What David said of the mournful report of Saul’s death may more fitly be applied to the sad story of this chapter, the adultery and murder David was guilty of.—“Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon.” We wish we could draw a veil over it, and that it might never be known, might never be said, that David did such things as are here recorded of him. But it cannot, it must not, be concealed. The scripture is faithful in relating the faults even of those whom it most applauds, which is an instance of the sincerity of the penmen, and an evidence that it was not written to serve any party: and even such stories as these “were written for our learning,” that “he that thinks he stands may take heed lest he fall,” and that others’ harms may be our warnings. Many, no doubt, have been emboldened to sin, and hardened in it, by this story, and to them it is a “savour of death unto death;” but many have by it been awakened to a holy jealousy over themselves, and constant watchfulness against sin, and to them it is a “savour of life unto life.” Those are very great sins, and greatly aggravated, which here we find David guilty of. I. He committed adultery with Bath-sheba, the wife of Uriah, 2 Sam. 11:1-5. II. He endeavoured to father the spurious brood upon Uriah, 2 Sam. 11:6-13. III. When that project failed, he plotted the death of Uriah by the sword of the children of Ammon, and effected it, 2 Sam. 11:14-25. IV. He married Bath-sheba, 2 Sam. 11:26, 27. Isa. this David? Isa. this the man after God’s own heart? How is his behaviour changed, worse than it was before Ahimelech! How has this gold become dim! Let him that readeth understand what the best of men are when God leaves them to themselves.
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