May 13 (Daily reading: 2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 20) 2 Samuel 10 ends with good news: “…all the kings … made peace with Israel and served them.” Unfortunately, chapter 11 follows chapter 10! But since the Bible is honest with us in revealing David’s sins, we learn that God is a God of forgiveness, and that our mistakes do not have to define our future. We will discuss this further tomorrow in our readings from Psalms 32 and 51.
In chapter 12, God sent Nathan to confront David with his sin, which led to David’s confession: “I have sinned against the LORD” (v. 13). God forgave and restored David, but the consequences of his sin remained. The first consequence was the death of David and Bathsheba’s child. I can personally attest to the pain of the death of a child, first, in 1985, when Judy lost our unborn son Philip four months into the pregnancy, and then when our daughter Carol died in 2013. I was comforted then by reading David’s reaction to the death of his child.
When the child was ill, David pled with God for the child; he fasted and laid all night on the ground. But after the child died, “David got up from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped” (v. 20). David explained his actions to the servants: “Can I bring him back again? I am going to him, but he will not return to me” (v. 23). First, we cannot bring our loved ones back from death, so we should set our attention on living. God is the God of the living, and He will always have a plan for us! Second, David said, “I am going to him.” With this assurance, we no longer fear death, but we find hope in the promise of reunion with our loved ones in heaven.
– Al Gary