(“Oh, no!”, Nathan might have thought. “I’m in the middle of rebuking the King of Israel!”). Let’s continue our discussion of the prophet’s Nathan’s confrontation of David and his sins against Bathsheba and her godly husband Uriah. Please take the time to read over 2 Samuel 12 again:
Here are a few of those principles we’ve already seen:
2. Use wisdom in your confrontation (vv. 1-4).
3. Speak directly about the sin (vv. 7ff).
4. Review God’s acts of kindness and goodness in the person’s life (vv. 8-10).
5. Speak of the awful evil of despising God’s word (vv. 9-10).
6. Warn the person of God’s hatred of sin and His power to bring judgment into one’s life (vv. 11-14).
Here are one final principle that I see in this passage about getting involved in another person’s life:
7. Upon repentance, comfort! (v. 15). That David repented is implicit in this passage. Explicitly he confesses his sins in Psalm 32 and Psalm 51.
The consequences: After Nathan had rebuked David, he went home. We read that the Lord struck Bathsheba’s baby with an illness. David poured himself into fasting and praying for the baby’s recovery, but the baby died on the seventh day (v. 18). The servants fear telling David of the child’s death, perhaps concerned that he would kill himself out of despair. Instead, David got up from the ground, cleaned himself up, and went and worshiped the Lord. He then went to his home and ate (v. 20). The servants are surprised at David’s reaction, but he says, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
This, it seems to me, is a great OT statement on the afterlife! “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” David and Bathsheba have a son Solomon and we are told “the Lord loved him” (vv. 24-25). We then read of a great military victory by King David (vv. 26-31).
One takeway for me today: Some tragedies we bring on ourselves, and they come with consequences. But life can go on in the Lord and He can give victory in the next chapter of our lives!