ISRAEL'S HISTORY: ANCIENT

God’s Amazing Grace

God’s Amazing Grace
By Charles E. McCracken
GROW February 4

 

TODAY’S TEXT: 2 SAMUEL 12:1-24

So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the LORD loved him, and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD. 2 SAMUEL 12:24b-25.

 

Grace is a word often used, but seldom fully understood. How would our lives change if we fully grasped the implications of God’s amazing grace?

King David’s life exemplifies the magnitude of God’s grace in a way all can grasp.

Even a cursory study of David’s life reveals a man far from perfect. The Bible doesn’t whitewash, camouflage or ignore his imperfections; David is who he is—virtues as well as faults.

The illicit relationship between David and Bathsheba and their subsequent attempts to conceal the truth spiraled out of control with devastating consequences. Uriah was dead. The child born to King David and Bathsheba also had died seven days after birth just a day before the circumcision and naming could be performed.

Nathan_and_David_t

Bronze bas-relief: Nathan, David and Bathsheba. (Madeleine Place de La Madeleine, Paris, 1837), By Baron Henri de Triqueti (1803-1874), {{PD-US}}, via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios

 

Nathan predicted the consequences of their sin; and, they knew what lay in store. For seven days, they hovered over the newborn unable to escape the memories of their sin. God was displeased by their actions—there were consequences—tragically, their child died as Nathan predicted.

It’s easy to focus on the tragedy of the circumstances they brought upon themselves. But, if we pull ourselves away from the remorse and sadness of this true-life story, it quickly becomes evident that while instructive, the real message is God’s grace.

David’s repentance as recorded in the 51st Psalm demonstrates an intense awareness of God’s grace as he prayed,

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You (Ps. 51:10-13).

He had nothing to offer in exchange for God’s forgiveness. David placed himself fully in the gracious hands of God.

And, God forgave the sin of David and Bathsheba completely. Nathan still warned of consequences set in motion by his actions, but David’s sin was forgiven—not partially, not conditionally, but completely (2 Sam 12:13). By God’s grace, they could experience the unsurpassed peace of forgiveness. If only more Christians could embrace that truth!

Shortly after the death of their newborn, Bathsheba conceived and gave birth to another son. In the brief statement recording the birth of the child, we see the model of God’s sovereign grace (v.24b).

Eight days following his birth, their baby boy was circumcised according to Jewish custom and named, Solomon. The name is Shelomo in Hebrew and commentators suggest it means “peace” or “peaceable”. Interestingly, the name also conveys the concept of restoration.

The name communicates not only the peace of forgiven sin along with a restored relationship, but also suggests their understanding that God had replaced the son taken from them as a consequence of sin. What a tremendous testimony of God’s grace.

The fact that David and Bathsheba were blessed to continue their relationship as husband and wife is amazing. That they were given another son is astounding.

Read carefully what Scripture records upon the occasion of Solomon’s birth: Now the Lord loved him (v. 24). This was not a grudging concession on God’s part. Nor was Solomon considered just another son among many in David’s household. God loved Solomon!

SONY DSC

Statue du roi Salomon, par Juan Bautista Monegro, façade de la basilique du monastère San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Espagne. Image by Jebulon [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios

Despite his parent’s shortcomings, Solomon was the son to whom God specifically expressed His love. The text concludes, and He [God] sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD (v.25). There could be no more definitive expression of God’s love for Solomon.

Jedidiah combines the abbreviated name for Jehovah, (Ya) with a form of David’s own name (dwd), which means “beloved”; combined, the name means “beloved of God” or “Jehovah’s beloved”. God identified Solomon as the son of promise—the son through whom the Davidic Covenant would be realized—the next “David.”

God demonstrates throughout biblical history that He delights in using the least likely individuals (from man’s perspective) to accomplish His purposes.

In spite of the circumstances that brought them together, David and Bathsheba’s son, Solomon, was destined to be next in succession in the lineage of Messiah.

The application we can take away is simple, yet profound.

God in His grace forgives completely. God honors a contrite heart and forgives those who come to Him in genuine repentance. The sooner; the better; but, it’s never too late. That’s the beauty of God’s amazing grace!

© Charles E. McCracken 2016, text content only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author.