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Now therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised Me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.

~2 Samuel 12:10

Lesson51-image001Materials Needed: None.

Notes to the Leader: This study has a lot of history and is not oriented for active discussion unless your group is very knowledgeable about Bible history. The leader must do a lot of the talking. There is an excellent opportunity to have your group do Scripture reading in that there are many verses to read and think about. Use this study to get people comfortable with reading to each other and to looking up verses in the Old Testament.


Share with your group: The two most remembered historical events of King David’s life are probably when he killed Goliath and when he fell victim to his want of Bathsheba. This can be remembered as David’s great moment of victory and his great moment of defeat. With Goliath, David’s complete faith in God and His strength established that in faith, we can overcome insurmountable obstacles. However, David’s response to his temptations brought about by seeing Bathsheba reinforces the reality of sin. While forgiveness is brought forth with repentance, it does not necessarily remove the consequence of sin.

Section One: The Sin

Have someone in your group read 2 Samuel 11:1-5. He was a great warrior and normally was with his troops. Now note verse 1.

Why do you think that David was staying behind in Jerusalem?

  • While David had experienced a life of many hardships overcome by his dependence on God, he now was experiencing the good life. For David, this was a time of peace and prosperity.

Why do you think that times of peace and/or prosperity make people particularly vulnerable to sin?

  • People often cease to rely on God.
  • Idle time is also a breeding ground for sin. In David’s case, he should have been with his men, occupied with the responsibilities of war.

Read Leviticus 20:10 to your group. Even though David was king, the penalty was clear. This was the gravity of the sin between David and Bathsheba. Now David is a king and very powerful.

His position no doubt placed fear in many a person’s heart. Do you blame Bathsheba for what she did or was she simply a victim of David’s position and power?

  • A sin is a sin (read Leviticus 5:17). Bathsheba was married and the Jewish law was clear. We can speculate that Bathsheba was also enthralled with the idea that the King of Israel found her attractive.

Have someone in your group read 2 Samuel 12:9.

The letter written by David made him the murder of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband.

What drove David to become a murderer?

  • Absolute authority has a strong tendency to corrupt those who possess it. The only one who can maintain absolute authority without sin is God.

The trap of escalation. David began only with temptation. Once out of hand, it led to adultery. From this, Bathsheba’s pregnancy was about to force their sin into the public. With fear, David began his plan of murder. It even entrapped his friend Joab (who ultimately carried out a plan that killed Uriah). Read Romans 1:21-32 for an excellent example of how great sin can come from simple acts such as failing to place God first.

Section Two: Accountability

This is an example of the importance of accountable relationships. Nathan was God’s prophet and David’s close friend. When David failed to repent, God used Nathan to stir David’s conscience.

Do you have someone in your life that loves you enough to do the same?

  • The only acceptable answers are either: yes or no, but I am going to start building one as soon as this bible study class ends today.

Note: Do remember that accountable relationships take time to build. If you have one or two in a life time, you should consider yourself blessed.

Have someone in your group read 2 Samuel 12:1-4.

Why do you think that parables are so effective for teaching?

There are probably many reasons. The fact that Christ used them testifies to their value and effectiveness. However, in David’s case, he was blind to his own sin but could see it more clearly in a parable about others. This is part of the power of fellowship and accountable relationships. They all work together with the Holy Spirit to convict each of us so that we may transform ourselves into Christ-like people.

Have someone in your group read 2 Samuel 12:7.

Note: This is where the parable is turned into a lesson for the heart of David.

Now read 2 Samuel 12:13 to your group.

While David’s response is one of repentance, what are two key elements that make his repentance acceptable to God?

  • First, David admits that he has sinned against the Lord. While he has used his position improperly, killed Uriah and wronged Bathsheba, David recognizes the authority of God by admitting that it was God who he wronged.
  • David admits that he is the only one to blame. He did not try to include others into his own mistakes.
  • We are reminded by Nathan’s comments that even though the penalty of David’s sin is death, it is God and only God who has the right to forgive David and remove the penalty of Death.

Do you see a New Testament metaphor in this act?

  • Christ and his work on the cross. Through Christ, and only Christ, our sins are forgiven provided we, as David did, come to full repentance.

Note: It is worthwhile to pause here and be reminded that not every action of God’s is in response to sin. While there are those who have lost children like Bathsheba, this study should not lead you to the conclusion that the death of a child or any other tragic event is because of someone’s sin. Each personal story is God’s to write, for His purpose, and in pursuit of His perfect will. Before we begin with this part of the lesson, review the following scripture:

  • Have someone in your group read John 9:1-3 – Disabilities or death cannot automatically be assigned to sin.
  • Have someone in your group read Isaiah 55:8-9 – God’s thoughts are not for us to always understand.

What was God trying to do with David?

  • God’s discipline and the consequences of David’s sin were real. However, it was not God’s intention to break David but to bring his personal relationship with God back on track.

Section Three: Amnon’s Sin

What can such a torrid part of history mean for the Christian today? Read the following verses and establish the characters for our modern day TV soap opera.

  • 2 Samuel 13:1 – We have the king’s son, Amnon, affluent, like our own children today and Tamar, a beautiful innocent young girl.
  • 2 Samuel 13:3 – The third person is Jonadab. He is the young friend of Amnon.

Note: Now imagine a young child today who is faced with the desire for something that is forbidden. It could be sex or drugs or anything sinful, the vary pressures on our children today. Peer pressure works its charm and soon we have a rape. How quickly the consequence of sin takes hold (see 2 Samuel 13:15). The lesson in all of this comes from studying David’s response to his children’s sin.

Section Four: Absalom’s Revenge

David lacked the will to discipline his children because of his own sins. Do you think an adult has the right to tell a child not to do something that the adult has done?

  • Here with David and with Eli (1 Samuel 2:22-24), their permissiveness style of raising of children did not please God. While we may find it difficult to offer discipline in areas that we are weak, not to discipline seems to be worse. God rejected these children in this plans for His nation. They paid a heavy price for their freedom as children.
  • David was to pay “fourfold” for his sin. (2 Samuel 12:6) Bathsheba’s child had died; Amnon had been killed; Absalom would also be killed (2 Samuel 18:14); and Adonijah, another son, would be executed (1 Kings 2:23-25).
A final review of David’s struggle
  • David longed to go to Absalom (2 Samuel 13:39)
  • Joab was aware of David’s longings for his son (2 Samuel 14:1) but not willing to bring him back.
  • Joab finally took control of the situation and sent a woman from Tekoa to David with a sad story about two sons. This was a parable similar to Nathan’s in that Joab wanted to motivate David into action.
  • David compromised the Law and forgave Absalom. Absalom was not led to repentance or punished. The permissiveness of David within his family continued and caused continual problems within his household. In essence, David’s permissiveness only led to the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy (2 Samuel 12:10-11).

Bible Truth Being Taught

God is the only authority over discipline. It is our faith in His perfect will that the consequences of one’s actions are for His purpose of salvation.

Our Response:

o understand that God’s discipline may be painful but that it is a result of God’s love for us. Permissiveness is not an act of love. It only leads to pain and destruction. We should be thankful that our God is not permissive.