Reading the twelfth chapter of 2 Samuel is heavy.
Did David really think he could get away with it? It’s intriguing that it takes a confrontation with God through Nathan for his misdeeds to be exposed and duly punished. The degree of David’s actions are taken very seriously indeed. God’s judgment on the matter is not retracted despite seven days of fasting on David’s part. It’s a serious matter that is dealt with seriously. If it was just the death of the son he had with Uriah’s wife, that would be tough enough, but there lingers over the house of David both the sword and the reality that as David took someone else’s woman, so his women will be publicly taken by someone close to him.
This is not all there is, though, in the interaction between David and God. David’s response acknowledges his responsibility to his relationship with God, with Bathsheba and with God’s people. When he hears of the sentence on the son just born, his act of fasting is an appeal to God and when that does not work out, he still has the presence of mind to first acknowledge God for doing what is right. He acknowledges doing right by Bathsheba in comforting her in the loss.
The grace of God is particularly evident in His response to the next child born to Bathsheba. Though we know him as Solomon, God had special affection on this child referring to him as Jedidiah. There is hope and grace even in the midst of such great tragedy from the indiscretion of man. That grace is further affirmed by a sense of business as usual as David gets back to winning battles and claiming other nations to be subject to Israel.
Despite that sense of business as usual, the ramifications of the conviction would not be swept away. However great the sword, though, God’s grace would always be greater.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden