Why did God kill the first son of David and Bethsheba? 

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The sin of David and Bethsheba

The Bible tells us that King David took Bethsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and laid with her. At this time her husband was away battling against the Ammonites. It was after this affair that Bethsheba knew she was pregnant (2 Samuel 11:2-5). To hide his sin, David commanded that Uriah be sent to the front line of the war to be destroyed by the enemies (2 Samuel 11:14-17). Uriah died and after the mourning period, the king took Bethsheba to be his wife.

“But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (2 Samuel 11:27). The king’s crime was not only against Uriah but also against God. The Lord had given him the throne and promised that the kingdom would be given to him and his seed, yet in spite of all this, he despised the One who had been so gracious to him. 

Further, the Lord placed upon David the responsibility to lift His law and to teach the nation to honor His commands. By his example, the king had shown disrespect for God’s law and had encouraged his subjects to ignore its principles. The king who should have been a dread to sinners had encouraged them in their evil ways. He had shown himself untrue to the holy responsibilities that the Lord had given him.

Nathan’s message  

So, the Lord sent Nathan to David and said: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds.  But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him.”

“And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him”  So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this hall surely die!” (2 Samuel 12:1-5). 

God’s judgement  

By his own verdict, David was the one who should die. But instead, God commanded that the child of his sin should die. To the king, the death of the child would be a much greater chastisement through his life than his own death.

By commanding the death of Uriah by the Ammonites, David was blamed for the blood of his faithful servant as if he had done the killing himself. The Lord put upon the king the charge of murder. And the king had no right to Bethsheba because she was the rightful wife of Uriah. In killing Uriah and then taking his wife, the king had done a great sin that permitted the enemies of God to blaspheme His holy name. The king was without excuse. He knew that he was in the wrong and that the sentence pronounced was just. 

By this sad experience, David was brought to complete repentance and restoration (Psalm 51). As he had done to others, so now he himself was to receive. However, the door of evil that David had opened would surround his offspring. However, God is merciful. David and Bathsheba bore another son, who David named Solomon and scriptures tell us that the LORD loved him. God chose this son to be the next king after David. King Solomon was known to be the wisest men ever, and that would ever live.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team 

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