GOD'S CHASTENING: DAVID
God's chastisement or chastening comes to everybody who does not deal with his sin according to the Lord's Word. It may come sooner or later, but it will definitely come. Chastisement only comes to those whom the Lord loves and hopes that those who sin will repent and be forgiven.
- As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
- For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
- If ye endure chastening God dealeth with you as with sons: for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
- But if ye be without chastenment, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
David's sins contravened two very serious infractions, namely adultery and murder which would be condemned to death penalty if found guilty. To cover his sins, he arranged the death of Uriah the husband.
Yet the Lord was gracious to forgive David, but he suffered tremendously as a result of his wrong doings throughout the days of his life.
There was constant guilt and loss of peace and joy in David's life as shown in Psalms 38. His sins were too heavy for him to bear, his wounds stank and he mourned all the day long. David was weak and broken.
The meeting of Nathan the prophet and David
Nathan did not directly accuse David, but spoke to him in a parable of two men, a rich and a poor man. Nathan continued the story of how the rich man took away one little ewe lamb away from the poor man (2 Samuel 12). David was unaware that Nathan was referring to himself and David's anger was greatly inflamed against the rich man and uttered, "As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die."
Then Nathan said to David, "Thou art the man" (vs.7). Nathan pronounced God's judgment, "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house, because thou has despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife."
When confronted with his sins, David did not try to defend himself, but admitted his wrong doings. It is proper that a sinner admits his wrongs and asks for foregiveness. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die."
Since David's adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah her husband, tragedy after tragedy doggedly followed David's life.
No one can escape his sins and David was severely punished for his criminal and dishonourable acts.
There was constant guilt, loss of peace and blessing from the Lord. God’s disapproval frowns upon those who do not repent of their sins and continue to sin. If they repent and ask for forgiveness, God is gracious to forgive.
- He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
1 John 1:9
- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
A. His Conscience Pricked
David was a miserable man when he sinned. The man who loved God with all his heart had sinned and forsaken his first love. Psalm 32 and 38 show the misery and grief of David for over a year. These psalms reveal how sin and unrepentance, acted on his conscience day and night.
- For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
- I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly I go mourning all the day long.
B. The Baby Conceived in Adultery Died
The Lord would not allow the baby conceived in sin to live. Had the child lived, it would be a constant reminder of David's adultery, and his enemies would forever point to his guilt. This was the best solution.
2 Samuel 12:14,18
Nathan spoke to David, "Howbeit, 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"
- And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died .
C. David's Daughter Tamar Raped by her step-brother Amnon
2 Samuel 13:21
- But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth.
David was very angry, but he did not punish his son Amnon. It was not right for David to ignore the rape of his daughter. David was mindful of his own adultery with Bathsheba and probably could not reprimand Amnon for David was not sinless. It would be like a pot calling a kettle black.
D. Absalom plotted to kill Amnon for revenge
Brother plotting against Brother
Absalom plotted to kill his step-brother Amnon who raped his sister Tamar. David was angry but he did nothing. He himself had committed adultery thus setting a bad example to his children and did not admonish Amnon for his atrocious and sinful manner toward his step-sister, Tamar. David was defenceless. Amnon could turn back on David and accused him of his bad behaviour.
2 Samuel 13:23-28
Absalom planned to kill Amnon and invited all the king's sons to his sheepshearing and he pleaded with David that Amnon should also be present. Absalom commanded his servants to kill Amnon when he was drunk with wine and told his servants not to fear the king's wrath because he had commanded them to do the act.
The tragedy of a brother killing brother, both the sons of David. Absalom took revenge for Amnon's rape of his sister, Tamar. After killing Amnon, he fled to Geshur and was there for three years.
E. David forgave Absalom
Absalom was forgiven for the murder of his brother Amnon, but Absalom did not see David for two full years in Jerusalem (v.28). David did the right thing to forgive Absalom for he was not God who would mete out punishment. Man does not have the right to judge another person for his deeds. It should be the decision of the Lord God.
- Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
F. Absalom Plotted to Wrest the Kingdom from David
2 Samuel 15,16
Through craftiness, Absalom stole the hearts of the people from David (2 Samuel 15) and David was forced to flee from Absalom, and left ten concubines behind to keep the house. Ahithophel who was David's adviser counseled him to go in unto his father's concubines. Absalom went ahead into his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. He committed incest for doing so.
David took Bathsheba secretly, but Absalom went into the ten concubines in the sight of the nation. What a horrible situation David was in for his son to forcibly rape his father's concubines shamelessly in the sight of the nation. Can you imagine how horrified the righteous citizens would feel? The usurpation of the throne followed by incest!
Eventually, Absalom was killed and David mourned for his son even though Absalom sought for his kingdom and life. How David must have suffered! David wept, "O my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!"
G. Adonijah Tried to Usurp his Kingdom in his old age
1 Kings 1
David's son, Adonijah wanted to usurp his throne in his old age (vs.5) and was thwarted when Nathan warned Bathsheba. David had Solomon crowned instead.
David's Reaction to God's Chastening
David was aware of his own sins and he knew that God was punishing him and thus did not rebel against God's chastening, but meekly accepted his punishment.
A. David did not Rebel
David did not rant nor cried against God when he heard Nathan's reprimand from God. He did not try to justify his own weakness and sins, but submitted meekly to God Almighty and His mercy. He knew that God's mercy was boundless forgiving oneself when repented of one's wrongdoings.
2 Samuel 12:13
- And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord.
B. David Had Confidence in God
When David was fleeing from Absalom, Zadok the priest and the Levites with him bore the ark of the covenant of God.ready to take the Ark of God wherever David went. David knew that the ark of God should rest in Jerusalem for it was the symbol of truth and righteousness of God and he sent the ark back to the people. The people of Israel needed the Ark of the Covenant as a symbol of truth. David did really care for his people even though they rejected him for his son Absalom.
2 Samuel 15:25,26
- And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation
- But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.
C. David Reaction to Shimei's Cursing
Shimei from the house of Saul cast stones at David cursing him when David was at Bahurim. Abishai, the commander of David's army wanted to kill Shimei, but David stopped him.
2 Samuel 16:11,12
- And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him.
- It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.
David was righteous in this regard for he would not simply take revenge on his enemy himself, but leave it in the hands of God who judged every one and all things on earth,
Chastening may be very painful, severe and long lasting, but God's judgment is perfect and He makes the punishment fit the crime. After the testing, the person is restored back into the bosom of the heavenly kingdom.
God's Chastening David
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