Daily Devotional

July 17, 2019

Daybreak: 2 Samuel 12:1-31

“And 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.” (2 Samuel 12:13)

One man tells how he lived for years without any understanding of what it meant to be a Christian. Then he was invited to church and began attending services. He heard people tell of salvation and of victory over sin. One night he knelt and prayed, “Lord, forgive me if I am a sinner.” He said, “Suddenly there was no doubt left. God showed me that I was a sinner, all right! He showed me forty-eight years of sinning — what a sight!” When the man cried out to God for forgiveness, God changed his life. Peace and joy came into his heart, and he had the power to walk uprightly before the Lord.

We cannot find forgiveness from God until we first recognize that we are guilty. We must admit that we have done wrong in order to confess and repent. That is true now, and it was true in David’s time. 

Today’s text opens with the prophet Nathan receiving instruction from God to go to David and confront him with his sins. Nathan used a story that angered David and caused him to condemn the person who committed the actions mentioned. Imagine how he felt when he realized that the man he was condemning was really himself! David took the right steps. He faced his sin, admitted his guilt, and repented. 

From David’s example in this chapter, we can learn how to respond if God puts His finger on any areas in our lives that are not pleasing to Him. We need to take responsibility for our actions, seek forgiveness from God and anyone that we have wronged, and accept the chastening of God. We can be reconciled to God and have a close bond with Him.


Probably several months passed from the time Bathsheba realized she was with child until God instructed the prophet Nathan to deliver His message of judgment to David. Obviously, Nathan had divine help to accomplish his mission so tactfully and skillfully. In the parable that Nathan gave to cause David to confront his sin, Uriah was the poor man, David the rich man, Bathsheba the ewe lamb, and the traveler represented the temptation and the lust. This allegory was so understandable that David immediately grasped it when Nathan said, “Thou art the man.” 

Nathan told David that God would bring evil and death to his family as a result of his sin. According to the law, David and Bathsheba should both have been stoned because of the adultery they had committed. At once, David confessed his sin and demonstrated true repentance (see Psalm 51), which resulted in the Lord not requiring his life for the sin. Instead, Nathan informed David that the child he and Bathsheba had conceived would die. While David’s sin was forgiven, all the consequences were not removed. 

Upon hearing this news, David immediately began to fast and pray, for he knew that God might spare the life of the child. However, when David heard that the child had died, he accepted what God had done. When he said, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me,” David showed how firmly he believed in immortality. David knew the baby was with God and that when he himself died, he would see the boy again. 

According to 1 Chronicles 3:5, David and Bathsheba had four sons, including Solomon, who God promised David would be king. 

When God’s chastisement was over, David took up his regular business again. Rabbah was the capital city of Ammon. (Today the city is Amman, Jordan.) Israel had been gaining territory a little at a time. Just before the city was conquered, Joab sent word for David to come. Joab wanted David to have the honor of this victory. David went immediately and was present for the final conquest. They entered the city, captured many slaves, and collected much treasure, including a crown, which weighed between fifty and seventy-five pounds.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II.   The shame of King David
     A.   David’s sin with Bathsheba
            3.   The confession of David of his sin (12:1-25)
                  a.   Nathan’s denunciation of David’s sin (12:1-14)
                  b.   David’s chastisement (12:15-23)
                  c.   Solomon’s birth (12:24-25)
            4.   The defeat and subjection of the Ammonites (12:26-31)

A Closer Look

  1. How do you think Nathan must have felt when God commanded him to confront David with his sin? 
  2. What was David’s reaction to the story the prophet told him of the man with the “one little ewe lamb”? 
  3. What does David’s decision to fast and pray for the child’s life, even after hearing of God’s judgment from Nathan, indicate about David’s relationship with God? 
  4. How should we react when God chastens us?


Sin brings consequences. However, God stands ready to forgive any person who, like David, takes the proper steps of repentance.

Reference Materials