Thursday, 24 April 2014

(115) April 25: 2 Samuel 10-12 & Luke 19:29-48

Ask God to open your mind, heart and will to understand, delight in and obey what you read.

To discover:­­
As you read note what leads David into sin.

To ponder:
The constancy of threat against Israel is seen by the fact that when the benevolent king of the Ammonites dies, he is replaced by a hostile son. David’s subjection of them and their allies pictures how Christ reigns until all his enemies are put under his feet, and all things subjected to his Father, so that his kingdom will be enjoyed in peace and security forever (1 Cor 15v25-28).
The longer account of this war concludes the section recounting David’s greatness, stressing once more that the LORD was the reason for his victories (10v12-14). But it also gives the context to what follows. 11v1 tells us that David wouldn’t have been tempted by Bathsheba if he had been doing his job as God’s king by leading his troops from the beginning (see 10v7). And it is often when we are less busy that we are more open to temptation.
What follows warns of how sin leads to sin. Seeing the beautiful Bathsheba bathing, David should have rejected all thoughts of taking things further, content with the many wives and concubines he already had. Instead he inquires after her, and finding she is married, covets and then commits adultery with her. The note on purification shows she was not at that time pregnant, but just had her period (Lev 15v28-30). However, she conceives, and on hearing of it, David then deceives her husband Uriah by showing him hospitality in order to get him to sleep with his wife so it would seem the child is his. Uriah’s explanation of why he wouldn’t return home (11v11) shames David, who is quite prepared to sleep with Uriah’s wife in his house rather than be with his troops. David’s sin culminates in murdering Uriah, also causing the death of some of his own troops because of the dangerous tactics involved. His response (11v25) shows how flippant this has led him to be compared to his earlier life. So often in marriage, desire leads to depravity and so to deceit, which can in turn lead to destruction in many forms. We should be very sure such things “displease the LORD” as they did with David.
It is a sign of grace that after the child is born, God sends the prophet Nathan to David, rather than simply punishing him. And his warnings to us in scripture are gracious too. David’s outrage at the story of the rich man who takes the poor man’s ewe shows he has no excuse in having done so much worse with someone’s wife. God rebukes David. He had given him so much and would even give more, so asks why David therefore despised his word. When we consider our many spiritual and material blessings, this should be equally inconceivable for us.
David’s supremacy over all other kings is now seen in how he responds. Others, like Saul, ignored God’s prophets. However David shows his heart was for the LORD by repenting. And so Nathan says God’s has “taken away” his sin so he won’t die – as he should for adultery and murder. However, David’s own wives would still lie with another in broad daylight, and his coming son would die. One might ask why if David’s sin had been taken away. The answer must either be as discipline, or as an alternative penalty so that justice is done, just as Christ had to die so God’s justice was satisfied for our sin.
Knowing God is gracious, David’s faith is seen in his praying and fasting for his son to live, but also in his submissive acceptance of God’s will on his death. However, God’s grace is actually seen in the birth of another son, Solomon, whom God himself renames Jedidiah (loved by the LORD). It is also seen in his giving David victory and fame when finally doing battle, despite all he had done. We may have to suffer the consequences of our sin. But after repentance the LORD still graciously blesses.           

Praying it home:
Thank God for his continual grace to you in so many ways despite your sin. Pray for specific ways you need to guard against temptation, or deal with sin.

Thinking further:
To see a map of the Canaanite nations fought against and ultimately suppressed by David, click here.

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