Summary 2 Samuel 12:1-23:
The Lord sends Nathan to rebuke David for his sin with Bathsheba. Nathan tells a tale of a rich man taking a poor man’s only sheep to kill for a feast when the rich man had plenty of sheep to kill. David gets angry until Nathan reveals the tale is about David. David admits he has sinned. God punished David by taking the life of this child conceived. David fasts in hopes God will relent, but God does not. The boy dies. God also says someone close to him will lay with his wives in public. David worships the Lord.
Summary Psalm 51:
David asks for mercy, forgiveness for his sins, cleansing, and a pure heart. He will teach others, praise God, and asks God to make Jerusalem prosper.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 20, Day 4: 2 Samuel 12:1-23 with Psalm 51:
10) Part personal Question. My answer: David immediately confessed when confronted. He pleads with God not to take his child, but God does anyway. Then David worships the Lord. David accepts the consequences once they’ve happened; however, he does all he can to change God’s mind. Stay calm either way if you’re the one confronted or doing the confronting, and be guided by God through prayer.
11) Part personal Question. My answer: David believes God is a merciful God. He forgives sins. He cleanses. He restores a personal relationship with Him once all sins are repented and forgiven. It’s comforting since no matter what I do, God will forgive me if I confess with the right heart. It challenges me to confess my sins more and admit when I’m wrong, take responsibility, and ask for God to restore me to Him where He graciously wants me to be.
12) Personal Question. My answer: If you repent, you will be forgiven. It is immediate. No strings attached. It is not earned; it is freely given by Jesus through God. It’s always important to confess your sins and accept God’s forgiveness.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 20 Day 4: 2 Samuel 12:1-23 with Psalm 51:
Two things I like: 1) David offers no excuses for his sins (there aren’t any). 2) David accepts the consequences (his son dying) but still pleads God to change His mind. Once done, it’s done, and David moves on with his life. So many of us are stuck in the past. It’s over. It’s done. Move on. Give it to God to handle. That doesn’t mean in the heat of the moment, we can’t beg God for more mercy. But once judgment is pronounced, we should accept it and move on without the weight of it affecting our lives.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 20, Day 4: 2 Samuel 12:1-23 with Psalm 51:
Commentary 2 Samuel 12:1-23:
God mercifully kept speaking to David even when David didn’t listen. However, you should not presume God will continue to speak to you (Genesis 6:3). When you hear or sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit, you should respond to it immediately.
Nathan used a story to get the message through to David. It was common in those days to keep a lamb as a pet, and Nathan used this story of the pet lamb to speak to his friend David.
Nathan describes theft. David stole Uriah’s wife The Bible (in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5) says in marriage a husband has authority over the body of his wife (and vice-versa). David did not have this authority over the body of Bathsheba. Adultery and sexual immorality are stealing.
What message does Nathan bring?
- We try to rid our guilty consciences by passing judgment on someone else.
- We try to find refuge in excuses instead of blaming ourselves.
- Repentance means restitution.
- David’s sin showed ingratitude for all God has given.
David must condemn his own sin before he can be forgiven.
David confesses his sin
- In the original Hebrew, David’s statement I have sinned against the LORD amounts to two words: hata al-Yahweh. Confession doesn’t need to be long to be real and sincere. He took responsibility without blaming others.
- God’s forgiveness was immediate, and David would be spared the penalty for adultery commanded under the Law of Moses.
The consequences of David’s sin
- God promised that from that day forward David would know violence and bloodshed among his own family members.
- David demanded fourfold restitution for the man in Nathan’s parable. God exacted fourfold restitution for Uriah from four of David’s sons: Bathsheba’s child, Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah.
- In 2 Samuel 16:21-22, Absalom abused his father’s concubines on the house-top — the very same terrace from where David first looked, liked, and lusted after Bathsheba.
- David’s child with Bathsheba would die. Sadly, often the innocent suffer because of the sin of the guilty.
In 2 Samuel 12:9 God said that David despised the commandment of the LORD, which means David despised God himself, costing us, amongst other things, fellowship with the Lord.
To emphasize His point, God didn’t even use Bathsheba’s own name. She was the wife of Uriah the Hittite.
David’s reaction to God’s punishment
- David seeks God’s mercy.
- Prayer and fasting are submission and surrender to God’s power and will.
- David had peace when the child died, knowing he did all he could to seek God’s mercy in a time of chastisement.
THEME: The ability to worship and honor God in a time of trial or crisis is a demonstration of spiritual confidence.
Do babies and children go to heaven?
- David states he would meet his son in heaven. This is an indication that babies and perhaps children who pass from this world to the next will go to heaven.
- 1 Corinthians 7:14 is an additional promise of assurance that the children of believers are saved, at least until they come to an age of personal accountability (which may differ for each child). However, we have no similar promise for the children of parents who are not Christians.
Commentary Psalm 51:
This Psalm has been long beloved by believers: “It was recited in full by Sir Thomas More and Lady Jane Grey when they were on the scaffold in the bloody days of Henry VIII and Queen Mary. William Carey, the great pioneer missionary to India, asked that it might be the text of his funeral sermon.”
David asks for mercy without excuses for his sin.
“Mercy denotes God’s loving assistance to the pitiful. Unfailing love [loving kindness] points to the continuing operation of this mercy. Compassion [tender mercies] teaches that God feels for our infirmities.” (Boice)
David’s sin against God and glory to God
- David had sinned against Bathsheba, Uriah, their families, his family, his kingdom, and in a sense even against his own body (1 Corinthians 6:18). Yet all of that faded into the background as he considered the greatness of his sin against God.
- David’s confession of sin was not only to relieve himself of the great burden of his sin and guilt. More so, it was to bring glory to God. In confessing his sin, David hoped to confirm God’s justice and holy character, proving that His commands were good and just even when David broke those commands.
David needed cleansing
- Hyssop was used to apply the blood of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:22). Hyssop was used to sprinkle the priest’s purifying water (Numbers 19:18). This would be David’s sacrificial substitute.
- In the Levitical law it was often the priests who used the hyssop to sprinkle the purifying water.
- David needed God to cleanse him with the blood of the perfect sacrifice anticipated by animal sacrifices.
Purge: “It is based on the word for sin (chattath) and literally means ‘de-sin’ me. David wanted to have his sin completely purged away.” (Boice)
David felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit as if his bones were broken. David prayed his brokenness would lead to joy and gladness.
David pleads for a new heart
David anticipated one of the great promises to all who believe under the New Covenant: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).
“The word that begins this section is the Hebrew verb bara, which is used in Genesis 1 for the creation of the heavens and the earth by God. Strictly used, this word describes what only God can do; create ex nihilo, out of nothing.” (Boice)
“With the word Create he asks for nothing less than a miracle. It is a term for what God alone can do.” (Kidner)
David pleads for a steadfast spirit
David is most likely remembering Saul from whom the Spirit of the Lord had departed (1 Samuel 16:14)
David had a great love for the House of the LORD and had sponsored great sacrifices unto God (2 Samuel 6:13, 6:17-18). Yet he understood that one could sacrifice an animal or many animals to God without a broken and contrite heart. Perhaps David had offered many sacrifices at God’s altar in his months of unconfessed sin. He recognized the emptiness of all that, and the value of his present broken spirit and broken and contrite heart.
David desires a restored relationship with God
We don’t know if there was an obvious demonstration of God’s displeasure against the Kingdom of Israel in the period of David’s unconfessed sin. Whether there was or was not, David understood that there was an aspect of restoration in terms of the kingdom that needed to be addressed.
The 4 Parts of Psalm 51
- Awareness of sin
- Desire for cleansing
- Recognition of God’s righteous judgment
- Understanding of what God wants