The story of David and Bathsheba is one of temptation, sin and anguish. Because of a horrible act of adultery, Bathsheba became pregnant and had a child.  As a result, Godís sentence was that the child should not live. Though David fasted and begged God to spare the childís life, God remained resolute and allowed the child to die (II Samuel 12:14).

            But what if God had spared the childís life? What if He had shown mercy to David, Bathsheba and the child and had foregone the punishment?

            No doubt, Godís decree was sore, but there was a lesson that He had to teach David and future generations. David had to learn the great lesson that sin is detestable in Godís eyes, and that He will punish sinners, no matter what their rank may be. Moreover, God wanted David to learn that, though much had been given to him, much was expected from him and that, as Godís anointed, he had the duty to set a righteous example for the whole nation. If God had allowed David to escape his punishment, that lesson would have never been learned, and David might have continued to rebel against Godís will.

                 Furthermore, Davidís servants who were aware of his sin, and the whole nation that would have finally found out, might have concluded that God has double standards, and that rulers receive special treatment, even when they commit heinous sins.

In fact, when Nathan the prophet confronted David, he stressed the fact that, as a result of Davidís sin, Godís enemies had received an occasion to blaspheme (V. 14).

God was willing to forgive David, but He decreed that he had to be consequenced to silence the opposition. God had to make clear to all that sin is reprehensible to Him, no matter who the perpetrator may be, and that He judges all humans equally.

            Had David been allowed to escape the just consequences to his evil deed, all believers throughout the ages may have been emboldened to conclude that God had a slack approach toward sinners and, consequently, might have adopted a relaxed approach toward similar sins.  Worse of all, many might have concluded that God had double standards, and was, therefore, unfair and unjust.

            Clearly, the punishment for Davidís sin was very strong. But if God had simply allowed David to get away with it, the long-term ramifications would have been disastrous for many.  God knew this and intervened, lest there would be any doubt in anyoneís mind that sin is detestable in His eyes, and that transgressions to His Holy Laws carries strong penalties, even if they are perpetrated by great Biblical characters such as David.




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Booklet cover: Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Why Does God Allow Suffering?