Between the Lines: Pentecost 9: July 29, 2012

Text: II Samuel 11:1-15

Rembrandt - David and Uriah (detail) - WGA19125

Rembrandt – David and Uriah (detail) – WGA19125 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s reading includes only the first part of the story. The consequences of David’s actions are described when the prophet Nathan confronts David (2 Samuel 12:1-18). He tells him a story about a rich man who robs a poor man of his “one little ewe.” When David says the culprit should die, Nathan springs his trap:

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from 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 had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. . . David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house. The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became very ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child; David fasted, and went in and lay all night on the ground. The elders of his house stood beside him, urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died.

After the grieving David goes again to Bathsheba who now bears him a son named Solomon. When you consider your “sin” – the time(s) when you missed the mark by your infidelity to a person or principle or some value at your core self – how did the event lead to both death and life? What do you know on the other side of grief the birth of a new and promising possibility? Who in your dark time has been your lost child and your “Solomon”?

– Bill Dols

“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC. BibleWorkbench includes a series of open-ended questions focused on a reading in the Common Lectionary aimed at drawing readers into the story and making connections with the world around them and the world within. Also included are “Between the Lines” reflections, Parallel Readings from literature, poetry, and the news, and Critical Background on the text and its setting. For details and subscription information, go to

One response to “Between the Lines: Pentecost 9: July 29, 2012

  1. Pingback: 120816–George Hach’s Inner Disciplines Journal–Thursday |

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