How easy it is see the things someone else has got, or to hear of what they are doing, and wish that those pleasures could be ours too. Having wonderful things ourselves, or being happy does not always stop us. That holiday, the new car, a special friendship…
26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 Then after the time for mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to the palace. She became David’s wife, and they had a son.
The Lord’s Message for David
The Lord was angry at what David had done,
12 1 and he sent Nathan the prophet to tell this story to David:
A rich man and a poor man lived in the same town. 2 The rich man owned a lot of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had only one little lamb that he had bought and raised. The lamb became a pet for him and his children. He even let it eat from his plate and drink from his cup and sleep on his lap. The lamb was like one of his own children.
4 One day someone came to visit the rich man, but the rich man didn’t want to kill any of his own sheep or cattle and serve it to the visitor. So he stole the poor man’s little lamb and served it instead.
5 David was furious with the rich man and said to Nathan, “I swear by the living Lord that the man who did this deserves to die! 6 And because he didn’t have any pity on the poor man, he will have to pay four times what the lamb was worth.”
7 Then Nathan told David:
You are that rich man! Now listen to what the Lord God of Israel says to you: “I chose you to be the king of Israel. I kept you safe from Saul 8 and even gave you his house and his wives. I let you rule Israel and Judah, and if that had not been enough, I would have given you much more. 9 Why did you disobey me and do such a horrible thing? You murdered Uriah the Hittite by having the Ammonites kill him, so you could take his wife.
10 “Because you wouldn’t obey me and took Uriah’s wife for yourself, your family will never live in peace.”
13-14 David said, “I have disobeyed the Lord.”
“Yes, you have!” Nathan answered. “You showed you didn’t care what the Lord wanted. He has forgiven you, and you won’t die. But your newborn son will.” 15 Then Nathan went back home.
David’s Young Son Dies
The Lord made David’s young son very sick.
David has been caught with his trousers down. He saw a woman who he fancied the look of, had her brought to him, and had a very nice time with her. When he discovered she was pregnant with his child, his solution was to arrange for her husband to be killed. Unsurprisingly, God was angry at what David had done. It transpires there will be consequences of David’s actions.
Nathan the prophet, comes to David with a story of a dominant wealthy man and a man who has little, but what he has is so precious. For the wealthy man, what he has is not enough, and he takes the little the poor man has.
In the story, David can quite clearly see the injustice, and is furious.
Nathan points out to him that in taking Uriah’s wife for himself, he is that rich man, causing such pain and destruction. And there is going to be a price to pay.
Why was David not satisfied with all he had? Why did he want someone else’s wife? He was fully aware of the situation.
And there are consequences. Nathan makes it quite clear that David has been forgiven by God. None of what happens is about punishment, but it is about consequence. However much we are forgiven by God, there will still be ramifications of the things we get wrong. If we live our lives as if we don’t care what God thinks, then things will happen because of that lifestyle. That is not punishment, it is cause and effect of a world set in perfect balance.
When things go wrong, do we seek to blame God? Or look at our own actions?
In what ways have my actions shown that I didn’t care what the Lord wants?
What am I going to do about it?
I come to you
knowing that there are times
that I have lived
as if I didn’t care.
I didn’t care what you wanted,
I didn’t care what was the right thing
I could only see what I wanted’
I didn’t see how much I already have.
Longing that the lives I’ve affected
are not damaged
by my carelessness:
stray and unthought out words,
self-seeking and self-centred behaviour.
Thank you Lord for your forgiveness,
and as I receive that,
may I seek to focus on you
and not on me.
help me to care