We often try to water down what the bible tells us but let’s tell it like it is. King David was a rapist.
Bathsheba was married to Uriah and David, the great king that he was, decided he wanted her so he took her, because he was the king and no-one could do a thing about it.
We use words like adultery to make it sound a little less sever than what it was but here it is: The king sent some of his men (probably with armed guards) to order Bathsheba to come to his palace and then he raped her.
Maybe she was willing, maybe she wasn’t, the bible doesn’t say. Personally I don’t think she was though.
A little while later, it turned out that he didn’t just rape her, he got her pregnant in the process. David quickly called Uriah back from the battle field and tried to get him to go home to his wife so that in nine months time he would think that he was the father of the child but Uriah refused, so David murdered him and married Bathsheba.
*** Edit: I acknowledge that there can be some debate as to what Bathsheba’s intentions and desires were. There has been some interesting discussion in the comments on this sublect. However… either David was an adulterous murderer or a rapist murderer. I acknowledge that although I’m going with rapist, I don’t have any real evidence to back that up ***
Here’s the twist to the story though:
David repented and God forgave him.
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. (2 Samuel 12:13)
This was a thousand years before the birth of Christ, but there it is in black and white, repentance and forgiveness.
We can learn all sorts of lessons from David’s life but there’s one that really stands out to me today:
David was the golden boy, the ‘man after God’s own heart’, but here he is committing what we would think of as some of the worst crimes: rape, murder and betrayal.
God, though, forgave him when he saw that he was truly repentant – and David’s legacy as the greatest earthly king of all time lives on.
Take Heart From This Story
Why then, do we doubt God’s forgiveness of our own sins?
Why do we fear that we have done something so bad that God is never going to be able to forgive us?
We should all take heart from David’s story and see the true grace and mercy of God.
God is not in the business of finding excuses to cut us off from him. He sent his son down to Earth (which we celebrate at Christmas time) to die in our place so that we can have certainty and security in our forgiveness, our salvation.
Take encouragement and peace today from this terrible story of David’s crimes. God forgave David – and he forgives you.
Don’t ever doubt that!