The Consuming Sword
Gracious Lord, You are my Maker and my God. You gave me life and You sustain my life. I give You praise.
2 Samuel 12:1-25
Consider: "You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery" (Exod. 20:13-14). While our sins can be forgiven, the effect of our wrongdoing will live on.
This episode is remembered as one of the saddest in Israel's history. Here David learns the hard lesson that others cannot commit your sin for you. When David needed to explain the death of Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, he advised the messenger in deceptive code to tell his general, "The sword devours one as well as another" (11:25). It was like saying, "No one is to blame. These things just happen." But the convenient distance between David and the battle that led to Uriah's death would not let David off the hook. His actions added up to murder. The prophet Nathan rebuked David, saying, "You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword" (9). Then using David's own deceitful words, Nathan mocked: "The sword shall never depart from your house" (10).
History witnessed the truth of God's message through Nathan. David lost child after child, until almost all were dead (e.g., 13:30; 18:1-18). The tragedy of David's immorality with Bathsheba and effectual murder of her husband stands as one of the most egregious accounts in Israel's history. For all of his virtue as a leader, David was a tragic figure who suffered one heartbreak after another. The man after God's own heart suffered horribly throughout his life for his sin.
God keeps all of his promises. Although David committed immorality and murder, inviting God's chastisement, God still blessed David's house with eternal kingship. It is a testimony to the Lord's faithfulness and the unworthiness of humanity. In David's defense, he took ownership of his sin (13a), confessed it before the Lord, and received the promise of forgiveness (13b). Because God loved David, he also loved David's second son by Bathsheba and blessed him. Even the prophet Nathan, who pronounced the sword message, gave Solomon a second name: Jedidiah, "Beloved of the Lord" (25).
Although you have sinned, God can forgive you and restore you to fellowship with him, if only you will confess your sin.
Father, as I reflect on my life and consider my sin, I thank You for Your forgiveness and restoring love.
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