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Puzzling story this story of david and bathsheba. I just heard of a colleague pastor who was super Mr Charismatic in his personality and a spiritual dynamo to say the least, but he was always kept people who asked him 'hard questions' at a distance. Long story short, he committed adulterly with one of his staff and now he has shattered the stability of his family, lost the confidence of his wife, and he and his family have chosen to leave the city where they were pastoring and gone into another vocation other than pastoral ministry. Like David, I don't think this happened in his life because of a one shot deal but because of a lifestyle of self protection that is now costing him big time. Everyone loses when someone crosses the 'line'. No matter how much David was forgiven, and he was forgiven, he also paid a huge cost. Let's make sure we are about dispensing the lavish grace of God to those who bring sin upon themselves. We see this in how Jesus forgave a woman who had crossed those same lines, but let's also not forget the people who are hurt by such selfish choices.
Maybe if David had been practicing the turhts of John 15, and staying close to the Vine, this whole sorry mess would not have happened. There's probably no greater safeguard to moral purity than the day by day, moment by moment discipline of 'practicing the presence of God.'
I don't know when he wrote it but David also said in Psalm 16:7-8,11 "I will praise the LORD who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand I shall not be shaken....You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence..." So obviously David knew about the practice of the presence of God, but he failed to do it while he was on the balcony......Let's be ever diligent on our own 'balconies'.......

Now here is an interesting point to ponder:

II Samuel 9:3b Ziba answered the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet."

4 "Where is he?" the king asked.
Ziba answered, "He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar."

So, I looked up Machir and Ammiel in Nelson's Quick Reference of Bible People and Places and found that Ammiel is listed in 1025 b.c. as "Father of Bathsheba (I Chron 3:5). See Eliam (II Sam. 11:3)."

Could it be that this same Bathsheba, with whom David sinned, the wife of Uriah, was actually the father of the very person with whom Mephebosheth had been staying before Ziba told him of Saul's grandson?

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In "Bible Manners and Customs of the Bible," by James M. Freeman, more insight is provided about having the beard cut off:

"According to Oriental sentiment, a greater indignity could not have been put upon them. The beard is considered a symbol of manhood and, in some places of freedom--slaves being compelled to shave their beards in token of servitude. By shaving half of their beard, Hanun not only treated David's ambassadors with contempt, but made them objects of ridicule. The beard is usually kept with care and neatness; and thus, when David feigned madness in the presence of Achish, king of Gath, he 'let his spittle fall down upon his beard,' which convinced the beholders that he must be bereft of his senses. (I Sam xxi, 13). So disgraceful is it considered to have the beard cut off, that some of the Orientals would prefer death to such punishment."
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I always wondered why "in the spring" was the time "when kings go off to war," as it seems to me if you have a problem with someone, you settle it at that time, not wait until some "holiday." However, again the reference is "Bible Manners and Customs of the Bible," by James M. Freeman, "this was the time of year for the commencement or renewal of military movments, the season for severe storms being over.

II Samuel 11:26 "But the thing David had done displeased the LORD."

I cannot help but think about the busybodies around the palace, counting off the number of months of pregnancy before the birth of Bathsheba's baby. It was inevitable his sin would be discovered, and certainly the Lord knew this was going to result in more than a blemish on David's reputation.
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I think what maybe shocks me a bit about David's life as King, is the ease with which he seems to be able to either kill himself, or order others killed almost without a second thought. Surprising in some respects that he considers indirect murder to be a lesser sin than his taking the rap for his adultery - ultimately I presume as was said below, that his staff must have known about it, and so it was somewhat pointless to try and pretend otherwise.

I was also listening to a sermon based on this story about David and Bathsheba, and the pastor was pointing out two things - how unlikely it would be to be bathing in a public place, and how Bathsheba HAD to either be aware of the fact that she was bathing 'publicly' - at least enough to be noticed by David - and perhaps she actually engineered the whole thing to some degree being somewhat lost without her husband there for some time. Interesting thought - we tend to read it that David was the instigator, but now I'm unsure. We don't hear anything about Bathsheba repenting for her infidelity and adultery either, and how did she manage to escape severe punishment for it?

AS to Bathsheba taking the rap, it shows how compassionate God really is. Think of it. She lost her husband and wept and mourned his loss. Then she loses her baby.

Interesting that a few days ago we read about Michal having her womb closed up forever after she publicly criticized and showed disrespect to her husband. That is what gets a big judgement!

~ The True Vine ~

I think of this passage as like the "old man" and the "new man" in Christ. Jesus says that we can do nothing apart from Him, and that is true of the "old man," and those parts of our character need to be trimmed off so that we can bear new fruit from the giver of life. I do not think this references someone who has fallen away from the faith as some teach, particularly as verse 16 says "You did not choose me, but I chose you," and we have the confidence that we are sealed unto the day of redemption:

"Eph:4:30: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

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