The following is the last point of the sermon I will teach today called “You Are The Man.”
“Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and Davidnamed him Solomon. The Lord loved the child and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.” – 2 Samuel 12:24-25
This is the part of the story that tells me God is full of endless grace and mercy. It shows us a God who sees a bad situation, knows He’s been sinned against, punishes the sin but then – and here’s the challenging part – God doesn’t hold it over their head. Unfortunately we, mere fallen humans, can still tell stories about how we were wronged, and feel the pain in that wrong, years and years later. We hold it over people’s heads in the way we speak or don’t speak to them. We don’t ever completely let it go. But God does, and He makes sure we know it. It is one of those character traits of God that we have the most trouble imitating.
After their baby dies – the baby conceived in sin – David comforts Bathsheba, let’s her mourn, and then resumes relations with her. She conceives and gives birth to a son, whom they call Solomon, which means “God is his peace.” The name Solomon and the word Shalom (peace), both share in the name Jerusalem, the City of Peace.
But God instructs Nathan to tell David and Bathsheba to call the child Jedidiah, which means “Loved by the Lord.” God was saying, “David, you sinned greatly. But My grace and mercy will make sure that your family will have My love and compassion. I will show you how much I love you by the way I love your children.” And by this, David knew God loved him.
I remember a story told by Dick Foth, the president of Bethany Bible College while I was a student there. One day President Foth came home from work and, while his wife Ruth was in the kitchen preparing dinner, he did what dads do best: he got down on the floor and starting playing with the kids. There was wrestling and roughhousing and noise and peals of laughter. Ruth came out and stood in the doorway, watching the shenanigans until it was over. Then she said to Dick, “Thank you for loving me.”
“Loving you?” Dick replied. “I was only playing with the kids.”
“Yes,” she said. “But when you love my kids you love me.”
How many ladies completely and immediately understand this? I must admit that as a man, it took me a while but I finally caught on. And I think something like that is taking place here. God is showing how much He loves David and Bathsheba, despite their recent despicable sins, by showing how much He loves their children. God isn’t holding it over their heads. He isn’t using their past as leverage against them. True, there will still be consequences and reverberations from David’s choices, but that doesn’t take away God’s love for David. Or for us. Continue Reading