Peter Misselbrook's Blog
May 9 2019 - 2 Samuel 12 – Solomon / Jedidiah

Nathan the prophet was sent to David to deliver a word from the Lord concerning David's conduct. But he does not deliver the word directly; instead he tells David a story about a rich man who robs a poor man of his precious ewe lamb. David is filled with anger when he hears the story; "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity" (2 Samuel 12:5-6). Nathan then delivers the shocking verdict, "You are the man!" (12:7).

Nathan reminds David of all that God had done for him and his ingratitude and wickedness in stealing Uriah's wife and having Uriah killed. As a result David will experience warfare from within his own household. David should not doubt that the Lord is able to forgive his sin, but equally he must know that sin has consequences; the son that Bathsheba has born him will die.

It is easy for us to identify sin in others and even to be full of righteous anger over the things that others have done. At such moments we need to search our own hearts; could it be that we are guilty of similar sins and need to hear God's verdict "You are the person!"? Our anger over the wrongdoing of others should lead us to conviction of our own sin and to repentance.

We should not doubt that God forgives our sin – forgives it completely for Jesus sake. Nevertheless sin has the most terrible consequences. A moment of folly can result in generations of hurt – wounded relationships, broken marriages, damaged lives... Our righteous anger needs to be directed into a careful guarding of our own hearts that we might not sin against God and damage those he has created in his image, particularly those we love.

Bathsheba's child is ill and despite David's urgent prayers the child dies. Only then does David get up, wash himself and go to God's house to worship. Probably it was at this time that he composed Psalm 51 and used it in his worship of God: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions…"

And God was gracious to David. Bathsheba bore him a second son whom they named Solomon. We read, "The LORD loved him; and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah [loved by the Lord]" (1 Samuel 12:25).

God has a way of bringing good out of evil. This never excuses evil, as the death of Bathsheba's first son shows very clearly. Nevertheless, the Lord is unfailing in his love and compassion, mercy and forgiveness: "Mercy triumphs over judgment" (James 2:13).

I want to switch to a scene in a garden where Jesus prostrates himself and cries out in anguish to God his Father that he may be spared the horrors of the cross. Jesus also is submissive to the will of the Father. He is Jedidiah – loved by God. Yet now it is this beloved Son who faces death for our sin. He dies that we might be forgiven; he is risen and lives forever as Lord and Saviour. Through his death and resurrection the unfailing love and forgiveness of God are poured out into our lives; we too are Jedidiah – loved by the Lord.

Righteous Father, help us to hear what you are saying to us through your word. We are filled with righteous anger and sorrow over the conduct of David and so many other characters in Scripture. Help us to see that we are made of the same stuff as them. Help us to see our own sin – its ingratitude, its offence against you and the damage it does to ourselves and to others. Thank you that your own Son died because of our sin but lives forever to be our Saviour. We recognise that we often fail to be the person you want us to be. But we rejoice that we are loved by you and accepted in your beloved Son.

Peter Misselbrook