Nathan’s parable-David confesses his sin. (1-14)
ESV Study Bible: David Started by breaking the tenth commandment (coveting, Ex 20:17), then the seventh (Adultery Ex. 20:14), and then the sixth (murder Ex 20:13), while the Lord silently watched his behavior. Here at last the Lord calls him to account for standing above the law. Psalm 51 was composed in response to this occasion. Nathan apparently asks David to intervene in a legal matter. The “parable” (2 Sam. 12:1–4) is similar to the plea of the wise woman of Tekoa in ch. 14 and that of the prophet in 1 Kings 20:35–43. In all these cases, it is pointed out to the king that his own actions do not match his judgments.
Nathan’s confrontation with David occurs about one year or closer after the incident.
V. 3: Lamb… Keeping a lamb as a house pet was common in Israel. Taking away such a lamb was considered as atrocious and scandalous crime.
V. 4: Traveler… Comparing this with the incident, the traveler is David’s lust. Eros is the physical, sensual love between a husband and wife. God created humans male and female and instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden. Within marriage, sex is used for emotional and spiritual bonding and for reproduction. Eros mixed with Phileo (brotherly and friendly love), and agape (unconditional love) is pure and Biblical. Eros without Phileo and Agape, which happens outside marriage, becomes porneia (Col. 3:5) which is sexual immorality. Eros by itself is a self-centered or self-oriented love.
The Pulpit Commentary mentions that temptation first comes as a traveler, a passer-by, but if not resisted will become a wayfarer who stays a while and if, again tolerated, will take up permanent residence with the sinner. …took the poor man’s lamb… The God of the Bible is known as the God of the poor, needy, little, suppressed and oppressed. Kings & ruler, as God’s representatives, should protect them. Ex. 23:6, Prov. 331:9, Is. 3:14, & so on).
So, this desire is created from a force outside the marriage boundary, and this visitor can’t be fed legally, and should involve outside source only. First place, the temptation should have been avoided. Secondly, this should have been resisted by confessing and receiving strength from God.
Vs. 5&6: …Shall surely die….shall restore: This parable is to demand a sincere repentance, confession, and cleansing in Spirit, Body and Soul. Or else, this should be dealt with punishment according to the Law of Moses, which is death (Lev. 20:10) and proper repayment (ex. 22:1), the very judgment that came from the mouth of David himself in Verses 5 & 6. This judgment of David was his sincere concern for justice, amidst his sin. This won’t make David a hypocrite also as hypocrite won’t acknowledge his sin and would try to rationalize his action. When confronted he readily repented, and accepted God’s punishment by taking the baby away. Indeed David did pay fourfold in the death of four of his sons including this baby. The other sons are Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah.
Vs. 7-15: …You are the man (7)… This is the most dramatic statement of the story. In this entire passage we read about the righteous judgment of God not in the form of condemning David’s soul to hell, but in the form of consequence of sin especially he did it as a king, executor of justice.
ESV Study Bible: This passage has similarities with Nathan’s prophecy in ch. 7. In both, the Lord looks back on what he has done by grace for David. But while in ch. 7 the Lord graciously promised him an enduring house, here he announces that David by his own deeds will experience misery in his house. David has despised the Lord and His word.
V. 9: The issue here is that David knew the Law as a man who took delight in the Law of God. Nevertheless, he despised. We will see in more detail next week or the following as we study Psalm 51.
Vs. 10&11: …sword shall never depart… means there will be death by violence (13:29, 18:15, and 1 Kings 2:25). ….he shall lie with your wives: Absolom did this while rebelling against David in 2 Samuel 16:22.
V. 13… “I have sinned against the LORD”…: In the light of Psalms 51 and from Nathan’s response (The Lord also has put away your sin…), this is a genuine confession that led David towards a genuine repentance.
V. 14…given a great occasion to the enemies…to blaspheme… It is sad that a person who is zealous for God would give occasion for God to be ridiculed by his own sin. Romans 2: 24 for “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written. This has resulted in the LORD striking the Child of Uriah’s wife (not the Child of David’s wife), whereas God loved Solomon who was born to the same Bathsheba, now David’s wife.