WHEN TANGLED IN SIN
2 Samuel 9:1-12:31 November 16 2008
(1 Chron. 19:1 -20:3)
David had ended the civil war between Judah and the
northern tribes and had become sole ruler over Israel.
Thereafter he captured and established his capital in the
Jebusite city of Jerusalem. Next he found Saul’s only
surviving descendant, Mephibosheth, the lame son of his
friend Jonathan. All of Saul’s property was returned to
Mephibosheth. Then the crippled man moved into David’s
palace and resided there as David’s guest.
East of the Jordan River, David’s kingdom was bordered
by thehostile neighbors, Ammon and Aram. When the
Ammonite [AM uh night] king died, David sent a delegation
to pay his respects. The new Ammonite ruler humiliated the
delegation, perhaps fearing David’s growing power. The
incident led to war with both Ammon and Aram. In two
subsequent campaigns Israel defeated the two nations.
The next spring David renewed his war effort. He,
however, remained in Jerusalem. He soon found himself
trapped in a spiraling web of evil actions. Lusting after
another man’s wife (2 Sam. 11:2-3), David committed
adultery (2 Sam. 11:4). On discovering his lover was
pregnant, David conspired to murder her husband (2 Sam.
11:15). After the man’s death, David took the dead man’s
wife for himself (2 Sam. 11:27). Outwardly he appeared
to have escaped discovery of wrong doing.
Nathan appeared before the king. There the prophet
presented a case about a man who committed a crime
against a weaker neighbor. When an infuriated King David
condemned the man’s conduct, Nathan revealed he had told
a parable of the king’s behavior, David confessed his sins
and received God’s forgiveness . Nevertheless, his wicked
deeds were not without terrible consequences.
1. Sin confronted (2 Sam. 12:1-4)
2Sam. 12:1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came
to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town,
one rich and the other poor. 12:2 The rich man had a very
large number of sheep and cattle, 12:3 but the poor man
had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He
raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It
shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his
arms. It was like a daughter to him. 12:4 “Now a
traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained
from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a
meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took
the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it
for the one who had come to him.”
The Lord sent . Prophets were messengers from the Lord.
Here the Great King sends his emissary to rebuke and
announce judgment on the king he had enthroned over his
people. Nathan . (Sam. 12:7:2). There were two men. Nathan
begins one of the most striking parables in the OT.
2. Sin Personalized (2 Sam. 12:5-7a)
2Sam. 12:5 David burned with anger against the man and
said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who
did this deserves to die! 12:6 He must pay for that lamb
four times over, because he did such a thing and had no
pity.” 12:7a Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!
As surely as the Lord lives . (1Sam. 14:39). Four times
over . In agreement with the requirements of (Ex 22:1). Your
master’s wives . Earlier narratives refer to only one wife
of Saul (Ahinoam, 1Sam. 14:50) and one concubine (Rizpah,
2 Sam 3:7; 21:8). This statement suggests that there were
others. But since it was customary for new kings to assume
the harem of their predecessors (2 Sam. 3:7), it may be that
Nathan merely uses conventional language to emphasize that
the Lord had placed David on Saul’s throne. I gave you the
house of Israel and Judah. (2 Sam. 2:4; 5:2-3).
3. Sin Judged (2 Sam. 12:9-12)
2Sam. 12:9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by
doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the
Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.
You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 12:10
Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your
house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah
the Hittite to be your own.’ 12:11 “This is what the LORD
says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity
upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and
give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with
your wives in broad daylight. 12:12 You did it in secret, but
I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”
Despise the word of the Lord . (2 Sam.11:4,27). You
killed him . David is held directly responsible for Uriah’s
death even though he fell in battle (2 Sam. 11:15). The
sword will never depart from your house . Three of David’s
sons came to violent deaths: Amnon (2 Sam. 13:28-29),
Absalom (2 Sam.18:14) and Adonijah (1Kings 2:25). Out of
your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you .
David was driven from Jerusalem by Absalom’s conspiracy
to seize the kingship from his own father (2 Sam.15:1-15).
He will lie with your wives in broad daylight . Fulfilled
at the time of Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam.16:22).
4. Sin Confessed and Forgiven (2 Sam. 12:13-14)
2Sam. 12:13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned
against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken
away your sin. You are not going to die. 12:14 But
because by doing this you have made the enemies of the
LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”
I have sinned against the Lord . David recognizes his
guilt and confesses his sin in response to Nathan’s rebuke
(Psalms 51). Notice the contrast between David’s
confession and Saul’s (1Sam. 15:24). The Lord has taken
away your sin . David experienced the joy of knowing his
sin was forgiven (Psalms 32:1,5; 51:8,12). You are not
going to die . The Lord, in his grace, released David from
the customary death penalty for adultery and murder
(Lev 20:10; 24:17). You have made the enemies of the Lord
show Utter contempt . David is required to suffer the
disciplinary results of his sin in a manner open to public
The concept of sin embraces the full spectrum of
human failure. As we have seen previously, the most
common Hebrew term for sin means "to miss the mark:’
It describes an archer who draws back his bow and
shoots his arrow that falls to the ground and never reaches
the target. So sin can be described as falling short of the
goal God has established for our lives.
The Ten Commandments specified the behavior the
Lord demanded of His people. Violations of this code of
conduct generally affect other people in a negative manner.
But ultimately violations are primarily disobeying God.
While people might be injured by the violation, even the
injury must be seen as an offense against God. For example,
murder clearly harms the victim. The violent act terminates
the victim’s life. But that life was created by the Lord, and
thus murder is the destruction of God’s creation. Hence all
sin is predominantly against the Lord-a breach of His holy
law and a contradiction of His will.
As king, David was the Lord’s unique representative in
the nation and therefore responsible to Him. As such, David
was to exhibit behavior that conformed to God’s law and
God’s establishment of him as king. Clearly David’s behavior
was a flagrant violation of the Ten Commandments.
Whereas Bathsheba, Uriah and the other casualties of the
contrived attack all suffered grievously, David recognized
that ultimately he had failed God in each case
God Bless My Friend
Robert G O’Haver