2 Samuel 12

* Nathan's parable-David confesses his sin. (1-14) The birth of

Solomon. (15-25) David's severity to the Ammonites. (26-31)

1-14 God will not suffer his people to lie still in sin. By

this parable Nathan drew from David a sentence against himself.

Great need there is of prudence in giving reproofs. In his

application, he was faithful. He says in plain terms, Thou art

the man. God shows how much he hates sin, even in his own

people; and wherever he finds it, he will not let it go

unpunished. David says not a word to excuse himself or make

light of his sin, but freely owns it. When David said, I have

sinned, and Nathan perceived that he was a true penitent, he

assured him his sin was forgiven. Thou shalt not die: that is,

not die eternally, nor be for ever put away from God, as thou

wouldest have been, if thou hadst not put away the sin. Though

thou shalt all thy days be chastened of the Lord, yet thou shalt

not be condemned with the world. There is this great evil in the

sins of those who profess religion and relation to God, that

they furnish the enemies of God and religion with matter for

reproach and blasphemy. And it appears from David's case, that

even where pardon is obtained, the Lord will visit the

transgression of his people with the rod, and their iniquity

with stripes. For one momentary gratification of a vile lust,

David had to endure many days and years of extreme distress.
15-25 David now penned the 51st Psalm, in which, though he had

been assured that his sin was pardoned, he prays earnestly for

pardon, and greatly laments his sin. He was willing to bear the

shame of it, to have it ever before him, to be continually

upbraided with it. God gives us leave to be earnest with him in

prayer for particular blessings, from trust in his power and

general mercy, though we have no particular promise to build

upon. David patiently submitted to the will of God in the death

of one child, and God made up the loss to his advantage, in the

birth of another. The way to have creature comforts continued or

restored, or the loss made up some other way, is cheerfully to

resign them to God. God, by his grace, particularly owned and

favoured that son, and ordered him to be called Jedidiah,

Beloved of the Lord. Our prayers for our children are graciously

and as fully answered when some of them die in their infancy,

for they are well taken care of, and when others live, "beloved

of the Lord."
26-31 To be thus severe in putting the children of Ammon to

slavery was a sign that David's heart was not yet made soft by

repentance, at the time when this took place. We shall be most

compassionate, kind, and forgiving to others, when we most feel

our need of the Lord's forgiving love, and taste the sweetness

of it in our own souls.

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