1 Chronicles 20:1; 2 Samuel 11-12:14; Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 12:15-25; 2 Samuel 5:14-16; 1 Chronicles 14:3-7; 1 Chronicles 3:5-9
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Interesting set of readings yesterday and today in Second Samuel. We started off yesterday with David showing kindness to Saul's crippled grandson Mephibosheth and we end with David committing adultery, ordering the murder of one of his warriors, and making God very unhappy. What happened to change the course of events like this?? I think this is something that each one of us should take heed of - even when things are going very well in our walk with God, things can suddenly go the wrong direction if we are not vigilant in fleeing from sin and temptation. David was obviously tempted when he saw Bathsheba from his rooftop. He should have left that temptation there, and fled from it immediately - but instead he gave into it. He asked about Bathsheba (entertaining temptation...) and invited her over and then committed adultery. Then... things got worse. That's how sin goes. Once we let it start to run our life it can quickly start to ruin our life. David thought he could trick Uriah into thinking Uriah got his wife pregnant - but Uriah in chapter 11 was behaving much more honorably than the king! He would not sleep with his own wife when he knew other warriors were sleeping on the battlefields. Uriah acted honorably. David did not. David allowed sin to run the show. Below is a powerful painting by James Tissot showing the moment on the rooftop where David allowed temptation to take over...
Again - back to our lives - have you ever seen a pattern of sin running the show in your life? I know I have in the past. It's a dangerous pattern to see taking place in our lives. It can lead to all kinds of pain and suffering for ourselves and those around us. If you are perhaps even in the midst of sin running the show in your life now, there is hope. There is confession and repentance. David does give us this example in Psalm 51. Psalm 51 David wrote after the events in chapter 11 took place with Bathsheba & Uriah. Psalm 51 is a powerful Psalm of confession and repentance. You may be at the point where you need to pray this Psalm to God now. I think each of us does well when we pray this Psalm to God regularly. We certainly may not be at the point where David was in chapter 11 - but, we likely have sin to confess to God - even right now.
We read a great parable from the prophet Nathan today to start 2 Samuel chapter 12! Wow. Convicting stuff for David... You'll note that David said in response to this parable in verse 6: "He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity." Well, sure enough, David paid for the death of Uriah 4 times over through the future deaths of 4 of David's sons: the unnamed son who dies in this chapter, Amon dies in chapter 13, Absalom in chapter 18, and Adonijah in First Kings 2:25. I read a commentary that said God forgave David of his sin, but God did not negate all the consequences of David's sin. Below is a portrait by Guy Rowe of David being confronted by Nathan. You can imagine Nathan saying verse 9 in this image: "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."
Bible.org's commentary on our Second Samuel readings today titled "David and Bathsheba" is at this link and "David and Uriah" is at this link and "David and God (Nathan)" is at this link and "Real Repentance" is at this link and "The Death of David's Son" is at this link.
Today we read one of my favorite Psalms! Psalm 51. Psalm 51 is David’s humble prayer for forgiveness and cleansing after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed in battle. I believe that this Psalm can continue to be a humble prayer for forgiveness and cleansing for each of us today. This Psalm is read by many liturgical churches during the season of Lent as a penitential Psalm. A brief quote about Psalm 51 from this Bible.org is this – “The application of the psalm to believers today should be obvious. We, like David, can and must have complete cleansing before we can fully and freely serve God in any capacity. Our eternal destiny may not be in doubt when we sin as believers, and neither was David’s because he appealed to that covenant relationship, but our fellowship and service will be. God will not tolerate unconfessed sin, and so will hold us accountable if we do not confess.” I’ve been trying to figure out my favorite portion or two of this Psalm to share with you. . . but I can’t just pick one portion. It is all so powerful! Tell you what – I’m going to copy the full Psalm below in the NIV translation (my favorite for this Psalm). Please take a few moments to meditate upon this Psalm. My questions for reflection are these – Do you confess your sins to God? Do you confess your sins to others? And ask them to hold you accountable? When was the last time you confessed your sins to God? Do you have sins to confess to God today? Will you do so now? I pray this Psalm opens up your heart to the amazing burden that is lifted when we confess our sins to God. . .
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Worship God: Psalm 51 reminded me of the fantastic song "Create in me a Clean Heart" performed here by Donnie McClurkin and a choir:
Do you want a clean heart? Click here to be made clean!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray for a pure heart. Pray that God will purify your heart. Pray for renewal of a steadfast spirit within.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!