Nathan immediately informed him that the Lord had forgiven his sin.
Uh oh. The amazing, grateful blanket of relief of being forgiven by God. Followed by, "However".
Forgiven of sin is not the same as released from consequences. Particularly those natural consequences that match the action. (Just like we learned in Love and Logic teaching and parenting.)
The Lord had made a covenant with David and the next baby was going to be his 8th, which is the number of new beginnings. We learn that the baby Bathsheba and David do have (Solomon) became identified as the one to carry on the crown. This baby, the one conceived in utter base sin and covered up by murder, could not be the beginning of the Lord's bloodline. Nathan frames it this way, "You have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme."
The baby lived only a week, so he was unable to be circumcised and named.
Solomon was born and was living evidence of God's forgiveness; God's provision of a new start; and God's promise of a redeemed future for us all.
This scene with Bathsheba, although fundamental and foundation to the future of mankind, was only a side story as David was still in the era of conquest and had to go complete the battle against Rabbah, so that the victory would count for his name-although Joab had done the lion's share of the work. At least Joab (probably by God's prompting) recognized the need to support is king and bring him the victory.
I think I need to meditate on that. How often do I claim the victory for myself, so that my name may be lifted up. Even corrupt Joab knew to save the victory for the king, so that the king's name be praised and the nation stronger for having a strong king. If Joab had kept the victory for himself, it would have split the names of those strong military leaders, leaving the kingdom vulnerable to factions-just like the ones they were just now coming out from. But Joab saved the victory for the king.
I can and should do the same. Put the victory under the name of our one true, strong king. Never touching the glory of God for myself.
Lord- please give me the words to do that correctly. Sometimes it sounds so awkward to try and give you the glory for work tasks and such. But I know there is a way to make it a natural part of who I am. A reflex to extend the victory to the real victor. I submit myself to you and ask that you renew my mind in Christ Jesus; and change me in this way.
I've camped on these two chapters, 11 and 12, for weeks. I've had various other studies and such, but I really was camping on these chapters when I had my own reading time. I found them deeply compelling and rich in lessons. And at the end of all of the tumult, God gives the Israelites (and their leader) a huge victory. That's how God chose to end this scene. I know we get into the consequences of David's sin next, and that comes soon enough. But before God picks up with the rest of the story, he gives David a significant victory with a 75 pound crown to symbolize that he was still King, reigning under the grace of a God with a plan and a God that forgives.
That's a pretty cool way to top off such a disappointing detour in David's journey. What astounding hope that gives to the rest of us.