386.) 2 Samuel 12:15 – 31

Ernest Hemingway once wrote a short story that was only six words long. “For Sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”

2 Samuel 12:15-31   (NRSV)

Bathsheba’s Child Dies

The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became very ill.

It is sad but true, that many times the innocent suffer because of the sins of the guilty.  We can trust that God gave grace to the child during the illness.

16David therefore pleaded with God for the child; David fasted, and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17The elders of his house stood beside him, urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.

David earnestly sought the Lord’s mercy.

18On the seventh day the child died.

Fervent prayer and fasting are not guarantees that we can get what we want from God.  Rather, they are an expression to the Lord of our surrendering to his will for us.

And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead; for they said, “While the child was still alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us; how then can we tell him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.”

19But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, he perceived that the child was dead; and David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?”

They said, “He is dead.”

20Then David rose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes. He went into the house of the Lord, and worshiped; he then went to his own house; and when he asked, they set food before him and he ate.


David had asked the Lord for healing and life for the child, but the Lord answered otherwise.  David took the outcome as from the hand of the Lord, and worshiped God even in his sorrow.

Job 2:10 (Amplified Bible)

But Job said to his wife, You speak as one of the impious and foolish women would speak. What? Shall we accept [only] good at the hand of God and shall we not accept [also] misfortune and what is of a bad nature? In [spite of] all this, Job did not sin with his lips.


21Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while it was alive; but when the child died, you rose and ate food.”

22He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me, and the child may live.’ 23But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Solomon Is Born

24Then David consoled his wife Bathsheba,

Except for the giving of her name at the very beginning of this story, the biblical writer has always referred to her as “the wife of Uriah.”  Only now, after acknowledgment of sin, repentance of that sin, and chastisement for that sin, is Bathsheba referred to as David’s wife.

and went to her, and lay with her; and she bore a son, and he named him Solomon.

Such tenderness and kindness from God!  The sin is forgiven, their hearts have been cleansed, and now the blessings flow.

The Lord loved him, 25and sent a message by the prophet Nathan; so he named him Jedidiah, because of the Lord.

The name Jedidiah means (loosely translated), “God’s darling.”



My son Devlin introduced me to the group Hillsong United, from Australia, and I think this is my favorite of their many, many wonderful praise and worship songs.  “Mighty to Save” won the Worship Song of the Year at the 2009 Dove Awards.


The Ammonites Crushed

26Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites, and took the royal city. 27Joab sent messengers to David, and said, “I have fought against Rabbah; moreover, I have taken the water city. 28Now, then, gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it; or I myself will take the city, and it will be called by my name.”

Joab has been leading the army — the very place that David should have been!  And once the king returns, the Lord blesses him with victory.

29So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah, and fought against it and took it. 30He took the crown of Milcom from his head; the weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David’s head. He also brought forth the spoil of the city, a very great amount. 31He brought out the people who were in it, and set them to work with saws and iron picks and iron axes, or sent them to the brickworks. Thus he did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.


“David’s fall should put those who have not fallen on their guard, and save from despair those who have.”

— St. Augustine


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
baby shoes.    http://www.litkicks.com/FlashFiction
“Our Boy” tombstone.    http://ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/ourboytombstone.jpg
father kissing infant son.  http://www.insure.com/images/articles/father-kissing-baby.jpg
the Grace of God.    http://www.alfredny.biz/images/aa_but_for_the_grace_of_God.jpg

One Response to 386.) 2 Samuel 12:15 – 31

  1. Steve says:

    This story reminds us that our sin often causes collateral damage, and the innocent suffer.

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