David and Bathsheba - Hiding the Sin
King David summoned Uriah the Hittite, husband of Bathsheba, back from the war in hopes that he would then go home to be with his wife. The baby that Bathsheba was carrying would be thought to belong to her husband. David even sent him a gift. However, when morning came, David was surprised to learn that Uriah had not gone home. Instead, he slept with the servants at the palace entrance. Apparently, he was a very patriotic soldier and would not indulge himself when his friends were in the field. Ever the military man, relying on his own wits, David made a second effort, inviting Uriah to the palace for dinner. After much wine, David was sure that he would go home to his beautiful wife for the night. The Hittite's loyalty and patriotism proved too much for David's scheming. He again slept at the place entrance, forsaking the marital comfort of his home. Sinking deeper into sin, David resorted to more sinister measures to cover his crime. He sent Uriah back to war with a letter for Joab setting the stage for murder. At David's direction, Joab sent Uriah to the front line and drew back, leaving him to be killed by the enemy. Back in Jerusalem, Bathsheba mourned her husband for the customary amount of time, and David made her his wife. Their baby boy was born.
David had successfully concealed his sin from the people of Jerusalem but he should have known; nothing is hidden from God. The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David with a story of a rich man who stole a poor man's only beloved ewe lamb. In righteous kingly fashion, David declared that the villain should be punished. Nathan sprung his trap, telling David that he himself was the man. Even though God had been good to David, anointed him king and had given him power and riches, he had stolen another man's wife. His sin was brought out into the light. David was stricken with grief over what he had done and acknowledged his guilt. He was truly repentant and wrote Psalm 51 during this time revealing his heart. Verse 10 of the Psalm is sung in many churches. "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
The Lord saw his heart and gave him the forgiveness he asked for. However, even when we are forgiven, sin brings consequences. David would receive the consequences of his. There would be a continual strife in his lifetime. The immediate penalty would be the death of the boy born to David and Bathsheba. When the boy became ill, David fasted, prayed and mourned. When the baby died, David changed his clothes, ceased his mourning, comforted Bathsheba and went on with his life humbly accepting the Lord's discipline.
David and Bathsheba had five sons in all. The fifth, they called Solomon. The Lord loved Solomon and named him Jedidiah, which means loved by the Lord. Solomon is known as the wisest man in the Bible. David, Solomon and Bathsheba are listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
Bathsheba and David committed sin that called for their death by Israel's law, but God forgave them. Even those of us who love the Lord with all our heart, will sin. The Bible gives us the assurance that, when we do, we can go to Him, confess our sin, and say, as David did, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion."
Romans 6:23 says that the penalty for sin is death, but Jesus Christ paid that penalty for us. Believe in Jesus Christ, acknowledge your sin and ask forgiveness. We have a loving and merciful God.
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