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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

2 Samuel 11

 

 

Verses 1-27

III. DAVID’S SIN, CHASTISEMENT AND RESTORATION

1. David’s Great Sin

CHAPTER 11

1. David’s great sin (2 Samuel 11:1-5)

2. David sends for Uriah (2 Samuel 11:6-13)

3. The murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11:14-25)

4. David makes Bath-sheba his wife (2 Samuel 11:26-27)

We see the king once more in his house. He sent Joab, his servants and all Israel to battle again against Ammon. Was it not his business as king to go forth with Israel as he had done before? Instead he remains in ease and comfort at home. Evidently he rested all day on his couch, during the heat of the day, and when the cool evening came he walked upon the roof of his house. He had been in self-indulgence and was self-satisfied with his great achievements. The spirit which characterized later Nebuchadnezzar when he walked in his palace (Daniel 4:4) puffed up with pride, which preceded his great humiliation, was no doubt David’s spirit also. Had he remained in the presence of the Lord, humble and depending on Him, as we saw him after the Lord had spoken through Nathan (7:18) this awful sin would not have happened. How often it has been repeated in the experiences of God’s people! Nor did this great sin like a mighty giant ensnare him suddenly. The way for it had been prepared. He had given way to the flesh before in taking wives and concubines. We read nothing of self-restraint or self-judgment in his life up to his fall. And had he not disobeyed the law in multiplying wives unto himself? It is written: “Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away” (Deuteronomy 17:17). Had he really walked constantly in the presence of the Lord he would have heeded the warning of His law. What warning there is for all believers! The flesh is the same today as it ever was; it does not change. We are told “to make no provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14). Paraphrased this means, do not nourish the flesh by the indulgence of it; flee fleshly, youthful lusts. And now the culmination is reached. “I made a covenant with mine eyes; How then should I look upon a maid;” thus spake job (Job 31:1). David knew no such covenant. He looks where he should not have looked and sin soon follows. It is a solemn illustration of James 1:14-15. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” The king of all Israel had become another Achan. “I saw--I coveted--I took” (Joshua 7:20.)

“It need scarcely be pointed out, how this truthful account of the sins of Biblical heroes evinces the authenticity and credibility of the Scriptural narratives. Far different are the legendary accounts which seek to palliate the sins of Biblical personages, or even to deny their guilt. Thus the Talmud denies the adultery of David on the ground that every warrior had, before going to the field, to give his wife a divorce, so that Bathsheba was free. We should, however, add, that this view was controverted” (A. Edersheim.)

And sin follows sin. The offspring of sin is sin. What cunningness and deception followed. But honest Uriah frustrates his wicked plan. Did not David’s conscience smart under it? No doubt it was deadened. Then he becomes actually the murderer of Uriah the Hittite. When the news of the death of Uriah is announced to David, hypocrisy is crowned in the words of the King, “Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as another.” And here we read still the dreadful record, the sin of David and how God dealt with it.

“David, too, has faced that ever since, and faces it still: he will face it ever. It is put away, that sin, yet it remains, and will remain, type of all sins of his people, and of God’s dealing with them: out of the holy light of eternity they will never pass,--out of our memories never! Here is man, here is his condemnation,--redeemed, saved, justified man! Thyself, reader; myself Cease ye from man forever!--from ourselves, sinner or saint! Turn we to God forever, and let us ascribe greatness and salvation to Him alone.

“This is what an unexercised conscience can bring a David to. This is what lack of self-judgment, with temptation and opportunity, may make a saint! Shall we not cry afresh, with David himself, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’?” (Numerical Bible)

And seven days later the equally guilty woman becomes David’s wife. And she became the mother of Solomon. We find her mentioned in the genealogy of Matthew 1. Surely grace and mercy covered their sin. Yet what a trail of sorrow, misery and unrest follows, We shall find in chapters which follow the awful results. Incest, fratricide, rebellion, civil war and the king a fugitive! What a man soweth that he will also reap.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 11:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/2-samuel-11.html. 1913-1922.

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