II Samuel, Chapter 12. We are now in the second part of David and Bathsheba, the redemptive part. We talked about this as a beautiful picture of God's order of sexuality. About His created order of sexuality, God said "It is very good." All that God created he said was "very good" and sexuality was part of that creation. The normal response of a male to a female is glorious. It is breathtaking. It is worship. It is just exactly what God wants for you. Women were made sensuous in order to attract men, to arouse them. God designed it that way. But the perimeters he set were within the bounds of a total commitment of marriage, and preferably, in order to experience the totality of what God had in mind, within the bounds of a Christian marriage in which Jesus Christ is Lord and life of both the husband and the wife. That is the created order.
When David walked across the roof of his house one evening, he saw a beautiful woman taking a bath, and his male hormones just responded naturally. That was not sin. He had not gone peeping, he was just looking. What he did afterward was the sin. That is the fallen order.
Now the question is, "What do you do with what God has created?" The fallen order, in this case, was to send for her. Then, having found out she was the wife of his best friend, the daughter of one of his best friends, the granddaughter of his chief counsel [the wisest man in his kingdom], of all the women in all of Israel he should have left alone, Bathsheba was the one. But God always goes first class. If you want to defy God, he will let you deteriorate first class. If you obey him, he will let you be glorified first class. He never goes half way. There is no such thing as a little sin, a little rebellion, a little disobedience. Remember that when you want to disobey. God always goes first class. It will always be monstrous disobedience, monstrous sin in the end. You cannot escape that principle of Scripture. Or it can be first class the other way.
Comment from Class: Does that hold for unbelievers to?
Bob's response: Yes, it does. Romans 1:18-32. They start out just defying God, and they end up in the deepest form of depravity, with a depraved mind utterly incapable of telling good from evil. What is more, they don't enjoy that evil unless they draw other people into it with them. They can't just enjoy destroying themselves any more, they have to draw others into their evilness. It is a snowball down the tube. Don't ever kid yourself that God does not go first class either way. There is no such thing as a little bit of glory or a little bit of sin. That is what we discover here.
So David ends up murdering his best friend plus murdering a number of other Jews in order to cover up his crime. He never in the world thought that would happen when he looked over that parapet, saw this beautiful nude woman and didn't turn away thanking God for beautiful women. He never dreamed he would end up murdering Uriah. This is the one sin that God said is the greatest sin in David's life. This is the one sin that God will not forget. I Kings 15: 5 says, "...because David did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite." Then read the genealogy of the Lord in the beginning of the New Testament, Matthew, Chapter 1. There are five women spelled out there. All of them have tainted characters, as the world sees it anyway, Tamar, Rahab the harlot, Ruth the Moabitess, the Virgin Mary who was considered a dissolute woman by the world, and then there is another woman who is not mentioned by name, "And to David was born Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah." He won't name Bathsheba even in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. This is what God thinks about this one sin. And for all eternity, for this book will be available for all eternity, David will have to live with the record of this sin.
This is why this book is so obviously of God. Any other eastern literature builds up its kings. They have no faults. They have no sins. Write truthfully about them and you die. But God's book writes in intimate detail. He even writes about David trying to hide his sins. So David had a higher sense of morality than the kings about him because the kings about him would have done what he did with impunity.
But now God never leaves you there. He always give you an option out. He does it with David. So now we see the redemptive order of sexuality starting in II Samuel, chapter 12.
Between chapter 11 and chapter 12 was probably a little over a year. The child, conceived in chapter 11, was born and became ill in chapter 12. So we are talking about 9 months of pregnancy plus probably a number of months for the child to become big enough for David to become deeply attached to him. Psalm 32 is probably one of the psalms written about this period. Psalms 38, 6, 32 and 51 were all written about this time.
How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. [Literally, my life juices were turned into the drought of summer.]
God just wrung him dry during this time. All this while he was sitting as king, judging men who had committed adultery, who had committed murder and having them killed. Also in his deceit he was still leading the worship of Yahweh. You can imagine the tension going on inside of him. In the depths of his soul he knew what he was like. He knew he was killing men who were doing something less evil that what he had done. He was the judge of Israel. So, during that time God just wrings him dry. He said God just squeezed out his life juices like a drought in summer. Now he is ready for God to change him.
II Samuel 12:1:
Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said, [This is a parable. David is going to be allowed to hang himself. God usually does that] "There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. [I'll bet David identifies with that right off the bat. He was poor. He was the runt of the litter. He had no genealogy. He had come up the hard way, so he could identify with the poor man right off the bat] The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb [A little female. David was a shepherd. It was a common custom to have a pet lamb. It still is today among the Arabs. David probably had his own little pet lamb. So he immediately identifies again with the poor man] which he bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, and was like a daughter to him. [That custom is still a practice among the bedouins today. They make a household pet of a little lamb.] Now a traveler [Someone who it was just a passing fancy, like a look over the parapet at a naked woman, no love, no commitment, just someone going by] came to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, to prepare for the wayfarer [just a passer by] who had come to him; rather he took the poor man's ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." Then David's anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. And he must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion."
You know there is a psychological principle here. The thing that bugs you about others is what is wrong inside you. David had stuffed this sin down inside himself for over a year, then all of a sudden here comes some fellow who has less compassion than David. Isn't it wonderful when you can find somebody who is worse than you? Isn't that delicious? You can vent upon them the spleen, the wrath, that you feel about yourself. That is exactly what David did. He had been a shepherd. He had had a little ewe lamb. He knew what it was all about. Then here was this totally calloused person, this rich man with flocks and herds, who grabbed this poor little ewe lamb, all the poor fellow had, and took it for a wayfarer, not even for his mother-in-law. David's anger burned greatly against him and he said, "As the Lord lives, this man deserves to die." He is pronouncing judgment on himself, and he doesn't even realize it. The law, by the way, does require restitution fourfold. "He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold because he did this thing and had no compassion." Interesting enough the law says nothing about compassion, but David's guilt is showing. It is interesting how strict David is about upholding the law when it doesn't apply to him.
II Samuel 11:7:
Nathan then said to David, "You are the man! [Watch God's personal pronouns here] Thus says the Lord God of Israel, 'It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. I also gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your care, [Remember the succeeding king got the harem of the prior king], and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these! [Any legitimate desire I would have given you. Notice the personal pronouns] Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, [He still doesn't name Bathsheba] and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. [He used treachery. He used deceit. He used pagan enemies and in a resulting battle he killed other Jews. He didn't just murder Uriah]
Now what do you see that sin as essentially against in that passage? David violated Bathsheba. He murdered Uriah. He sinned against Eliam, the father of Bathsheba. He sinned against Ahithophel, the grandfather of Bathsheba. He sinned against all the Jews who were killed when he had Uriah murdered, and he sinned against all the women and children whose men were lost in that battle, but what does it say here about who the sin was against? God! Why is that true? Why is it that sin, even though it only hurts other people, is always against God essentially? What is there about sin, missing the mark, transgression, willfulness, that makes it essentially against God, and therefore, makes it so abhorrent? Who or what is the standard of Sin? God! God is the standard of sin. So anything you do that is sinful is deliberately aimed at the person of God. It is His nature, His character, that determines or constitutes sin. Anything less than God is sin. It is just as simple as that. When you choose anything less than God, that is sin. You are choosing deliberately to do something that violates, or is less than, God's character. To the unbeliever he has given the option to receive Christ and become able to live the life of God. To the believer he has given the indwelling Holy Spirit to live a life that exhibits the character of God. So, when you sin, you choose not to let God be God. You deliberately choose to violate God not just Bathsheba.
Comment from class: I don't understand verse 8. Did God give him all those wives?
Bob's response: The harem of the king that was killed always went to the succeeding king. God was pointing out that there was no lack of women available to David.
Comment from class: Didn't that violate God's law, God's will, all those women?
Bob's response: Well, sure. Any polygamous marriage violates God's basis intent for marriage, but polygamy was accepted in the culture of that day. God does not go down and radically violate a culture. He goes down and radically changes a person, and the person will than change the culture. When Jesus Christ walked this earth, he lived in a world that was one-half slave. He never spoke against slavery. He spoke against abusing slaves, or, through his apostle Peter, he spoke against being a poor slave, but he never spoke against slavery per se. He knew if he changed the hearts of slaves and masters, they would become brothers. He wasn't interested in the upheaval of a culture which was here today and changed tomorrow exhibiting another set of customs. He didn't go out and joust at windmills. He knows that only the human heart has eternal value, and that is what he wants to change. Once that is changed, the core of the problem is corrected and all the symptoms will adjust themselves. This is what we have to always remember. What do we do about petitions that circulate, for instance. Take them before the Lord, find out what the basic issue is and where we fit? Don't waste time jousting at symptoms, at windmills. God never does that. God goes right to the jugular vein, man's flawed and fallen nature, and he changes that. Then that adjusts all of society.
Now God doesn't approve of the effect of polygamy, and David is a perfect picture of those effects. Polygamy hardens and callouses a person against the love and the sexuality which, in his created order, God designed to be a manifestation and expression of the intimacy and ecstasy of the Trinity. But God also didn't throw out all the wives of a prior king when they had nobody to take care of them. They would wind up as "used wives," and as there was no market for used wives, they would end up as prostitutes or something similar. That is not how God operates. He changes the life of the husband. He changes the life of the wife, and in the process of time they will become monogamous. He didn't approve of what was happening here, but he wanted to change the core of the problem not just adjust the symptoms.
So God confronts David with the basic issue, "You despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight." What was one of the main requirements of a king? What kind of man was he to be? Deuteronomy 17:18-20 remember? He was to be a man of the word of God. David violated three of God's ten commandments. Thou shall not commit murder (6). Thou shall not commit adultery (7) Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife (10). The ten biggies that anybody in Jerusalem ought to know, even the little kids from their catechism, were the ten commandments, and David as king violated three of them.
Now because there was fourfold restitution in the law of God, God required a fourfold retribution in the case of David. He was going to make David an example because David was to be God's example to the nation.
II Samuel 12:10:
Now therefore, [#1] the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.
The first problem was "you despised Me [the word of the Lord]," so [#1] "'The sword shall never depart from your house.' You are going to have bloodshed in your house the rest of your life, David." Probably the first four sons of David, the heirs to his throne, were all slain by the sword. Ammon was killed by his own bother when he committed incest with his brother's sister. Kileah was missing. We don't know what happened to him. He probably died in battle with his father David. Just like Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua died in battle alongside their father Saul. If you were the son of a king, you learned how to fight because as king, you would be a leader in battle. Absalom, David's favorite son, revolted against his father and was killed because of his revolt. The fourth son was Adonijah, of whom it was said, "David never ever told him no." In Adonijah's whole life daddy never said no. And so he tried to steal the kingdom from Solomon [I Kings 2] who was appointed by God himself to be king, and was killed by Solomon. So David's first four sons, the strength of his loins, all died by the sword.
II Samuel 12:11:
Thus says the Lord [#2], "Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; [Absalom is going to revolt, throw his dad out and try to kill him. "Since I am not going to use the sword from the outside, I will have it spring up from within. Your whole household is rotten to the core, David. and that is what I am going to let come out"] [#3] I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your companion, [Absalom his own son] and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and under the sun."
When had David spotted Bathsheba? Yes, it was evening. He had taken a nice long nap, was walking around the roof of his palace probably just at twilight, and there she was. So the inquiries and taking of her were done at night. But instead of getting away with it as he thought, the enemies of the Lord were blaspheming the Lord because of it. As we all know, you are crazy to send messengers out from a palace because they will get the word around in nothing flat. What David thought he did secretly, God said, "I am going to do it publicly, in front of all Israel, and under the sun, in broad daylight." We will see that that is exactly what happened to the wives that he left behind as he fled from Absalom [II Samuel 16:22]
Now here is a beautiful example of why David is a man after God's own heart. We have seen much appalling stuff on one side of David, but, on the other side, when God puts the finger on him and says, "This is wrong," David doesn't rationalize.
II Samuel 12:13:
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. [#4] However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die." So Nathan went to his house.
This is the end of the conversation. Now, what does David do when God puts the finger on him? Yes! He acknowledges. He confesses his sin. What is the penalty for murder? Death. what is the penalty for adultery? Death. David himself has put men to death for these two sins. This is an extraordinary stand on David's part. Under the law of God, the law which he is sworn to uphold, he lays himself wide open to be taken out and stoned. He lays himself wide open to the mercy of God, "I have sinned against the Lord." That's it! I have done exactly what you said. So he lays himself wide open to God. If God wants to kill him, that's O.K. Now we see the other side of David.
Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die." I John 1:9 worked way back in those days, my friend, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." In some cases God did require the physical death of the person involved. The confession cleanses you and sets thing straight between you and God, but it does not handle the problem of the sin and its consequences. Do not think you can go out and sin, claim I John 1:9 and get away with it even though God has forgiven you. You commit murder, and you go on trial for murder. Now you can confess your murder to God, have total fellowship with God and die a Christian, but you will die. This has happened. In the Midwest, sometime back, a man and his girl friend killed eight or nine people. He was finally caught, thrown in jail, put on trial for murder and got a death sentence. He was converted in prison and became a believer, but he died in the electric chair. He is with the Lord right now, but it didn't change the laws of the state. He still had to suffer the consequences of his sin. So, David fully confesses his sin and now it is totally up to the Lord as to what will happen to David. He can allow the law of the land to go ahead and take its course, or he can let David fulfill the purpose he has in mind. That is God's right. He is not under the law. He wrote the law. Therefore he can make adjustments as he sees fit.
So, David doesn't die. God is after something more than that. Witness verse 14, "However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die." One of the tragedies when believers sin is what? Why is a believer's sin so much worse than a non-believer's? Class: It effects other people. Bob: True, but the sins of unbelievers effect other people too. Why is my sin so bad versus the sin of someone who is outside of Christ? Class: You know better. Bob: That is partly true also, but the unbeliever generally knows better too. There is something particularly heinous about the sin of a believer versus the sin of an unbeliever. When I sin, being a believer, I make the Holy Spirit of God a partner in that sin. Remember Paul's horror in I Corinthians 6 at the Corinthian Christians who went up to the temple of Aphrodite and cohabited with the prostitutes? They didn't lose their salvation since the Spirit of God was theirs forever, but what so horrified Paul was, "Do you not realize you are making the Holy Spirit of God one flesh with a prostitute?" When I sin, when you sin, if you name the name of Jesus Christ, you involve the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in that sin. You make them partners in your sin. You dirty them, if I can use the term reverently. Besides causing them to partake in our sin, what else do we do to them? Yes! We blaspheme the name of God. As Christians we open the way to, "Well, if he's a Christian and doing that, why should I be a Christian? He's no different than anybody else. That's what everyone does." There was a man sometime ago who was caught in some major frauds and sent to jail. It was all over the papers and all over the country, and by claiming to be a Christian, the name of Jesus Christ was blasphemed all over the country. This is what David has done.
Now, God said, "You are not going to die, David, but a substitute, your son, is going to die in your place." Do you see what God is doing in the life of David as he did in the life of Abraham when he made him sacrifice Isaac? God is on the way to making David a man after his own heart. What do you think David felt when God said, "I am not going to require it of you; I am going to require it of that little son of yours?" whom, in the passage here, David had obviously grown to love? Right! It would hurt him more than his own death would have. What is God the Father allowing David, in a far lesser sense but in some degree, to share with God the Father? Yes! The suffering of God the Father. My Bible says God the Father slew his Son as a substitute for our sins, not for His own sins but ours. We talk a lot about the suffering of Christ, but what about the suffering of God the Father? He killed His Son. Scripture says so. In Gethsemane the Lord begs not to go to the cross, but the Father sends him anyway, "Abba, Abba, you can do anything. Let this cup pass from me." He is sweating great drop of "blood" he is in such agony over the approaching event, "Yet not My will, but Thine be done." And poppa says, "Go!" It takes the Lord three times to confirm that stance. It is such agony because he knows there will be a separation. He knows the resurrection follows but before that there is the separation. He is in agony over that, and yet the Father says, "Go and die." What do you suppose was happening inside the Father as he watched his Son agonize out there? For the first time in his life David would probably rather die in someone else's place. God is squeezing him dry. His "life juices were turned into the drought of summer."
Comment from class: While the Lord was using this to chasten David and teach him a lesson, it was probably an act of mercy for the child who would have grown up marked by adultery and murder.
Bob's response: You are stealing my next line. Yes! I have a pet theory here about why this child was so special to David. David had a very distinguishing characteristic compared to most of the men in that culture and in that area. Do you remember what it was? He had red hair. Now, Scripture does not say this, but I'd bet my bottom dollar that this child also had red hair just like David. Consequently he would have grown up a marked man, a recognizable bastard in a society that condemned that. It was both an act of judgment against David, allowing him to realize what his sin had really caused, and it was also an act of mercy for the child, I believe. The child is home with the Lord. David had nineteen sons, but this one was really special
II Samuel 12 15b:
Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah's widow [Widow is not right. It is Uriah's "wife" still. God is not accepting Bathsheba as David's wife yet. Something has not happened yet. David has not yet "loved" his wife. He has not yet committed himself to her. He has married her because that took care of the problem, but she is not his wife] bore to David, so that he was very sick. David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, "Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!" [His burden of guilt is so strong that they are afraid David will commit suicide.]
Now, how much did David want this Child? How much did he feel the guilt over what he was doing to this child? He "lay all night on the ground." God is really bringing home to him the result of his sin. How long does he let David go through this? Seven days. What is familiar about the time period? There was another seven day period of mourning here, a pretty flippant one, "Do it because of ceremony. Get it over with so I can get on with hiding my sin." What was the mourning period for Uriah the Hittite? Seven days. That was standard procedure. That was the custom. That was the culture. So they brushed off old Uriah with a quick seven day memorial, and David immediately married Bathsheba to cover his sin, he thought. That was the extent of his concern over Uriah. So God allowed him seven days of real mourning; seven days to feel what it was like to lose someone he really loved. All the while, of course, the child was dying. That had yet to dawn on David. So David was really mourning hoping God didn't mean what he said and trying everything he could in the way of repentance and mourning to get God to change his mind. Fortunately God didn't do that.
II Samuel 12:19:
But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" And they said, "He is dead." So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate. Then his servants said to him, "What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food." [You've got it backwards.] And he said, "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? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."
Did David accept the discipline of God? Yes. When God took the child after seven days of begging, pleading, humbling himself, fasting and mourning and God said, "No!" what did David do? He quietly accepted God's judgment, got up, dressed, anointed himself, shaved, worshiped, went in and had breakfast. He accepted the discipline of God.
Hebrews 12 speaks to this. "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." "Gymnasium" is actually the word for training. It is the Greek word for nakedness. The Greeks stripped down to the nude to go into the gymnasium and work themselves into a sweat. The Greeks had to sign an eight month contract which they could not break without forfeiting any chance to participate in the games. They lived under very harsh dietary rules, but after shaping and molding their bodies under very harsh discipline, they were allowed to run in the races. That is exactly the term used here for training. God puts you in the "gymnasium." He strips you naked, and then he begins to shape you and mold you. There is no facade, no clothing, nothing to hide you. It is a long process, and it requires a commitment of the will. It says, "No discipline for the moment seems to be joyful, rather sorrowful." God knows that. He doesn't say, "Hallelujah" when you have cancer. But he says, "You allow me to discipline you and afterward, when I have finished "gymnasiuming" you, you will produce the peaceful fruit of righteousness, and you will share my holiness. That is what I am doing it for"
So David understood that back in the Old Testament. Then after seven days, God said, "That's it, the baby goes," David accepted God's discipline, got up and went about his business. The servants think, "Well, this is crazy. When the baby was dying we were afraid you were going to kill yourself. Now he's dead and gone and you get up, shave, eat breakfast and go about your business. Now is when your mourning should start not back then." But if David beat his breast, tore his clothes, lay on the ground and fasted now, what would that have indicated between him and God? It would have meant he had never really accepted God's discipline. He understood he was not to mourn, that this was God's discipline and that it was God's right and that it was right. So he accepted it. He got up, rejected the customary mourning and went about his business. God was making David a man after his own hart. He had just put him through a course in "gymnasium." The result of that is verse 24:
II Samuel 12:24:
Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, [The first time God has called Bathsheba his wife and the first time he has named her, as a matter of fact. Apparently the guilt and the crushing of the loss of the child has broken David and their common loss has brought love into his life for her, a commitment to her. He goes in and comforts her] and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. [We know from I Chronicles that God gave that name to David. He said, "You are to call him Solomon, which means "peaceful" because he is to be a man of peace and he is to build my temple." God even named him as David's successor, and he was actually way down the line of succession.]
Comment from class: Don't you think maybe the fact that Bathsheba is called David's wife here and Uriah's wife before has to do with the fact that Uriah was still alive when David committed his sin with her but now she is his wife?
Bob's response: I think what happened was a change of David's heart. Up to now Bathsheba has been either a desire to gratify his lust or a problem. She has not been an object of love. David has had a real problem with her. Now the child that came out of that union really captured David's heart. When the child was taken, he was crushed. The shell was cracked and smashed, and of course, Bathsheba was crushed also. This was her firstborn, as far as we know. We don't know for sure. It may not be, but it was her child. It was the crushing of David that produced the sweet aroma of love. So he comforted his wife now. And the first time he comforts her she is called "his wife" and the name Bathsheba is mentioned.
Then God names their child Solomon, "peaceful," because his reign would be peaceful. Also, "he is to build My temple," we are told in I Chronicles 22. More than that we are told in the latter part of verse 24.
II Samuel 12:24b:
Now the Lord loved him and sent word though Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah [Beloved of the Lord] for the Lord's sake."
Why do you think God gave Solomon a second name? David has been a murderer, an adulterer, a coveter, a deceiver, you name it, and when he has a second son, God deliberately sends Nathan to tell him "Jehovah sent me because he wants a second name given to that child 'The beloved of Jehovah.'" What does that indicate to David? Acceptance! The issue is closed as far as God is concerned. The consequences will go on. He has promised that, but as far as God is concerned the issue is closed. David has been disciplined. David has accepted the discipline, and God has said, "The issue is closed." It is reassurance to David that he is totally clean, totally available, totally usable. God always goes first class.
The tragedy is what became of Solomon. He had 700 first class wives, 300 concubines, a life that was far away from Jehovah, and he died a tyrant. Peaceful Solomon, the man who was "beloved of Jehovah" died a tyrant and away from Jehovah. Where were those seed sown in the life of Solomon and by whom were they sown? David, a man after God's own heart. Don't ever mess with God. David was totally forgiven. David was totally cleansed. David was totally restored, and he was God's man again. But he had sown some seeds, and they were going to produce. The seeds were wild oats, and they were going to produce wild oats. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows he shall also reap." David sowed to the flesh and of the flesh reaped corruption. If you sow to the Spirit, you reap of the Spirit life everlasting. It was true of David 3,000 years ago, and it is true of us right down here today. God goes first class in BOTH directions. God help us to go in the right one.
Father, we just thank you so much for the fact that you are a first class guy, that you love us enough that you will hurt us desperately and badly if necessary to bring us back, that you will not let us stay in our sin, that you will do whatever is necessary to get our attention and turn us around because you love us not because you are trying to get even. Thank you, Father, when we do turn you will glorify us first class also, that at the end of David's life you, yourself, state that he is a man after your own heart. We don't understand that kind of grace, that kind of love, Father. When we look at the record of David and then look at our own record, we don't understand that either. Father, thank you for being a gracious, loving God. Thank you for being a faithful, committed God. We know because of You and Your faithfulness and Your love, we are going to make it. Easy or hard we are going to make it. We shall be sons of the living God and experience his love and position. We thank you in Jesus' name. Amen.
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