Highlights:

Hanun abuses David's messengers; defeat of Ammonites and Syrians; David and Bathsheba; Nathan's parable and rebuke to David; David's repentance; birth of Solomon.

At the time when kings go forth to battle . . . David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself (II Sam. 11:1-2).

David was a man of exceptional character — a man after the heart of God (Acts 13:22). But he allowed himself to lust for a married woman. On inquiring, he learned that she was the wife of one of his soldiers who was away in battle. Instead of turning from the lust that was in his heart, he dishonored the God-ordained family relationship of Uriah and Bathsheba and committed adultery with his neighbor's wife. In an attempt to cover up one evil, David committed many other sins.

From the moment David first lusted after this woman until their marriage, there was not one adverse circumstance to interfere with his plan — except that it displeased the Lord (II Sam. 11:27). This is the treacherous thing about sin.

Although David's repentance was sincere, the inevitable, inescapable consequences of sin could not be evaded. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7).

God forgave David's sin, but the prophet Nathan foretold the bitter consequences of suffering, incest, murder, rebellion, and civil war that would continue throughout David's lifetime (see 12:10-12).

During the first twenty years of his reign, David was very successful. But immediately after his marriage to Bathsheba, the kingdom began to crumble, and it never recovered. The last twenty years of David's life bear witness to the awful, unending consequences of sin.

As foretold by Nathan the prophet, David's trouble soon began. His son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar. Two years later, in revenge for disgracing his sister, Absalom murdered Amnon. Later, Sheba, supported by Amasa, led a revolt. Heartbreaking desertion by David's closest friends, distrust and division within his kingdom plagued David to the time of his death.

Oh, how many people have yielded to temptation in a moment of lust or other desire and spent a lifetime suffering the consequences! Sin seldom ends with one act alone, but one sin usually leads to another.

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:15; see also II Sam. 12:14).

Thought for Today:

Sin defiles everything it touches, but God gave His Son so that we can be free from the power of sin.

Christ Revealed:

In the prophet Nathan giving Solomon the name Jedidiah, which means beloved of the Lord (II Sam. 12:24-25). Christ was greatly loved by His Heavenly Father. Jesus prayed: Father . . . Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world (John 17:24).

Word Studies:

10:12 play the men, show our courage and strength; 11:1 after the year was expired, in the spring of the following year; 11:8 mess of meat, gift of food; 12:4 spared, refused; 12:11 in the sight of this sun, publicly for all Israel to know; 12:31 put them under saws, enslaved, made to work with saws.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Official: Rep. Laura Richardson (CA) • Country: Barbados (259,000) on the island farthest east in the West Indies • Major language: English • Religious freedom • 79% Protestant; 8% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for grace to overcome temptation, and God will reward you (James 1:12).

Optional Reading: Acts 15

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:25