Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.” 2 Samuel 12:13b-14
After David confesses his sin to Nathan, the Lord spoke his judgment on David through the prophet – you will not die, but the son born to you will die. Sin carries a stiff price. It is insightful to contrast what David does versus what he doesn’t do. 1) David accepts God’s judgment – the son to be born as a direct result of David’s sin will die – but 2) he fasts and prays, pleading with God to be gracious and let the son live; 3) he lays on the ground defenseless before the Lord; and 4) when the boy dies, David gets up, washes, and worships the Lord. What David doesn’t do is 1) deflect his sin; 2) blame God; nor 3) try to negotiate God’s judgment. When the child dies, David explains, While the child was still alive, I fasted and wpt. I thought, Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live. But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me. Through it all, David knows God is sovereign. He ends up in the best place he, or we, could be – worshipping the Lord God.