nathan simply did what God told him to do.

He began with a parable about a rich man who took advantage of a poor man. When the king heard the story, his “anger was greatly aroused against the man” (2 Samuel 12:5). David became so angry, in fact, that he said, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this thing shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity” (2 Samuel 12:5-6).

David’s indignation was justified. It was righteous. How dare this rich man mistreat his neighbor? Who ever heard of such despicable behavior? Nathan took hold of the opportunity before him and answered the king, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7). A bold proclamation but a true one, and the very reason he was sent to the king.

David, though he was a godly man who feared the Almighty, had been overtaken by sin. He was tempted, and he gave in to that temptation. We are all responsible for our actions. We must answer for our decisions, and we cannot shift the blame to others—not even to Satan! He may be powerful (1 Peter 5:8), but he does not have the power to control us.

Nathan had a daunting task and he stepped up to the plate. May we all develop the spirit of Nathan in our dealings with sin! “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Are you among those “who are spiritual” and fulfilling your duty?