David and Bathsheba – Gospel in Life

David and Bathsheba

Tim Keller |  August 23, 2009

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  • Repentance
  • Sin
  • Forgiveness
2 Samuel 11:1-5, 14-17; 12:1-7
RS 315-11


People are often surprised at how sinful all the Biblical “heroes” are. One of the Bible’s greatest characters, King David, commits one of the vilest sins ever recorded in its pages. We should learn from this that even a converted member of God’s family can commit truly evil deeds. Yet, we also learn that the hope of the Bible is not that we have to become morally superior to the main Biblical characters. The hope of the Bible is that Jesus paid the penalty for David’s sin and for our own.

2 Samuel 11:1–5, 14–17; 12:1–7

When we read the story from 2 Samuel, we learn about the real nature of the human heart. We see how powerful sin can be, how smart God’s grace is, and how sure we can be of His forgiveness. This story shows us that even strong people like King David can be tricked by sin. But it also shows us how God uses grace, like when Nathan confronted David. Most importantly, it tells us that no matter how bad we mess up, God is ready to forgive and help us start again.

1. The power of sin

David’s story, where he sins with Bathsheba and kills Uriah, shows that even the most religious people can do really bad things. This shows us how everyone has the potential to do evil. Even though our society doesn’t like to admit this, the horrible events of World War II and the Holocaust prove it. The Bible isn’t just filled with stories of perfect people, but of God’s grace and His willingness to work with people who make mistakes.

2. The shrewdness of grace

The encounter between David and Nathan shows God’s wisdom and grace. Instead of punishing David, God changes him. This story warns us about thinking we’re always right and making excuses for our bad actions. It tells us to choose empathy and understanding over judgment. It also reminds us of the importance of having friends who care enough to point out our mistakes and the value of being physically present in each other’s lives, instead of just relying on social media.

3. The assurance of pardon

Even though David committed adultery, murder, and lied, God still forgave him. This teaches us a deep truth. We can compare David saying sorry to Nathan with Jesus facing Pilate, where Jesus chose to die on the cross to make up for our sins. This sacrifice shows us that if we truly say sorry in the name of Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven, no matter how big our sins are.



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