The Confrontation

After Uriah’s death, Bathsheba mourned. After the mourning was over David took her as his wife, the right thing to do in the circumstances.

But the thing that David had done displeased [Yahweh]. And And [Yahweh] sent Nathan to David”- 2 Sam 11:27b-12:1a
Uriah was dead, Bathsheba was now his wife. For David, it was as if he not only avoided the consequences of his sin, he had made amends by marrying Bathsheba. God saw what he had done and was not pleased. As the King of Israel, David was responsible the governance of his kingdom; but was still under the leadership of God. Therefore, David had a personal prophet, Nathan, who communicated the revelation of God to him and interceded before him. One day Nathan came before David, having been sent by God. He presented him with a scenario: a rich man with large flocks stole one man’s only lamb. In those days, Kings would act as the chief judge over the country, hearing cases and ensuring fair justice. (2 Sam 12:1-4)
When David heard this, he was outraged:
“As [Yahweh] lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity”- 2 Sam 12:5b-6
At this Nathan hit David with the news- the man being described was David. David had made a precedent and had rightfully convicted himself, with the proper punishment of death. Then Nathan laid out the charge in the very words of God himself: God had anointed David King of Israel, gave him triumph him over Saul, granted him several wives and concubines- yet would have given David even more if he had asked. David had blatantly disregarded God’s law, killing Uriah the Hittite with by the Ammonite’s hands and took Bathsheba to be his wife.
David did not physically lay a hand on Uriah to kill him. However, God charges David as the murderer- the weapons of the Ammonites was the method of Uriah’s death, but in reality David was the one “holding the sword” (2 Sam 12:9; cf 1 John 3:15, Matt 5:21-22).

As a result of all of this- violence would never cease to plague David’s family. This unveils in the remainder of the Samuel narrative. Specifically, God would punish David with the same transgression he had committed- someone in his own family would sleep with one of his wives in public, fulfilled when Absalom lied with David’s concubines on the roof of the palace (which had greater cultural importance explored in the next post). David would experience punishment for his wrongdoing. Since David had committed violence against Uriah, he would experience violence. As he had slept with another man’s wife, so someone would sleep with his concubines- the punishment fit the crime.

After hearing all of this David admitted that he had sinned. God’s law explicitly stated that adulterers were to be executed (Lev 20:10, Deut 22:22) and it seemed David expected this.  God had another word for David- God had passed over his sin, he would not die; yet his son would die. David did not get the punishment he deserved, but still had to deal with great consequences for his sin. The punishments of David’s sin would plague him the rest of his life. Yet in all of it, God still kept his promise to David. Violence would curse David’s family, but David’s lineage would experience great prosperity (2 Sam 7:16, Psa 89:4).
David had sinned and was punished accordingly. David’s entire family would be affected by his sin. David would experience violence for his violence and taking wives for his taking of a wife; the fruit of his sin his son died, seven days later. Despite all of this God kept his love for David. God acquitted David of the rightful punishment- execution. ‘

Be weary- while by God’s grace we may be spared from our rightful punishment of death, we will still get what “we deserve”- God believes in justice and will enact his retribution according to our deeds.


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