Tag Archives: Nathan

Fathers of the Bible — David (Part 2)

When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done. So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.” David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.” Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord by doing this, your child will die.” After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused. Then on the seventh day the child died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He wouldn’t listen to reason while the child was ill,” they said. “What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?” When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate. His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.” David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.
2 Samuel 11:26-12:25

Dear God, what must it have been like to be Bathsheba? She was forced into adultery. Her husband was killed. Her baby (presumably her first child) died. Then, ultimately, her next son ends up being the king of Israel. She would never had guessed the life you had for her, but I can’t help but feel sorry for her and wish for her the normal life she foresaw for herself.

But in terms of David as a father, he seems very detached in this story. I think I mentioned this in my last prayer journal about this. He didn’t seem to care that he wouldn’t get to know this child. His approach to comforting Bathsheba was to sleep with her. What? As if the opportunity to have sex with him made it all better? I don’t know. Maybe it did.

I’ve also mentioned this before, but I wonder how much of David’s attitude towards women got passed down to his children. Amnon raped his sister. Solomon slept with, at minimum, hundreds of women. One of the other sons, I can’t remember which one, slept with one of David’s concubines. And I’m sure that it was a poorly kept secret what David had done with Bathsheba and Uriah. I’m sure Solomon and all of the other children grew up hearing the stories. How did that impact David’s relationships with them? Did he lose the high ground forever? When one reads 2 Samuel, this is certainly the beginning of the decline of David’s success. The apex of his joy and victory is certainly behind him at this point.

Yes, the losing of the moral high ground is probably really significant when it comes to his relationships with his children. They probably did not respect him after that. Absolom didn’t.

Father, I don’t want or need my children to see me as perfect, but I certainly want to set an example for them. A perfect example doesn’t help because it gives them an unrealistic, condemning view of what a man should be. At the same time, a life of debauchery is no good either. Help me to just be a man that follows you, is humble about his mistakes, and gives his children the love and direction that. you need them to have through me. Do it all, ultimately, for your glory so that you might live through them and enter the world through them.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on February 29, 2020 in 2 Samuel, Fathers of the Bible


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Solomon — 1 Kings 1:38-40

So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the king’s bodyguard took Solomon down to Gihon Spring, with Solomon riding on King David’s own mule. There Zadok the priest took the flask of olive oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon with the oil. Then they sounded the ram’s horn and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” And all the people followed Solomon into Jerusalem, playing flutes and shouting for joy. The celebration was so joyous and noisy that the earth shook with the sound.
1 Kings 1:38-40

Dear God, I wish we had more about Solomon’s relationships with Bathsheba, David, and all of the people involved with his ascent to the throne. One thing I’ve noticed in the telling of this story is that Adonijah was a self promoter while the author here had yet to tell us anything that Solomon has said on his own behalf. We won’t get a quote from him until he has to deal with Adonijah at the end of this chapter.

The other interesting thing is the the writer goes out of his way to tell us that Adonijah was spoiled and undisciplined. What kind of a mother was Bathsheba? I’m betting she disciplined her children. At least Solomon was thought enough of by Nathan, et. al., to be promoted and desired as the next king.

But back to the subtext of the fact that the author is careful to contrast Adonijah and Solomon by who they did and didn’t promote themselves. My dad told me one time when I was young that if I ever got a promotion at work, on my first day in the new job I would likely not see much difference in my future because I had already been doing those things. The message that I received in that was, “Work hard and let the reward come from the hard work.” In words my wife, the writer would use, “Show, don’t tell.”

Father, we are still a few chapters and executions away from Solomon asking you for wisdom, but I want to continue to seek that from you. Help me to simply serve you and then let your plan unfold around me. My biggest danger is allowing inaction and lethargy to keep me from what you’ve called me to do. So please make your call clear to me. I repent for the things I’ve done and the things I’ve failed to do.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 7, 2019 in 1 Kings, Solomon


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Solomon – 1 Kings 1:1-14

King David was now very old, and no matter how many blankets covered him, he could not keep warm. So his advisers told him, “Let us find a young virgin to wait on you and look after you, my lord. She will lie in your arms and keep you warm.” So they searched throughout the land of Israel for a beautiful girl, and they found Abishag from Shunem and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful, and she looked after the king and took care of him. But the king had no sexual relations with her. About that time David’s son Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, began boasting, “I will make myself king.” So he provided himself with chariots and charioteers and recruited fifty men to run in front of him. Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, “Why are you doing that?” Adonijah had been born next after Absalom, and he was very handsome. Adonijah took Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest into his confidence, and they agreed to help him become king. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s personal bodyguard refused to support Adonijah. Adonijah went to the Stone of Zoheleth near the spring of En-rogel, where he sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened calves. He invited all his brothers—the other sons of King David—and all the royal officials of Judah. But he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the king’s bodyguard or his brother Solomon. Then Nathan went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, and asked her, “Haven’t you heard that Haggith’s son, Adonijah, has made himself king, and our lord David doesn’t even know about it? If you want to save your own life and the life of your son Solomon, follow my advice. Go at once to King David and say to him, ‘My lord the king, didn’t you make a vow and say to me, “Your son Solomon will surely be the next king and will sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ And while you are still talking with him, I will come and confirm everything you have said.”
1 Kings 1:1-14

Dear God, I think it is important to note that the story of Solomon cannot be told without including Nathan. Nathan is woven throughout Solomon’s (and Bathsheba’s) story. He is the prophet whom David consults about building the temple (2 Samuel 7). He is the prophet who rebukes David about what he did with Bathsheba and Uriah, and through you gave Solomon a new name–Jedidiah (2 Samuel 12). And now he is the prophet who orchestrates Solomon’s rise to the throne (1 Kings 1). Interestingly, these are the only three stories we get about Nathan.

I normally do these journals to you first thing in the morning, but as I opened the scriptures today I found myself with a lot of questions and researching a lot of things. First, I went to 1 Chronicles to see how it recorded the transition from David’s rule to Solomon’s. I was surprised to see a completely different portrait painted. The accounting of it in Chronicles was much tidier and more honorable. It really focused on David’s passing the torch to Solomon to build the temple. But I’ll talk about the temple another time. Today, I want to talk about Nathan.

I had a new thought today that I don’t think I’ve had before. Nathan apparently had a soft spot in his heart for Bathsheba and Solomon. I won’t say that he knew about David’s sin with Bathsheba before anyone else did. I’ll bet is was actually a pretty poorly kept secret. But he was the one willing to confront David. He was the one who spoke out on your behalf and on behalf of the woman. He watched her go through the loss of her child. He watched her give birth to Solomon. He got the word from you that Solomon was special and to be renamed Jedidiah (I wonder why that name didn’t stick–I searched the entire Bible, and 2 Samuel 12:25 is the only time it is ever mentioned).

Fast forward many years. David is at the end of his life and his fourth-born son, Adonijah (the first three are seemingly dead) starts to position himself for the throne. 1 Kings 1:6 seems to go out of its way to tell us that he wasn’t a good guy, but was spoiled and undisciplined. This apparently got Nathan’s attention and he decided it was time to act on behalf of the boy whom you had told him to rename and his mother.

Nathan probably doesn’t get enough love from history. Yes, the writer of Samuel and Kings gives us what we need to know about his role in things, but it’s almost too brief. I almost missed it. He was apparently a man who cared about your righteousness enough to speak truth to power and then risk his life to do what he perceived to be your will.

Father, make me a man of this kind of courage. Help me to know when to speak and when not to speak. Help me to know when to act and when not to act. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. But do it in reverse order of that prayer. Give me the wisdom to know when you are calling me to act, when you are calling me to not act but pray, and when you are calling me to accept a situation. Give me the courage to follow your call. And when it is time to accept your judgment and a situation about which I am to do nothing, fill me with your peace.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on July 5, 2019 in 1 Kings, 2 Samuel, Solomon


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