Tag Archives: Bathsheba

Not Caring What God Wants

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…

2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15

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. The rich man owned a lot of sheep and cattle, 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.

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.

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! And because he didn’t have any pity on the poor man, he will have to pay four times what the lamb was worth.”

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 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. 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?

Dear Lord,
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.

Lord,
I come,
seeking forgiveness,
Longing that the lives I’ve affected
are not damaged
by my carelessness:
stray and unthought out words,
selfish actions,
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.

Lord
help me to care

Advertisements

One Thing Leads to Another

John F Kennedy made famous the quote

For of those to whom much is given, much is required

Tied to it is the principle that one day we will be judged by our success or failure in the post we hold.  Citing courage, judgement, integrity and dedication as the markers of serving.

We expect more of those put in positions of authority.  We expect them to lead by example.  In one way that is only fair, yet they are only human like the rest of us, with the same temptations and failings.

Here David shows his very human side:

2 Samuel 11:1-15

David and Bathsheba

11 It was now spring, the time when kings go to war. David sent out the whole Israelite army under the command of Joab and his officers. They destroyed the Ammonite army and surrounded the capital city of Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem.

2-4 Late one afternoon, David got up from a nap and was walking around on the flat roof of his palace. A beautiful young woman was down below in her courtyard, bathing as her religion required. David happened to see her, and he sent one of his servants to find out who she was.

The servant came back and told David, “Her name is Bathsheba. She is the daughter of Eliam, and she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

David sent some messengers to bring her to his palace. She came to him, and he slept with her. Then she returned home. But later, when she found out that she was going to have a baby, she sent someone to David with this message: “I’m pregnant!”

David sent a message to Joab: “Send Uriah the Hittite to me.”

Joab sent Uriah to David’s palace, and David asked him, “Is Joab well? How is the army doing? And how about the war?” Then David told Uriah, “Go home and clean up.” Uriah left the king’s palace, and David had dinner sent to Uriah’s house. But Uriah didn’t go home. Instead, he slept outside the entrance to the royal palace, where the king’s guards slept.

10 Someone told David that Uriah had not gone home. So the next morning David asked him, “Why didn’t you go home? Haven’t you been away for a long time?”

11 Uriah answered, “The sacred chest and the armies of Israel and Judah are camping out somewhere in the fields with our commander Joab and his officers and troops. Do you really think I would go home to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? I swear by your life that I would not!”

12 Then David said, “Stay here in Jerusalem today, and I will send you back tomorrow.”

Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. Then the next day, 13 David invited him for dinner. Uriah ate with David and drank so much that he got drunk, but he still did not go home. He went out and slept on his mat near the palace guards. 14 Early the next morning, David wrote a letter and told Uriah to deliver it to Joab. 15 The letter said: “Put Uriah on the front line where the fighting is the worst. Then pull the troops back from him, so that he will be wounded and die.”

King David had done some amazing things.  But this doesn’t stop him seeing a lovely woman, and wanting her.  Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there, as that leads to her becoming pregnant.  Unable to persuade her husband to go home to his wife, so it may be assumed the child is his, David eventually arranges a murder.

One tiny error of judgement, giving in to one temptation, snowballs out of all proportion.  One wrong action leads to another, and another…

How easy it is, even for the best of us.  If David, great as he was can fail, it should be no surprise that we fail too, and others fail us.

Have you ever had it said to you,

But you’re a Christian, you shouldn’t get things wrong

or

Christians are hypocrites, no better than the rest of us.

Well the truth is we do still get things wrong, sometimes very wrong.  David got some things spectacularly wrong in his life.  He was a man of deep faith and devotion to God, but still made some bad choices.  Even the best of us can get it wrong. The story moves on… but more of that next week.

To not rush on, for now perhaps we need to sit with the acknowledgement of failure, of poor choices, of downright disobedience.  Of how easy it is for one little decision to escalate out of control.

Perhaps you’re thinking I’ve never done anything that bad.  But are we talking about degrees, not actions?

Can any of us stand before God and say we have never done anything wrong?

Perhaps you’re fully aware of what you’ve done wrong?

Is today the day to bring it to God, to hear his voice, and receive his peace and forgiveness?

Lord

as I read this story,

I can sit back –

glad that I am not an adulterer

or a murder.

But then if I actually pause and think,

I recall the things I have got wrong,

times when I have gone the wrong way,

done the wrong thing,

not done the right thing,

and I find that I am no different.

Or,

as I read it,

I am only too aware of what I have got wrong.

So Lord,

I acknowledge before you,

the things that I have got wrong,

and I come

seeking your forgiveness,

your peace,

your hope,

and I thank you for the chance to start again.