Choices 3   Leave a comment

“In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army.” 2 Samuel 11:1 (NIV)

“But know your [Saul’s] kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as a ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”  1 Samuel 13:13 NASB

 David had just recently (approximately a year ago) defeated the Ammonites (there they are again) and it came time for kings to go to war. This was around the springtime in the land and seemingly a good time to go to war. In those times conquering the people around you was important so that you had many people paying tribute to you and your people could work a little less. This all made you look better as king. But as Israel this had another context. Many times Israel was God’s tool of judgment. Israel would take a nation that God wanted to subjugate. We must remember that God gave the people of Canaan 400 years to turn from evil before the Israelites came from Egypt and God judged the inhabitants of the land because of their lack of repentance.

 So David decides to stay home while his army led by his top general Joab goes out to fight. So David’s first bad decision is not being where he is supposed to be at the time he is supposed to be there.

 Next David has a little case of insomnia walked around the roof of his palace and saw a beautiful woman bathing on a roof. David asked about her and someone told him he was Uriah’s wife Bathsheba.

 Now how David didn’t know that this woman was wife to one of his Mighty Men of Valor, which included just 37 men, is kind of befuddling, but given that women weren’t really given the same social status is plausible. But David, knowing that this woman’s husband was a faithful servant, and just so happened to be out at war, decided that he wanted her for himself that night. Then the bombshell hit’s… she’s pregnant

 So David get’s her husband to come back, tries to get him to sleep with his wife so people will think it’s his baby. That doesn’t work so David decides to send the man, with the note that will kill him, to his General.

 “But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD.” 2 Samuel 11:27b NASB

 After this murder the Prophet Nathan comes to David and tells him a story about a man with many sheep who steals the one sheep his neighbor owns to feed his guests. Of course this enrages the king who says the thief should be put to death, and Nathan informs David that he his the thief and the sheep is Bathsheeba. David admits that he has sinned and Nathan tells him that he will not die but that this child will not live.

 So David made some bad choices.

  1. He doesn’t fulfill his duties as King of Israel by going to war.
  2. He sleeps with a woman married to one of his Mighty Men
  3. He has the woman’s husband murdered.

But this is where this story takes a turn because David was a man after God’s heart. David after getting this news “inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and when and lay all night on the ground.” (2 Samuel 12:16 NASB)  After 7 days of fasting the child died, but everyone was scared to tell David because they thought he might hurt himself.  After he found out though he “arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes, and came into the house of the LORD and worshiped.”

This confused his servants who asked him why he acted the way he did, and David replied “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ But now he has died; why should I fast again? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22,23 NASB)

So that is how David responded to a rebuke, and to a punishment. David’s sin followed him throughout his Kingship, as the Prophet Nathan prophesied, but we can see later that David did learn from what happened”

In 2 Samuel 24 David takes a census that he shouldn’t have taken. He didn’t listen to Joab and the commanders of the Army. But this time no one had to rebuke him before he realized his sin.

Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly. 2 Samuel 24:10 NASB

This time the Prophet Gad came and gave David three options for punishment: 7years of famine, 3 months of fleeing from his enemies, or 3 days of pestilence. So David’s answer was “let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for his mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” Although the pestilence killed 70,000 peoeple God was merciful on the city of Jerusalem.

So David the second time realized his sin before someone had to point it out, and still trusted in the mercies of God. He didn’t want to be in the hands of man he wanted God to punish him.

David made plenty of bad choices, but every time David repented and got right with God, which is what you and I need to do even today.

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Posted June 14, 2012 by mattiev9287 in Uncategorized

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