II Samuel 12:1-14

Sunday, July 26th, 2015



Correction is a necessary part of life. It is not enjoyable to either the one receiving the correction or to the one administering the correction. In fact, the Bible states in Hebrews 12:11 that no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous. Although it is not enjoyable, it is nevertheless necessary as Scripture clearly points out.

Proverbs 22:15 - Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Children have a natural inclination to do wrong. They do not have to be taught to do wrong; however, it is clear that they do wrong naturally. It is therefore the responsibility of parents to correct them so that they might understand the difference between right and wrong.

Unfortunately, correction is also necessary for God's children. Just as a child instinctively goes his own direction, we as God's children sometimes choose to go our own direction. God will lovingly send correction to His children so that they might return to what is right. God may use a variety of means to correct, such as difficult circumstances, His Word, people, loss, physical problems, or a host of other things.

Although the means God uses to correct his erring child may vary, the goal is the same: bring His child back to what is right. David is corrected in this passage. Let's learn what the Bible teaches and apply the lessons to our own lives.

In chapter 11 we have seen that David has committed two terrible sins. He committed adultery with Bathsheba, and he was responsible for the murder of Uriah, her husband.

How long is the interval between chapters 11 and 12?

II Samuel 11:27 - And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

Well, we are not sure how long the interval was between chapters 11 and 12, but we know that it was longer than the term of pregnancy. It would seem to be a year or more.

We see that God will eventually correct his child, but we also see that God may allow him to live in his sin long enough to get sick and tired of it.

There is a principle taught in the Bible: God will not allow his children to get away with sin. If you are guilty of sin, thinking that God hasn't noticed, be advised that He has noticed. Furthermore, be advised that if you don't take steps to straighten it out, God will eventually straighten it out for you.

Hebrews 12:5-11 - (5) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards [i.e. illegitimate children], and not sons. (9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence [i.e. respect]: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (10) For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness [i.e. it yields righteousness] unto them which are exercised thereby.

I Corinthians 11:31-32 - (31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. [There is a clear implication in this verse that if we do not judge ourselves, we will be judged.] (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Galatians 5:16-17 - 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. [Note the implication in this verse that if you do not walk in the Spirit, you will fulfil the lust of the flesh] 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Galatians 6:7 - Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Although it may take a while, and although you may not see it in someone else, we see that God will bring conviction of sin.

David himself wrote -

Psalms 32:1-5 - (1) Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile [i.e. deceit]. [These verses are quoted by Paul in Romans 4:6-8 as referring to salvation. However, it also refers to confession and forsaking of sin as verses 3-5 indicate.] (3) When I kept silence, my bones waxed [i.e. grew] old through my roaring [i.e. groaning] all the day long. (4) For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture [i.e. vitality] is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. (5) I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

David has had quite a year.

He has committed adultery.

He has committed murder.

He has endured shame.

He has been miserable in his sin.

He was afraid of God.

If you were God, what would you have done to David?

Would you have burned his palace?

Would you have sent an enemy to invade Israel?

Would you have struck David dead?

God showed His mercy and sent a prophet. God went after David in order to straighten him out. Notice it is God who initiates David's restoration. Although God had given ample time for David to repent and confess his sin, David did not take advantage of the opportunity God gave him. David did not seek God's forgiveness. It is a remarkable display of the love of God as He begins to bring David back to Himself. Note that God's correction is always motivated by God's love.

Psalms 37:24 - Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

Consider it from the prophet's viewpoint.

He had to be somewhat apprehensive. He was to confront the king. Depending on the king's reaction, he might lose his life.

Sometimes God's servants have been received poorly; sometimes they have been received well.

Might there have been a temptation to tone the message down a little bit? Well, if there was, he does not appear to have succumbed to it. We who proclaim the message of God should never tone it down. This doesn't mean that we have to be caustic in the way we say things. We can be definite without being unkind.

We see that even the Apostle Paul requested prayer for boldness to proclaim the gospel message -

Ephesians 6:18-20 - (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (19) And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, (20) For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Colossians 4:2-4 - 2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

In II Samuel 12:1-14 , we see how David was brought face to face with his sin.

We see -

I. THE PARABLE - 12:1-4

II Samuel 12:1-4 - (1) And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. (2) The rich man had exceeding many [i.e. a great many or a very large number of] flocks and herds: (3) But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb [i.e. a little female lamb], which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat [i.e. food], and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. [This lamb was a pet whom he dearly loved.] (4) And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress [i.e. to prepare] for the wayfaring man [i.e. for the traveler] that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it [i.e. prepared it] for the man that was come to him.

Next, we see David's reaction to the parable -


II Samuel 12:5-6 - (5) And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: (6) And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

Note that David was quick to rebuke the rich man. We are also very quick to see our own faults in others. When one's heart is right with God, he will have a tendency to be more harsh toward himself and more forgiving toward others. When one is not right with God, he will have a tendency to be more harsh toward others and more forgiving toward himself.

Note that David was very harsh in his rebuke. We likewise have a tendency to be more harsh with those whose sins are similar to ours.

Note that David was guilty of projection. Similarly, we have a tendency to see our sins in others. Treating someone harshly who does the same thing he has done is nothing but hypocrisy on the part of a backslider.

Then, we see that God brings conviction to David regarding his sin -


II Samuel 12:7-9 - (7) And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; (8) And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom [i.e. into your arms or into your care], and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. (9) Wherefore hast thou [i.e. Why have you?] despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

Note the charge: Thou art the man. You know, when you are the only person in the audience and the preacher says, Thou art the man, it's kind of hard to escape the conclusion that he is speaking about you.

Note in verses 7-8 the many favors David had received

1. I anointed thee king over Israel

2. I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul

3. I gave thee thy master's house

4. (I gave) thy master's wives into thy bosom [i.e. into your arms or into your care]

5. I gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah

Note the searching question in verse 9,

Wherefore hast thou [i.e. Why have you?] despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?

Verse 9 states that David despised God's commandment; whereas verse 10 states that he despised God. The reality is that those who do not take God's Word seriously do not take God seriously. You cannot separate God's Word from God. Those with a proper view of God will have a proper view of His Word. Those who treat God lightly will treat His Word lightly. Watch out for this in your own life.

Note God's charge against David in verse 9,

Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. It's not like David needed any more wives. He already had plenty of them.

Finally, we see God's chastening of David -


II Samuel 12:10-14 - (10) Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. (11) Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. (12) For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. (13) And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord.

Note that David's response to this correction is that of confession. He did not deny it, attempt to excuse it, or blame anyone else for it. Instead, he confessed it, admitting I have sinned against the LORD. David recognized that the nature of his sin was against God. Although he had wronged others, his sin was ultimately against God.

(13) . . . And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

Nathan responds to David's confession by stating that God has forgiven him and will not take David's life. However, although God forgave Him, Nathan goes on to state that there are consequences to what David has done.

(14) Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

We remind ourselves that God does not allow His child to get away with sin.

Galatians 6:7 - Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Note how appropriate and logical the temporal consequences of David's sin were. The temporal consequences of sin are always appropriate and often very logical even to our finite minds.

1. David had killed Uriah with the sword.

Therefore, the sword will never depart from David's house - v. 10.

This was fulfilled throughout the rest of David's life.

2. David had despised the Lord and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be his wife.

Therefore, in verse 11, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house

This was fulfilled in chapters 13-18.

3. David had committed adultery secretly.

Therefore, God will take David's wives before his eyes, and give them unto his neighbour, and he [i.e. his neighbor] will lie with David's wives in the sight of this sun. For David did it secretly: but God will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

This was fulfilled by Absalom, David's own son, in II Samuel 16:22 .

II Samuel 16:22 - So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.

4. As a result of a sinful relationship, a child was born to David and Bathsheba.

The child will die.

This is fulfilled later in this chapter.

CONCLUSION: Lessons we can learn

There are a number of lessons we can learn from this passage.

1. Note the emptiness of sin. Although sin looks inviting, sin never really satisfies the individual who commits it.

2. Note God's displeasure with sin. God hates sin.

3. Note God's mercy. David deserved far worse than he received.

4. Note the appropriateness of the temporal consequences of sin.

5. Note the hypocrisy of the backslider when someone else does the same thing.

6. Note that God will not allow His child to live unconvicted in sin.

7. Note that God will sometimes allow His child to live in sin long enough to get sick and tired of it.