Over the last several Bible studies, we have been examining David’s sin with Bathsheba and later his confrontation by the studly prophet Nathan. If you haven’t already read those posts, I would encourage you to go back and read them before continuing this one.
2 Samuel 11
2 Samuel 11.27 – A Chiastic Displeasure
2 Samuel 12.1-7 – You Are the Man
After Nathan shares the story of the rich and poor man, David condemns himself by Nathan’s famous reply “You are the man!” Nathan then goes on to share the heart of God: “I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!” (2 Samuel 12.7-8). God in essence is saying, “David, I gave you everything you needed and if you thought that was too little, I would have heaped on all the more.”
Isn’t it interesting that we are in the same state as David? God has given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1.3). This “everything” we have is Jesus Himself. And if He were too little, God would have heaped even more into our lives (but for note, Jesus is the fullness – so we don’t need anything outside of Him).
God, through the lips of Nathan, then gives the explanation for why this sin took place in David’s life: “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do this evil in His sight?” (12.9). Despised. In Hebrew, this word means to hold in contempt, disdain, to be considered vile or worthless. The dictionary defines despise as “to feel contempt or a deep repugnance (intense disgust) for.” It is to look at something and consider it beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.
To give four quick examples of where else this word is used in the Old Testament. If you don’t know what it’s referring to, I encourage you to look up the story in its entirety.
- Genesis 25.34 – Esau despises his birthright
- 1 Samuel 17.42 – Goliah despises David for he was only a youth
- Esther 3.6 – Haman despises Mordecai and thus wants to destroy every Jew in the world
- Isaiah 53.3, Psalm 22.6 – prophecy about the coming Messiah being despised
In each of these cases, there was such a contempt, disdain, a deep repugnance, disgust in the life of the individual they considered the other “object” worthless, vile, deserving scorn, not even worth consideration. They looked at the individual or object, scoffed, and didn’t give it another thought.
This, according to God, was what was taking place in the life of David. He looked at all God was doing and he “despised” and thus did evil in God’s sight. David looked at God’s commandments, viewed all God was doing in his life, all that God wanted to accomplish in and through him and he despised it – considering it worthless, vile, and not even worth another moment’s thought. From deep within there was a contempt, disgust, repugnance, and disdain for the things of God.
Isn’t it interesting that sin doesn’t merely disregard and show no value to God’s commands but it looks at God and all He is and considers Him to be worthless, something beneath consideration, deserving scorn. In Romans 8.1-2 it declares: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” It is God’s intent and desire to SET US FREE from sin! We are to live in continual triumph and victory! But what happens in sin is we look at all God has done, provided, and desires, and we despise it. We would rather live under the condemnation of sin and death than live in the freedom and victory He provides.
God has made an avenue of freedom (it’s Jesus). But when we turn to sin rather than God, it is as if we are looking at the Cross and all Jesus purchased upon it and we toss it to the wind with contempt, disdain, considering it all vile and worthless. If we choose to live in sin rather than life and victory, we make Jesus and the Cross worthless and deserving of contempt, repugnance, and scorn. We give it no value for we do not allow it to do its work in our life, thus becoming worthless and meaningless.
But sin does not merely show a disregard for God but it also gives occasion for the world to blaspheme God. A few verses later in 2 Samuel 12.14, Nathan says: “because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme…” When we live in sin, what our lives proclaim to the world is that “Jesus doesn’t work.” Obviously if what Jesus claims as true throughout Scripture was in fact TRUE, we would no longer be living in sin! Therefore, since we are still living in sin, He must not be true. Our sin gives the world opportunity to look God in the eye, spit in His face, and be “displeased.”
God HAS made an avenue of freedom and victory – it is the Cross and the Saviour who died upon it. He is our ONLY hope of freedom and victory. Do not despise the Lord and all He has done! Allow Him to come in afresh and anew, removing every ounce of corruption, rebellion, and sin, and then allow Him to BE your life.
Read the other Bible Studies in this series:
The Downfall of David
The Rightness of 2 Samuel 11
A Chiastic Displeasure – 2 Samuel 11.27
You Are the Man – 2 Samuel 12.1-7
Despised – 2 Samuel 12.9