The Sword Will Never Depart From Your House

Second Samuel 9:1 to 14:33

After reaching the pinnacle of success, David reflected upon his early life, the days of testing, days of suffering, and days of rejection. And as he mused over the past and recalled Sha’ul’s hatred of him, there came the thought: I wonder if there is still anyone left from the house of Sha’ul to whom I can show kindness for Y’honatan’s sake (Second Samuel 9:1)? Thus we are introduced to one of the most touching chapters in the TaNaKh, and a vivid illustration of truth in the B’rit Chadashah. David’s treatment of Mephibosheth is just one of many pictures in the Scriptures of God’s grace toward His people.

Then, continuing to be blessed by YHVH, David defeated the Ammonites. This was the only extensive narrative in the court history that casts David in a favorable light. God’s favor was still upon him and the LORD continued to give David victory wherever he went (2 Samuel 8:13-14; First Chronicles 18:13). David was on top of the world. Although he was a man after God’s own heart (First Samuel 13:14), he was not immune to temptation and sin. And the rest of this section records David’s troubles in the areas of morals, politics and family relationships. To be sure, elsewhere, the narrator of the history views David positively – or at least sympathetically – in briefer sections (12:13 and 22-23, 18:32-33, 19:38-39). On the whole however, this section depicts David under divine discipline.

Ha’Shem never winks at sin, even when it is found in the life of an otherwise exemplary believer. Chapters 11 and 12 mark the lowest point in David’s life as he committed adultery with Bathsheba. As is often the case, one sin led to another, and David was guilty of both adultery and murder. But the sin with Bathsheba was merely the climax of something that had been going on in his life for about twenty-six years. Sin always takes you further than you want to go and costs you more than you wanted to pay. And this was surely the case with David. When God sent Nathan to confront David with his sin, the prophet said: You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites; therefore, the sword will never depart from your house (Second Samuel 12:10).

Yes, David was quick to acknowledge his failure, and ADONAI was just as quick to forgive the repentant sinner (First John 1:8-10). Nonetheless, David learned that sin, even though forgiven, bears serious consequences. As Rabbi Sha’ul warns: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. You reap what you sow. Whoever sows to please the flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction (Galatians 6:7-8a). This section vividly illustrates from David’s experience the inevitable and devastating consequences of sin in the life of the believer. David’s life took a turn for the worst and he would live in anguish the rest of his life.314


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