David And Bathsheba
Review Activities for this Lesson
David was a
good king and made sure his people were treated right fairly. Since
he would not get to build the temple for God himself, he began to
gather materials for the time when his son would build it. David was
famous with the people because of the victories God gave him over
their enemies. These wars were not just fought for glory, though.
God was using his people to punish those who had turned away from
him to worship idols. Finally the nations nearby were conquered;
Israel included all the land God had promised to Abraham. During one
of the wars, however, David stayed behind in Jerusalem when his
soldiers went off to fight. It was at this time that David fell into
grievous sin, which would haunt him for the rest of his life.
As David walked on the roof of his house one evening, he saw a
beautiful woman taking a bath. Someone told him she was Bathsheba,
the wife of Uriah, a Hittite soldier off fighting with David’s army.
David should have put Bathsheba out of his mind when he heard she
was married, but he didn’t. Instead he had her brought to the palace
and sinned with her there. Sometime later Bathsheba sent David word
she was going to have his baby.
David the king over all
Israel had committed adultery with one of his soldiers’ wives and
now there was going to be a child! Desperately he tried to think of
a way to cover his sin. Finally David had a plan; he would bring
Uriah home from the battlefront and let him visit his wife. Then
everyone would think he was the baby’s father.
plan didn’t work. Uriah came back to Jerusalem, but he wouldn’t go
down to his house, not even after David got him drunk. He slept with
the king’s servants instead. He wouldn’t let himself enjoy being
home with his wife while the other soldiers were having a hard time
on the battlefield.
What could David do now? Soon Uriah would hear Bathsheba was going to
have a baby, a baby that was not his. He must never know that David
was its father!
David did a terrible thing. He wrote to
Joab, the leader of his army, commanding him, “Set Uriah in the
forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may
be struck down and die.” Then he had Uriah take the letter back with
Was David actually trying to get Uriah killed? Yes, he
was! And that was just what happened. When David heard Uriah was
dead he told Joab not to feel guilty. “The sword devours one as well
as another.” David said, just as if Uriah’s death had been an
ordinary casualty of war.
After about a year God sent Nathan
the prophet to talk with David. He had been a wise judge over his
people so Nathan told a parable that would let the king himself
judge. In the parable there was a rich man with many sheep and a
poor man with only one little lamb. This little lamb was so special
to the poor man that he treated it like his own child.
rich man did an awful thing. One day a traveler came by and he
killed the poor man’s little lamb to feed the visitor. When David
heard what the rich man had done, his anger was hot. “As the Lord
lives, the man who has done this shall die!” he declared
indignantly, not knowing he was talking about himself!
are the man,” Nathan told the king. Then he delivered God’s message.
“I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand
of Saul. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had
not been too little, I also would have given you much more,” God
said. Yet David had broken God’s law and had done evil in his sight.
Not only had he killed Uriah with the sword, he had taken his wife
As punishment Nathan said David’s family would
have trouble for the rest of his life. “I have sinned against the
Lord,” David confessed and God saw he has repented. But sad
consequences would still follow.