A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Good morning! It is September 1 and it’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News, which is from 2 Samuel 11:27-12:15. We are picking up with the story of David as king, and he has just slept with Bathsheba. She’s become pregnant. Her husband Uriah has returned from battle and not slept with Bathsheba, so King David has no way out of this situation. It will become known that Uriah is not the father of this baby who is coming. So when Uriah goes to the front lines, back to the battle, David has him sent to the front lines so that he’ll be killed. That’s how David solves this problem. So, we pick up with the story in 2 Samuel…
When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.
But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord,and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord: I will raise up trouble against you from within 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 very sun. For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house.
Here ends the reading.
So in this text, we’re seeing King David, whom we often hold up on a pedestal, at his worst. He has taken someone else’s wife, rather than the multitude of wives David has available to him as a king that are his own wives. He’s taken someone else’s wife, slept with her, and had her husband killed in an effort to cover up the adultery that he has committed by sleeping with someone else’s wife. At this point, he’s brought her in to marry her and have her continue to sleep with him and bear his son, or sons.
King David, in all of this, not only is he a king, but he also is a judge who rules over events which happen in his kingdom. So, Nathan the prophet, comes to him, and presents this story about an inequitable occurrence. David listens to it, as it’s his job to do, to determine what is the fair response. David says “this man deserves death. This was completely wrong to do because he had no pity, he had no compassion”. At that point, Nathan says “you’re the man who did this, and this is what you did…”. Nathan lays out for him, the points which have occurred. Nathan knows because God apparently told him. I’m sure the servants may have been talking about what happened with Bathsheba. The general knows what happened to Uriah. But Nathan says “God knows all of what you’ve done, it’s not hidden before God”. And Nathan confronts David with it.
The Good News is this is where David returns to being oriented towards God and remembers that this should be David’s focus and David’s actions should be in alignment with that focus. David realizes not only did he do something that was not compassionate to Bathsheba. Not only did he do something that was not compassionate to Uriah. What David did was even bigger than both of those things, which were both horrific. David sinned against God. David realized that David’s actions, while they might harm other people, ultimately, those actions are against God. The Good News is David is able to hear the redirection from Nathan. David is able to immediately confess, not be defensive, and admit “this was wrong- I’ve sinned against God”. In that moment, immediately, Nathan says to him, “God has taken away your sin” and that is Good News, as well. That God rushes in, to redeem and restore the relationship. So, for today, it’s great encouragement for us to look at: what are the ways we sin against those around us, maybe not as dramatically as David did in this text. But I would ask you to think: in what ways are you not being compassionate to those around you? In what ways are you not showing pity? And recognize that in those occasions where you withhold compassion and you withhold pity, that this, in reality, is a sin against God. So, I invite that for your reflection today. The Good News is, that when you recognize those things and you confess them to God, God rushes in to restore the relationship and take away your sin. So no matter what it is, and no matter how bad you may feel about it, God wants to restore, God loves you and seeks relationship with you. Have a great day everybody. Bye-bye.