Dave Burnette's Commentary

2 Samuel Chapter 12


Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Nathan, Zabud, & Gad 
Date Penned: (930 BC)
Overview: A Record of David's Reign (c 1-24)
Theme: David's Struggles (c 11-24)
Message: Nathan Accuses David of Sin (v 1-31)

2 Samuel 12 Commentary

(12:1) Nathan the Prophet - As a prophet, Nathan was required to confront sin, even the sin of a king. He needed great courage, skill, and tact to speak to David in a way that would make him aware of his wrong actions. When you have to confront someone with unpleasant news, pray for courage, skill, and tact. If you want that person to respond constructively, think through what you are going to say. How you present your message may be as important as what you say. Season your words with wisdom

(12:5-6) David is the Villain in Nathan's Story - Almost a year had passed since David's sin regarding Bath-sheba and Uriah, and David had become so insensitive to his own sins that he didn't realize he was the villain in Nathan's story. The qualities we condemn in others are often our own character flaws. Which friends, associates, or family members do you find easy to criticize and hard to accept? Instead of trying to change them, ask God to help you understand their feelings and see your own flaws more clearly. You may discover that in condemning others, you have been condemning yourself.

(12:10-14) The Predictions Come to Pass - The predictions in these verses came true. Because David murdered Uriah and stole his wife, (1) murder was a constant threat in David's family (13:26-29; 18:14-15; 1 Kings 2:23-25);

(2) his household rebelled against him (2 Samuel 1513); (3) his wives were given to another in public view (16:20-23); and (4) his first child by Bath-sheba died (12:18). Are you currently being tempted by a moment of pleasure that you know would be a sin if you followed through with it? Pause to consider the potential devastating consequences. If David had known the painful consequences of his sin, he might not have pursued the pleasure of the moment.

(12:13) David Seeks Forgiveness - During this incident, David wrote Psalm 51, giving valuable insight into his character and offering hope for us as well. No matter how miserable guilt makes you feel or how terribly you have sinned, you can pour out your heart to God and seek his forgiveness as David did. You may still have to experience the consequences of your actions, but God's forgiveness is always available if we confess our sin to him and are truly sorry for what we've done. If we repent, God will restore us to a place of love and usefulness (Jeremiah 15:19). David also wrote Psalm 32 to express the joy he felt after he was forgiven

(12:14) David Suffers Consequences of His Sin - David had confessed and repented of his sin (12:13), but God's judgment was that his child would die. The consequences of David's sin were irreversible. Sometimes an apology isn't enough. When God forgives us and restores our relationship with him, he doesn't eliminate all the consequences of our wrongdoing. We may be tempted to say, "If this is wrong, I can always confess and apologize to God, but we must remember that we may set into motion events with irreversible consequences.

(12:14) God Forgives David - Why did this child have to die? This was not a judgment on the child for being conceived out of wedlock but a judgment on David for his sin. According to the law of Moses, David and Bath-sheba deserved to die, but God spared their lives and took the child instead. God still had work for David to do in building the kingdom. The child's death was a horrible punishment for David and Bath-sheba to bear. Also, had the child lived, God's name probably would have been dishonored among Israel's pagan neighbors. What would they have thought of a God who rewards murder and adultery by giving a king a new heir? A baby's death is tragic, but despising God brings death to entire nations. While God readily forgive David's sin, he did not negate all its consequences.

(12:15) Nathan Brings God's Message - Nathan, a prophet of great wisdom, bravery, obedience, and loyalty, gave three crucial messages at three critical times in David's life: (1) He told David that his son would build the temple and that David's dynasty would last forever (7:1-17). (2) He confronted David with his sin of adultery (12:1-14). (3) He helped David place Solomon on the throne (1 Kings 1:11-53).

(12:20-25) David Returns to God - David did not continue to dwell on his sin. He returned to God, and God forgave him, opening the way to begin life anew. Even the name God gave Solomon (Jedidiah, meaning "beloved of the LORD"; 12:25) was a reminder of God's grace. When we return to God, experience his forgiveness, and change our ways, he gives us a fresh start. To feel forgiven as David did, admit your sins to God and turn to him. Then move ahead with a new approach to life.

(12:22-23) A Painful Reminder of David's Sin - Perhaps the most bitter thing parents can experience in life is the death of their child. For comfort in such difficult circumstances, see Psalms 16:9-11; 17:15; 139; Isaiah 40:11.

(12:24) Bath-sheba's Grief - Solomon was the fourth son of David and Bath-sheba (1 Chronicles 3:5). Therefore, it is clear that several years had passed between the death of their first child and Solomon's birth. Bath-sheba may still have been grieving over their first child's death

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Sin Costs Us More than We Want to Pay

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 2nd Samuel with Chapter 12. In our text, we see the price of David's sin. Nathan calls out David on his sin, and then David and Bathsheba's baby dies. In making an application, we see that sin costs us far more than we want to pay. Looking back, if David could have seen the price he would have to pay, he would have never sinned. The enemy always paints a pretty picture when he tempts us, but if we considered the cost, we would not cross the line and sin. How about you? Are you contemplating a sin that you think you could afford to commit? Let us learn and be reminded from our text today and the life of David that Sin always costs us far more than we are willing to pay.


2 Samuel 12

2 Samuel 12

 1And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.

 2The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:

 3But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

 4And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

 5And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:

 6And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

 7And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

 8And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

 9Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

 10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

 11Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

 12For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

 13And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

 14Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

 15And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

 16David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.

 17And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.

 18And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?

 19But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.

 20Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

 21Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.

 22And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

 23But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

 24And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.

 25And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.

 26And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.

 27And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters.

 28Now 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.

 29And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.

 30And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

 31And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.