by Deborah Horscroft
King David was far from a perfect ruler. Like Eli he did not discipline his sons and many followed their own wicked ways. Our chosen passage (2 Samuel 11-12) does not find him at his best.
In a time when other kings were at war, and David’s own army were in battle under another man, David was mooching around the palace. After a nap he had a stroll and caught a glimpse of a beautiful woman bathing. Instead of averting his eyes or going to visit one of his many wives or concubines he pursues Bathsheba, wife of one of his loyal body guards, Uriah. Lust gave way to adultery, deceit, and ultimately treachery and murder. David lost the respect of many followers, the loyalty of family and friends and the son of the adulterous union.
Confronted with his sin, David repented. As with everything he did, it was passionate and whole hearted. Psalm 51 records his cry for mercy. He offered God a sacrifice of a broken spirit and a contrite heart, and even these great crimes were forgiven by a merciful God. However, the consequences of his sins remained.
David and Bathsheba went on to raise another son, King Solomon, whose wisdom is renowned, and through whom Israel would one day see their Saviour, Jesus the Christ.