Misreading David and Bathsheba

The prophet Nathan confronts David

by Matt Morton

Last Sunday I preached on the David and Bathsheba story from 2 Samuel 11-12, an incident that easily ranks as the darkest moment of David’s life and reign. It’s stunning how quickly David’s life takes a terrible turn, from success to devastation seemingly overnight. Complacency leads to lust, which rapidly leads to abuse, adultery, deceit, and murder.

As I prepared my sermon, it occurred to me that this story is often misunderstood in some troubling and – I think – dangerous ways. Quite often our faulty interpretations of a Bible story tell us more about ourselves than anything else, and I think that’s especially true with the sad tale of David and Bathsheba.

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