There is something so compelling, not just the image of a man on his face fasting and pleading with the Lord, but when told no, calming getting up, cleaning up and anointing himself and then worshiping the Lord. And then, and only then, breaking his fast. The servants who observed it firsthand marveled.
We just don't see that much today. It all could happen in private; so maybe it does happen. But we don't hear much about God from our public figures. If they don't do much to emphasize Him, it's hard to imagine the rest. I guess that's why David would get such a honored moniker of "man after God's own heart", despite his horrific sin- this side of him was such a positive example.
v. 24 A lot happens in this verse.
- David comforts Bathsheba. That seems significant. It shows he was compassionate and recognized her need. It sees very pro-woman for the time. Giving time and attention to her need after the loss. Many cultures dismiss woman as second class citizens and yet God included this in His Holy book.
- Then they tried again within the confines of a legal marriage and she conceived, and gave birth to Solomon.
- "Now the Lord loved him." I assume this means Solomon, since that's the last male name in the story; but I wonder if it also means David- having restored the situation.
God (via Nathan) named Solomon Jedidiah, for the Lord's sake. This means beloved of the Lord. Ryrie says this name marked him as successor for the throne.
One final thing that struck me from this whole passage. This seems to be a model of how to be restored after sin. You confess, repent, ask for forgiveness, worship God, and then you accept forgiveness and return to walking in faith, understanding that, although there still may be consequences to come, your sin itself has been forgiven. David didn't walk around letting the devil tell him what a bad person he was. He didn't walk away from God and go his own way. He didn't stay at the castle, hidden in shame. He went on with life, as God had granted to him; letting God's forgiveness be enough. Because it is enough and it is all that can be. Nothing David did could have added to what God granted.
We cannot let the enemy chase us around waving our past at us, 'for shame, for shame'. Accept the unearned gifts of grace and mercy, worship the Lord, and move on with life.
Back to the Battle
Verve 26 takes up back to the battle against the Ammon battle. Joab had, basically, won the battle and told David to come and claim the victory. So David arrived with the rest of the troops and took the crown from the king (75 pound crown!)
vs. 31 is a grim ending to this chapter. After David defeats Ammon, takes their spoils, and then, depending on the interpretation, he either puts them all to hard labor or kills them all in gruesome manners similar o how they killed prisoners.
I really slowed down in this chapter. There just seemed to be so much there. I look forward to comparing what struck me with what I find in the Wiersbe commentary.