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Passage: 2 Samuel 8-12

On Thursday, April 16, 2015 (Last Updated on 10/26/2015), Dawit wrote,

24 Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon.

And the Lord loved him 25 and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah,[g] because of the Lord.

God's unfailing love is my favorite thing to always notice when I'm reading the bible.

 In other notes...

(2 Samuel 8:18) Davids sons were priests?? didnt they have to be a Levite? plus does anyone know what David did with his brothers?

Yujin responds... Great observation, Dawit! Only the Levites of the line of Aaron were allowed to be priests. The reference to "priests" here does not refer to priests of God but priests, in a sense, of the king. The word may, thus, have a larger connotation to signify confidante, chief minister, or even prince.

Passage: 2 Samuel 8-12

On Thursday, April 16, 2015, Yujin wrote,

But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me. (2 Samuel 12:23).

Was David simply saying the obvious; namely, that as the child has died, so he would die also, or could David be speaking prophetically, as he so often does in the Psalms, suggesting that he and the child would meet in heaven. I think the latter makes more sense in light of David's temperament. What comfort would David have in simply knowing that he would be buried alongside his child? But there would be great comfort in knowing that while there was temporary sorrow at his earthly loss, they would have an eternal companionship in heaven.

In the same way Paul also comforted believers with the expectation of a heavenly reunion of the dead in Christ with living Christians at the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). 

A case could be made that all children before some age of accountability go to heaven.

When God rebuked Jonah for his animosity toward the Ninevites, He specifically mentioned 120,000 persons who did not know the difference between their right and left hand (Jonah 4:11). It is likely that God was making a distinction between older Ninevites and their children, who could not yet discern right from wrong. God was saying that it was right for Him to extend grace to these children. 

In Romans 7 Paul appears to be giving an autobiographial account of his struggle with sin. In that context he says something interesting: "Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died" (Romans 7:9). When would he have been "apart from the Law" since he was a Law-abiding Jew through and through? It is likely that Paul is referring to his childhood before he came to learn and understand the Law of Moses. His words suggest an age of accountability.

Romans 5:12 teaches that all die because of Adam's sin, but not all are held accountable, for "sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law" (Romans 5:13). Now, in Romans 1-3 Paul makes the argument that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being condemned by the law of nature, the law of conscience or the Law of Moses. So, everyone is under some kind of law from God; however, children, who have no conception of the created universe, whose conscience have not yet developed, and who have not learned the Law of God, could be seen as being without any law. As a result, while they suffer the consequence of physical death (cf. Romans 5:14), they are not imputed spiritual death. 

When we look further at Paul's argument in Romans 5, he writes, "The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more" (Romans 5:20). In what sense did grace increase "all the more"? There is a one to one correspondence between the effect of sin and the grace of God; that is, each sinful person is saved by God's grace. There's nothing more about such activity of grace. If, however, God's grace is imputed even to those that have not yet become accountable sinners, then God's grace has gone beyond the reach of Adam's sin. God's grace saves both sinners, who are accountable because of their knowing deeds of sin, and sinners, who are sinners simply by virtue of their Adamic nature. 

I know all of this evidence is circumstantial at best, but I feel the evidence to support the salvation of children before some age of accountability has merit.

Therefore, I am fine with those who comfort Christian families that have lost children to death with the consolation that their children are in heaven. Such consolation is more likely than not to be correct. 

Passage: 2 Samuel 8-12

On Tuesday, April 16, 2013 (Last Updated on 4/15/2015), Yujin wrote,

Then it happened in the spring, 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 sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem (2 Samuel 11:1).

Idle time is dangerous. It often means that we are not busy doing what we ought to be doing. It is like standing water, which becomes stagnant, filled with green agae, attracting mosquitoes and flies, and becoming a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and diseases. Idle time is often unproductive and becomes a breeding ground for sin and evil. And this is what we find in David's case.

The expression "at the time when kings go out to battle" suggests that that's where David should have been, namely, in the midst of battle. Instead, he sent his general into battle while he remained home. But he did not remain back because he had other more pressing or priority matters, for we find him on the occasion getting up late and listlessly wandering the palace rooftop. 

The danger of idle time is not only that it is unproductive, but it lends occasion to our undisciplined and sinful natures, so that we choose to do what is easy and pleasurable rather than what is often harder and noble. Thus, idle time lends itself to mindless television-watching rather than concentrated study. Idle time seeks out the diversion of a video game rather than exercise or even family engagement. Idle time makes us vulnerable to buying on impulse, satisfying prurient interests, and binge eating. Idle time provides the soil for self-destructive addictions. 

For King David, idle time found him seeking out some diversion on his rooftop. Unlike the alertness required in battle, his guard was down. Rather than turning away when he noticed a woman bathing, he indulged his lusts. Then, like a fish on a hook or a bird in a snare, he was already defeated. As James wrote, "Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire" (James 1:14).

What is more, David did not simply stand alone in his guilt, he enlisted others as accomplices. He sent one to inquire about Bathsheba. He sent another to bring her to him. Later, he would enlist his general, Joab, to help him hide his guilt by having Uriah, her husband, killed in battle.

Idle time not only harms us, it harms those around us as well. They may either become accomplices in our sin or else become victims of our sin. 

David probably hoped that his adultery with Bathsheba might be a simple and secret one-night stand. But then there was a pregnancy. Then there was a desperate attempt to hide it by having Uriah sleep with his wife immediately to avert any suspicion that the conception was by anyone other than Uriah. But then Uriah was too noble to sleep with his wife while his fellow soldiers risked their lives in battle. What David should and would normally have commended now became a cause of frustration, leading to murder. 

So another danger of idle time is that it harms the person beyond the moment. A bad habit or the seed of addiction might be planted during the idle time. It might be as harmless as an hour of mindless television before sleep every night, but this could turn into hours of watching a series, leaving you tired and unproductive the next day or for days. Simple snacking might turn into habitual snacking that totally derails your efforts to lose weight or stay fit. Innocuous web surfing may inadvertantly land you into internet pornography or even hours of meaningless time on Facebook. 

David's idle time found him coveting his neighbor's wife, committing adultery, bearing false witness, and then committing murder. On top of that, at least temporarily, he lost his moral and spiritual discernment. 

Therefore, friends, flee idle time. Plan your days and weeks and months and years. When you find yourself in idle moments, always have a to-do list with you with things that can productively fill those minutes or hours of idleness. By nature, if we do not prepare in advance, we will do what is most natural to us, which is often unproductive, sinful, and even self-destructive. 

As I am a parent now, I realize that I need to do this not only for myself but also encourage this in my child. As a husband, I will, of course, encourage my wife in this as well. 

Passage: 2 Samuel 8-12

On Monday, April 16, 2012 (Last Updated on 4/16/2013), Yujin wrote,

Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. (2 Samuel 12:13 NLT)

Why didn't David die for his sins of coveting, adultery, murder and theft? He lusted after what was not his, namely Bathsheba. He had sex with Bathsheba even though both he and she were married to someone else. He killed her husband, Uriah, without a righteous cause. And then he stole Uriah's wife by marrying her himself. 

David should have died according to the Law, because there was no sacrifice that he could give to cover his intentional, even premeditated, sins. At least on the counts of adultery and murder, David should have died. This is why David writes in his penitential psalm, 

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. (Psalm 51:16 NLT)

Yet, David was forgiven. Why? David's appeal was not to the Law, which only condemned him, but to God's gracious nature:

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. (Psalm 51:17 NLT)

David humbled himself. He acknowledged that God was completely in His right to judge David:

Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;I have done what is evil in your sight.You will be proved right in what you say,and your judgment against me is just. (Psalm 51:4 NLT)

But even so, David appealed to God's merciful nature:

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1, 2 NLT)

Consider David's plea. David must have remembered what happened to his predecessor, King Saul, whom God dethroned, removed His Spirit, and ultimately killed?

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation,and make me willing to obey you. (Psalm 51:10-12 NLT)

He pleads with the LORD, that He would not remove His Spirit from him as He did from Saul. But God had already promised that He would not do this in 2 Samuel 7, but even so, David surely remembered and still worried that he might face the same fate. 

I love David's desperate cry here because it acknowledged something else that is profound and, at least for me, always tugs at my heart strings and makes me teary-eyed. Again and again, his appeal was to the sovereignty of God. He confessed his wickedness even from conception:

For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5 NLT)

David was saying, "Lord, I am by nature a sinner. I am guilty from the moment of life. I have no power to cleanse myself. I have no power to obey You." Therefore, David's appeal was to God's sovereign grace that could overcome David's corrupt free-will. So he cried, "You, O God, create in me a clean heart. [You, O God] renew a right spirit within me.  [You, O God] restore to me the joy of your salvation. [You, O God] make me willing to obey you." 

Friends, even though David would have to experience a number of terrible things in light of his sins, it should not overshadow God's grace, by which not only did David continue to live, but God's Spirit also remained with Him.

When I consider David's prayer in Psalm 51, it is very much my prayer, especially in the confession of my inability and my longing for God to "make me willing to obey" Him. I am daily asking God to "create in me a clean heart," even to regularly "renew a loyal spirit within me." I am distracted by worldly interests, distraught with sin, and distressed by the thought that God may just be allowing me to live "just as I see fit." 

This, then, is my prayer for myself, for the pastors and leaders of our church, as well as for all of you. 

Father, draw us into your Word, so that as we meditate deeply on your truth, it would cause us to be uneasy within the shell of our sinful natures. Cause us not to be molded by culture, convention or tradition, which only serves to harden the shell of our selfishness, lusts and pride, but enable us and empower us to break through to discern a right knowledge, pursue a righteous discipline, and stand securely in the unshakable hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It matters not what I think but what you think. Let us not be shaped by the uncertainty and subjectivity of individual experiences but rather the soundness and security of Your Word, proven on the ground of a perfect record of prophetic fulfillment, unassailable eye-witness testimonies, and a claim to unerring consistency that invites examination and yet stands unshaken through millennia. I confess that my free-will is my death. I am both powerless to save myself and to live the holy life that you require. Therefore, Father, command what You will and then do what You command in me. Let me simply be a vessel for Your glory, yet a vessel for noble purposes and not ignoble ones. I know there is no room for me to boast of anything, except in You, O Lord. If I believe, it is because you have given the faith to me. If I do what is good, it is because you have first willed it and enabled it in me. Realizing this, I know that when all is done, and I am in the presence of the Lord Jesus, You will also perfect me, so that the only freedom I know, the only freedom I desire, will be the freedom to do what is right and good in Your presence forever and ever. 

Passage: 2 Samuel 8-12

On Sunday, April 17, 2011, Unmi wrote,
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”  Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die...

The story of David's repentance seems too simplified in its presentation in 2 Samuel 12.  Nathan confronts David, David says "I have sinned" and the Lord takes away his sin.  I think we have to look at Psalm 51 to see David's heart of repentance. (Psalm 51:1-19)   David wasn't forgiven for the words "I have sinned," he was forgiven because his heart was right before God. Psalm 51 reflects David's "broken and contrite heart" before the LORD. 

Let us all have a "broken and contrite heart" before the Lord as we come together for Palm Sunday tomorrow, remembering Jesus as he entered Jerusalem as the Lamb of God who was about to take away the sins of this world! (John 1:29)

Passage: 2 Samuel 8-12

On Sunday, April 17, 2011, Stephen wrote,

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
 8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

I was in tears when I read this because of the mercy and compassion that king David showed to Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth.  Any political enemy's family members, whether they were small or big, rich or poor, strong or weak, they were all killed for fear that his followers may revolt and overthrow a new throne.  I see why God loved David so much and gave such a blessing to him.  At the same time, I think about God's mercy and compassion that He lavished on us.  Mephibosheth said to David, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?"  It is my daily confession to God: Why have you chosen me to be your child out of millions since I am nothing but a worm before you?  This is the reason for me to be able to or to have to forgive others for their wrongdoings.  Please, Lord, help us to be reminded of who we were before You called us.

Passage: 2 Samuel 8-12

On Thursday, April 14, 2011 (Last Updated on 4/16/2012), Aaron wrote,

3 questions regarding Bathsheba and Uriah.  #1, would she have slept with David simply because he was King, and was more or less bound to abide by his request?    Just curious as why she would have "willingly" done this.

#2, why was it important that Uriah go back and sleep with Bathsheba after David did?  Am I forgetting one of the laws that would have absolved David of what he did if Uriah would have slept with Bathsheba?

#3, did David have Uriah killed only so he could marry Bathsheba?

Yujin responds... Sorry Aaron. I must have missed these questions last year. Great questions! First, we are not told if Bathsheba went willingly or by coercion. But the sense that you get is that she went voluntarily since coercing women seems so out of character for David. But I would not read too much into this since the Bible is largely silent on this matter.

Second, David likely encouraged Uriah to sleep with his wife so that he would think that the child was his own and not David's. He was trying to cover up his adultery with Bathsheba.

Third, I don't think David killed Uriah to marry Bathsheba but because he could not otherwise hide his sin. Consider this. If Uriah, who was a mighty man, were to find out about what David did, he might have sought vengeance against David. I'm thinking that David thought this was the only way he could make the best of the situation. Yet, it is revealing how sin breeds even more sin.