David’s Baby, God’s Name, and David’s Reaction
By Alex Poon | Posted March 20, 2019
Each Tuesday morning our pastoral team gathers together for our weekly staff meeting. We study God’s word together, we pray in thanksgiving about the work God has done, and we then turn to Him for help.
This past Tuesday, Pastor Jeanie led a very timely devotion on Ecclesiastes 11:5 which reads,
“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”
We don’t know how the soul enters a human body. We all have a soul, but we don’t know where that comes from. No one does. We can tell you which parts of your body need to work for you to live, but no one can tell you how your spirit enters your body. And this truth reminds us that we weak humans aren’t going to know everything. If we did, God wouldn’t be God.
We can call Him God because He knows all, He’s everywhere, and He’s got all the power. How joyful is that? We’re not responsible for running the universe. God is God and we are not.
Delight in that.
That’s a timely reminder because it brings us to this topic of conversation.
We had some questions come up from this past Sunday’s sermon on 2 Samuel 12, a passage about King David’s sin and the death of his innocent child. Pastor Jason touched briefly on it during his sermon. The death of an innocent child is a mystery of God. But the innocent child’s death points us to the death of another innocent one. Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ also died innocently. He was accused of blasphemy. False witnesses were brought forth. But yet, He paid the cost for our penalty. Rejoice that the story doesn’t end there, because we’re about to celebrate Easter soon and we’re reminded of the victory of Christ in resurrection.
Back to the baby.
It’s a confusing conversation, one that can’t be explored through a blog post. If you’re interested, let’s have a longer conversation. PM the Instagram @rcac.youth_youngadults and we can grab a coffee or a sugary drink.
Here’s a couple of thoughts.
(1) God is good.
God is always good. That’s a timeless truth, one that can’t be forgotten. He’s in the business of turning the bad things of life into the good. Do you remember this when life turns sour for you? Do you remember that God is love? Do you remember that when you’re not faithful, God still is?
(2) David remembered the promise God made.
Before all this, David had a conversation with God. God made an everlasting promise to David in 2 Samuel 7. “The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you.” The promise of God was that a Messiah, a Savior would be raised through the line of David. And that Savior of the world would establish God’s kingdom forever. David knew God was working for Israel’s good. Do you remember that God has a plan? One that you’ll need to zoom out to see?
(3) David sinned against the LORD.
David’s sinful inquiry, dehumanizing and shamelessness in his lust with Bathsheba lead him to admit his sins to the Prophet Nathan. “I have sinned against the LORD” (2 Samuel 12:13).
The Prophet Nathan’s response to David’s confession is both comforting and uncomfortable. Although David deserved to die for his sins, Nathan reminds him that he is forgiven. That’s a relief for David.
“However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” (2 Samuel 12:14)
Nathan assured David that the punishment he deserved has been taken away. But God cannot allow His name to be blasphemed by allowing it to appear that He does not care about sin.
From the very beginning of the Bible God teaches us that the wages of sin is death.
If God allowed David’s sins to have no painful consequences, then it would tell us humans that God doesn’t really hate sin, nor does he do anything about it when we do sin – and that would be the wrong message to learn.
God does hate sin. Hate is a powerful word and one that should be used here with its all its weight.
God hates sin.
And if God didn’t do anything here, it would tell the enemies of Israel that God doesn’t do anything when they sinned.
The Apostle Paul says the same thing centuries later to the Romans.
“You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTIELS BECAUSE OF YOU.” (Romans 2:23-24)
God could not look the other way when David sinned, for his disobedience to God’s commands was public knowledge. Just like his victories and triumphs were known, so would his sins. And by taking the life of an innocent child, God makes a statement for all who looked on. If God didn’t deal with the sin of David, would we look at our life and think that He’s not concerned with our sin either?
Nathan had already explained the reason for death of this child to David (2 Samuel 12:13). The purpose of the child’s death was not for punishment, but rather, it was for instruction.
It was a teaching moment, for David and all who looked on.
Nathan had already told David that his sins had been “taken away” (12:13). The death was meant to silence any blasphemy on the part of the “enemies of God”. God made it clear that he doesn’t’ wink at sin, even the sin of a man after His own heart.
(4) So… what now?
Is David mad at God? Does David curse God because God has protected His own name? Does David think this is an unfair situation?
Look at David’s reaction in the following verses. Read it for yourself.
David’s response is to petition through fasting that God saves his child. But when the child ultimately dies, and David learns that God’s answer is “no”, David’s response is to end his fasting in comfort.
Because he accepted God’s grace.
David prayed as earnestly as a man could pray, but God said “no”. And David was content with that. David didn’t protest or complain. He accepted God’s will. He accepted that God’s plan is the best plan. He worshipped God in spite of his own loss and pain.
David was reminded here that God is God and we are not.
He knew that God heard him and had replied back with a “no”. And David praised God.
David’s servants were confused and wondered why. And David responded by telling them of his hope in God. Our response to our sufferings and trials gives us the same opportunity to tell others about our hope found in Christ.
We can also find peace and comfort in our pain. We can also turn to God in repetitive prayer. And whatever plan God has for us in the end, we all can know that we are sinners, saved by grace. All because innocent Jesus paid the price.
(5) What is your response when you hear a “no” from God? What is your response when life turns another way after you’ve sinned?
I think we’re all tempted to immediately jump to the conclusion that God is punishing us. But the Prophet Nathan reminded David of his forgiven status.
But yet bad things still happen.
Know that God forgives our sins. But because we’ve sinned, we’ve set off a series of events that have painful consequences. In our rebellion, we’ve turned away from the good plan of God to pursue our own weak plan.
We turn from God thinking we know better. David did this when he covered his own sin with more sin.
There are painful consequences to our actions. And even more, we’re surrounded by the actions of sinful people all around us. We sin, and others around us also sin.
And this triggers a series of events beyond our control. And we have to live life in light of that.
BUT. The story doesn’t end there.
Our status in God is Justified. We have a right standing before God. We have a relationship with God because he sees that Jesus Christ has washed us white as snow with His own blood.
And then God, in His love, continues to clean us from our blemishes. He’s molding us, transforming us day-by-day to be more like His perfect Son Jesus Christ. That’s that big word called Sanctification. It’s a progressive process. And because God is a God who turns bad things into greater good, these painful consequences lead us to growth. And just as David did, we have an opportunity to rejoice. Because we also know God is in control. We can react in comfort, react in joy, and react in hope. We have hope in Christ that we’ll come on the other side of our trials and tribulations a changed person. In our perseverance, the encouragement is to get on your knees as David did, and pray.
“Come to me, all you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11: 28-29)
The same God that has gifted us with a soul is the same God who has promised to refresh that same soul of ours.
Turn to Him, and in time, He’ll give you the bigger picture.
Because the perfect picture is on the horizon. That’s called Glorification. The day when everything will be made perfect is the day we can all look forward to with hopefulness and anticipation.
Everything will be made right again. That’s who God is.
What are you going through? How can we pray for you?
Send me a PM on Instagram: @rcac.youth_youngadults
Or come by the office and we'll chat.