David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. – 2Sam. 12:16 NIV
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At a time of the year when according to the scriptures, king’s go to war, King David instead decided to send his army commander with his men to represent him whilst he stayed back at home. It was while enjoying what seemed like an undeserved holiday that he saw Bathsheba taking her bath from the roof of his palace. Her beauty attracted him and before he could come out of his infatuation with what he saw, he had ended up committing adultery with her. It was however not going to be an error that he could successfully cover as Bathsheba returned to let him know that she was pregnant – 2Sam. 11:1-5.
This was not the kind of news that the king wanted and in his attempt to cover the sin, demanded that Uriah who is the legitimate husband of Bathsheba, be recalled from the battle front with the hope that he would come home and use the opportunity spend conjugal period with his wife. That way the pregnancy will not be linked with him, but Uriah out of loyalty to this same king and his nation refused to go home claiming that it was wrong for him to spend time at home with his wife when men like him were at war. He was obviously more focused than his king – 2Sam. 11:6-13. At this stage, the king was left with no choice than to arrange for his death in a manner that will look like an accident at war. Carrying his death warrant in his hand, he personally walked himself into death as the army commander implemented the instruction of the king as stated in the letter and pronto, Uriah was dead – 2Sam. 11:14-17.
Thinking he had successfully avoided the shame, after all there was no one to contradict the possible claim that Uriah did not have a conjugal meeting with wife when he briefly came home, he immediately took Bathsheba as his wife after the completion of her period of mourning and she bore him a son – 2Sam. 11:27. That may be true except that it was not about what men know but about what cannot be hidden from the Lord. He sees all things and He is an all-knowing God. Sending a message through Prophet Nathan, the Almighty God expressed his dissatisfaction with the secret acts of King David, admonished him and presented him with his punishment for killing Uriah and taking his wife, an action that the Almighty God regarded as the despising of his person (2Sam. 12:1-9). According to the message from the Lord, King David had by his actions made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt for Him as god – 2Sam. 12:13. As a penalty for this despising act of his;
1. The sword was never going to depart from his house – 2Sam. 12:10.
2. The Lord was going to bring calamity to him out of his own house as someone close to him will have conjugal relationship with his own wives and whereas his activity with Bathsheba was in the secret, the calamity he was going to experience was going to be in broad daylight – 2Sam. 12:11-12.
3. The product of that relationship was going to die – 2Sam. 12:13.
The Lord in commencing the implementation of his punishment for King David struck the child with sickness and as revealed in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s devotional, David
1. In prayer, pleaded with the Lord to save the life of the child.
2. He fasted to support his pleas to the Lord.
3. He held vigils to support his pleas to the Lord.
All these spiritual efforts turned out to be a waste as the child did die according to the Word of the Lord spoken through Prophet Nathan. It was not going to be about the length of the prayer, the number of days of fasting or the number of nights when sleep was avoided but about the name of the Lord that had been brought to disrepute by this despising action of the king.
Christians need to understand that prayers, fasting and vigils will not get them what disrespect and disregard for the Lord made them lose. The Lord expects that Christians conduct their actions in a manner that will not bring His name into disrepute. This will only happen if they adhere to his instructions on what he wants done and how He wants such to be implemented. Arguments may be made to support the point that both of them were destined to come together as husband and wife by citing the comments of the Lord on His willingness to grant King David his wish of more of all he had already granted him, if only he had asked for it (2Sam. 12:7-8) and the decision of the Lord to perpetuate the lineage of King David through Solomon whom Bathsheba eventually birthed for King David, the fact remains that the Almighty God was displeased with the act in some way to sufficiently lay curses on David and which of course all came to fulfilment over time. The son died almost immediately after the pronouncement of Prophet Nathan. David himself experienced two acts of rebellion with both claiming different lives, Absalom in 2Sam. 15:1-20 and Adonijah in 1Kgs. 1:5-14. Absalom also slept with David’s wives publicly to prove that his intention to rebel against his father was genuine and absolute – 2Sam. 16:21-22.
Instead of spending valuable time attempting to change the decision of the Lord with regards to your actions that brought His name into disrepute, you are better off avoiding such acts but if you have already acted in such despising manner, your request in prayer should be a plea for mercy rather than wishing to upturn his punishment for your situation. He may eventually forgive and do a new thing but will never leave the action that brought his name to disrepute unpunished. There is always a price which must be paid for such acts of disregard and contempt for His person, if only to serve as a deterrent to others who may be contemplating such acts against the Lord. It is not just about the appropriateness of the act but also about the manner of its implementation as it must be done in a manner that brings glory to His name. It is true that He will do what He has promised to do, but it must be implemented in His own way for it to be positive. May God grant us the wisdom to implement His plan for our lives in a manner that will not bring his name into disrepute in Jesus name. Amen.