Reading this tragic account of David, Bathsheba, and Uriah is like watching a disaster unfold in slow motion. From the very beginning, we see David make the questionable choice of staying back from the battle when spring was normally a time for the kings to go out with their men and fight. The disaster simply snowballs from there. It’s easy to look at this familiar text and be quick to judge David harshly. After all, he committed some abhorrent sins including adultery and murder. He misused his power and position even to the point of having one of his most faithful men murdered. And then there’s the simple fact that we are looking at the actions of a great king who served God and whom God had blessed. It’s difficult to look at a great man, such as David, fall into sinful situations. However, it provides a stellar reminder of God’s gracious and just nature, which is of great use as we strive to live for His glory in our own sinful state.
Later when Nathan comes to confront David with his sin, he tells a story of a jealous and sinful rich man who takes advantage of his lowly neighbor. David immediately wants to punish the rich man and bring justice for the loss of the poor man who was wronged. He had no inclination that Nathan was holding up a mirror and talking about his own sinful actions against Uriah. When Nathan finally calls David out for his own destructive behavior, David recognizes his failures and repents. That’s when it gets interesting. Nathan tells David that though God has put his sin aside he would not be free from consequences. David understands the just nature of God and accepts the fate that befalls his family, but he also experiences the grace of God. David’s actions were punishable by death, but God spared him and provided forgiveness for his atrocious behavior. I pray that as we are living in this broken and sinful world that we would not be blind to our own sinful state. I pray that we would have eyes to see our own shortcomings as we have all fallen short of the glory of God. I pray that these things would break out hearts and bring us to repentance. That we would enjoy the grace God so lovingly provides in the midst of our consequences. That we would strive to bring glory to His name and seek after Him alone.