2 Samuel 11-12 records David’s lowest moments up until this time. I don’t think it is a coincidence how the account starts. It says, “It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1). David had achieved much success and it appears that he had become somewhat complacent. The LORD speaks powerful words to David through Nathon; in 2 Samuel 12:8 He says, “I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!” God had blessed him like no other and He says “I would have given you much more!” That is an amazing statement; He lets him know how happy He would have been to give him more if what he had wasn’t enough; just don’t take what belongs to another man. We see in 2 Samuel 12:13 that God’s forgiveness comes the very moment he confesses the sin; it says, “So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” He was forgiven but finds out that he opened the door to hardships that God never intended for him or his family because of his foolishness. 2 Samuel 12 ends with a bit of a warning from Joab to David that he better get back to fighting the LORD’s battles. It says in verse 27-28 “Joab sent messengers to David, and said, "I have fought against Rabbah, and I have taken the city's water supply. Now therefore, gather the rest of the people together and encamp against the city and take it, lest I take the city and it be called after my name.’" We cannot rest on our past successes; there is more land to conquer; more victories to win, and God wants to give us more.
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David knew he needed more than forgiveness of his sin; he needed a changed heart. He prays in Psalms 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” If we error, we need to do more than receive forgiveness; we need to ask God to help change in us what needs to be changed. David said, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalms 51:17). There was nothing David could do to “undo” what he did, but God would forgive because He saw the real remorse and repentance.
David prayed a powerful prayer in Psalms 86:11. He said, “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Notice the words, “unite my heart;” we need God’s grace to keep our heart from wandering; David knew this all too well now. The LORD’s testimony of David in the beginning was that he was a man after His heart, but David had saw how His heart wandered from his devotion and love of God. As we seek the LORD, He will teach us His way, and He will unite our heart to fear Him. Everyone should make Psalm 86:11 their prayer also.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan