Causes of Suffering – Sowing and Reaping

At times people ask questions about why there is suffering and there are several blog posts devoted to  that topic.  This one is another.

This one will delve into the story of King David.  King David was a great king of Israel, a mighty man who obeyed God.  But there were transgressions that caused him much suffering later in life.

Up until this point, there is no mention of suffering and fighting among siblings.  That changed after this event.

And while you can read the story in your own Bible, it will be posted here for convenience.

II Samuel 11:1  At the return of the year, at the time when kings go out, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. At evening, David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to look at. David sent and inquired after the woman. One said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, Uriah the Hittite’s wife?”

David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”

David sent to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah had come to him, David asked him how Joab did, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered. David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and didn’t go down to his house. 10 When they had told David, saying, “Uriah didn’t go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Haven’t you come from a journey? Why didn’t you go down to your house?”

11 Uriah said to David, “The ark, Israel, and Judah, are staying in tents; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field. Shall I then go into my house to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing!”

12 David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day, and the next day. 13 When David had called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. At evening, he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but didn’t go down to his house. 14 In the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 He wrote in the letter, saying, “Send Uriah to the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck, and die.”

16 When Joab kept watch on the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew that valiant men were. 17 The men of the city went out, and fought with Joab. Some of the people fell, even of David’s servants; and Uriah the Hittite died also. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; 19 and he commanded the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling all the things concerning the war to the king, 20 it shall be that, if the king’s wrath arise, and he asks you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Didn’t you know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Didn’t a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.’”

22 So the messenger went, and came and showed David all that Joab had sent him for. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us, and came out to us into the field, and we were on them even to the entrance of the gate. 24 The shooters shot at your servants from off the wall; and some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.”

25 Then David said to the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Make your battle stronger against the city, and overthrow it.’ Encourage him.”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 When the mourning was past, David sent and took her home to his house, and she bIIecame his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased Yahweh.

II Samuel 12:1   Yahweh sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and raised. It grew up together with him, and with his children. It ate of his own food, drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was like a daughter to him. A traveler came to the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to prepare for the wayfaring man who had come to him, but took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

David’s anger burned hot against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As Yahweh lives, the man who has done this deserves to die! He must restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity!”

Nathan said to David, “You are the man. This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that would have been too little, I would have added to you many more such things. Why have you despised Yahweh’s word, to do that which is evil in his sight? You have struck Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10 Now therefore the sword will never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken Uriah the Hittite’s wife to be your wife.’

11 “This is what Yahweh says: ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did this secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’”

13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against Yahweh.”

Nathan said to David, “Yahweh also has put away your sin. You will not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to Yahweh’s enemies to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you will surely die.” 15 Nathan departed to his house.

Yahweh struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it was very sick. 16 David therefore begged God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his house arose beside him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, and he didn’t eat bread with them. 18 On the seventh day, the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he didn’t listen to our voice. How will he then harm himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?”

19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; and David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?”

They said, “He is dead.”

20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his clothing; and he came into Yahweh’s house, and worshiped. Then he came to his own house; and when he requested, they set bread before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child was dead, you rose up and ate bread.”

22 He said, “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows whether Yahweh will not be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

24 David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her, and lay with her. She bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Yahweh loved him; 25 and he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah, for Yahweh’s sake.

 

Note this phrase:  You have struck Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife,You have struck Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

God knew that Uriah had been set up to be killed by the children of Ammon.  God said (through the prophet Nathan, God’s spokesman) to David…“You have struck Uriah”.  The point is, for all of us, God knows the true story which is why we need to walk in the fear of the Lord and obedience to his commandments.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, everyone tried to blame everyone else and that didn’t go well.  Each entity involved in the Fall received a unique judgment for their own individual part in the Fall.  Regardless of social media, the propaganda news, or the town gossip, God knows the true story in every circumstance and judgement follows accordingly.  David could not say to God, “I didn’t kill Uriah, the children of Ammon did.”  God knew the truth.

Proverbs 26:2  Like a fluttering sparrow,
like a darting swallow,
so the undeserved curse doesn’t come to rest.

 

*The word “Yahweh” is translated as “the Lord” in other translations.


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