A walk through 2 Samuel 11-12
A walk through 2 Samuel 11-12
As I began composing this teaching, my daughter Evangeline came to sit on my lap. And I just cannot grasp it. It simply cannot be true that all over the world over a million babies are murdered in abortion every week—and hardly anyone cares. These babies are no less precious than Evangeline. They are just a little smaller. Let's look at a passage that, while it does not deal directly with abortion, does drive down into the heart of this issues—the heart of the sin, of true repentance, and of redemption.
2 Samuel 11:1
David and Bathsheba 11 1 h i In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged j Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
It all starts by not being where you ought to be. Young people, do not underestimate this. All sinful wandering starts small. If you would have no fear of making a mess of your life, then walk with God in the big and small things. Make your standard to be walking by the Spirit, and no less. For so too the murder of a baby in the womb most often starts from simply being where you ought not to be.
2 Samuel 11:2-3
2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on k the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this l Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of m Uriah the Hittite?”
Hard hearts do no hear, or at least do not think. Uriah was one of David's mighty men. David knew him—he was one of his strong and loyal warriors. But when our hearts are bent on sin, we do not let what we know arrive at our hearts. We blur our eyes, because we do not want to see. We do not want to see because we want our sin. So it is with abortion. Do not show me an ultrasound picture of my baby. Do not tell me about his/her development. Do not explain how she sucks her thumb and feels pain. Because I just want this situation to go away. And so it goes. And then comes the descent into sin.
2 Samuel 11:4-17
4 So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. ( n Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” 6 So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and o wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, p “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and q the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and r as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12 Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, s so that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with q the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. 14 In the morning David t wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, u that he may be struck down, and die.” 16 And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died.
This pains me to read, but it does not pain everyone. It never ceases to leave me dumbfounded when talking with religious Jews in Israel (where I live) and hearing them try to defend David and insist that the killing of Uriah was not murder. Religious Jews justify David. And the world justifies abortion. My friends, it is murder.
2 Samuel 11:18-25
18 Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. 19 And he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, 20 then, if the king’s anger rises, and if he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 v Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’” 22 So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”
Murder is horrible, and the outcome is always far greater than the death of the one murdered. And yet for David it is ok, because the unwanted one is dead. The horrors of abortion are many, affecting many people with pain, guilt, shame and death. Anyone can see this if they are willing to assess things honestly. But many will not, because the pregnancy is over—and that is all they wanted.
2 Samuel 11:26-27
26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27 And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and w she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord .
As with David's solution, abortion works out the “problem”... but not in the eyes of God.
2 Samuel 12:1-6
Nathan Rebukes David 12 1 And the Lord sent x Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, y “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, 1 and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, z “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6 and he shall restore the lamb a fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
Did you know that Nathan's rebuke is grace? So too is the message of this text for us. For those who have had or supported an abortion, this article is meant to do what Nathan did—tell you a story of a man who has done a horrible thing, and then tell you that you are that man. Can you get angry with me over Uriah's murder? Because you are David! The man in the parable had no pity. He was just thinking about what he wanted and did not care about what that might mean for the poor man. David also had no pity. He did not think about Uriah when he decided to take his wife to bed. God, on the other hand, loves pity and gets very angry when we do not show it, especially to the weak. So let me ask you: Who is weaker than a baby in the womb? For those who have never participated in an abortion, this text has an exhortation for you as well: Would you bold like Nathan? Would you be willing to speak against abortion with those in your life? If we just assume that we are all pro-life, then the person who finds him/herself in the situation of an unwanted pregnancy may very well decide that his/her assumed pro-life stance is not strong enough to stand against the temptation of a quick out.
2 Samuel 12:7-12
7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord , the God of Israel, b ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8 And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 9 c Why have you despised the word of the Lord , d to do what is evil in his sight? e You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and f have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord , ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, g but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”
Note three huge truths in this passage which stand against what the world tells us. The world says that abortion is a women's personal issue. This text shows that all sin is against God. The truth is that abortion is horrible because it lacks any pity for the baby, and because it is an affront to God! The world says that abortion puts an end to the “problem.” This text show how death begets death, and so it goes. The truth is that if you kill your baby, you have not killed the problem—you have opened the gates to more and more death. The world presents abortion as a way by which no one has to know. This text shows how much God hates hidden sin and how he will not let it remain hidden. The truth is that sooner or later all things will be brought to the light.
2 Samuel 12:13
13 h David said to Nathan, i “I have sinned against the Lord .” And Nathan said to David, j “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
What a response on behalf of David! He was just told a curse on his life beyond our most horrible nightmares. But he did not hear that curse as the center of the issue. He did not move to try and escape the punishment, horrible as it was. No, David heard what a man after God's own heart hears. David heard how grossly he had sinned against the living God. The curse was not the bad part; it was merely an expression of how bad the bad part was—how deeply he had offended God. Think of the worse sin of your life. If you have had or encouraged an abortion, then think of that. What grieves you about this sin? Is it all the pain and tears it has caused? Is it the price you had to pay for it? Is it the fact that this sin still seems to follow you? Or, is it “I have sinned against the Lord?” The purpose of these questions is not to beat you down with old sins. I want your humble peace with true freedom from your sin—from your abortion, if that be the case. God wants that. But know that the only way to get there is via this gate: “I have sinned against the Lord!” Indeed our God is merciful and compassionate, and his grace is eternal. And it is God's desire and will that today you would hear from him that your sin too is transferred away from you.
2 Samuel 12:14-19
14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly k scorned the Lord , 1 the child who is born to you shall die.” 15 Then Nathan went to his house. David’s Child Dies And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David l fasted and went in m and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.”
These are the verses in this passage that do not seem to make sense, are they not? Has God transferred away the sin, or not?! And why does the child have to die? He/she is the innocent one in this story! Really? David will not die, but the innocent one does?! Yes, the innocent one dies, and the guilty is forgiven. His sin is transferred...to the innocent son. We have here another parable. Nathan's parable was powerful, and this one is more still. God too transfers our sin. Our wicked, gross, great sin (no less than David's) has been put on another.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 q For our sake he made him to be sin r who knew no sin, so that in him we might become s the righteousness of God.
Whatever your sin may be, you can receive by faith this transfer of your sin to the innocent Son of God and be set free. Free of guilt, free of shame and free of death—forever.
2 Samuel 12:20-25
20 Then David arose from the earth n and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord o and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, p ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, q but he will not return to me.” Solomon’s Birth 24 Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and r she bore a son, and he called his name s Solomon. And the Lord loved him 25 and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah, 1 because of the Lord .
As the passage comes to an end, we find that we have left our parable. David has wisdom for us in living life as a sinner-set-free in a broken world. We need to mourn and move forward. May the Lord bring custom-fit comfort for each one of us.