Psalm 51 is a confession and request for forgiveness. It was written by King David as a response to being confronted about his sin. There is a specific sin King David is confessing.
King David was the beloved king of Israel. He was the second king of Israel who was anointed as a boy to reign following King Saul. The Bible tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart through an idealized story of a great king…but he was not perfect. The Bible tells us he was loved by God and known for his devotion to God. That should give us comfort that we don’t have to be perfect to be forgiven, because David was not perfect.
King David was a powerful man. He saw something he wanted and he took it. David saw the wife of a man in his army and wanted her for himself. Looking down from his palace, David saw Bathsheba and longed for her. He sent guards to fetch her and bring her to the palace. He was the king and the people did not refuse the king. David made his advances and Bathsheba spent the night with the king.
Bathsheba became pregnant. It may seem odd that the text tells us that Bathsheba was bathing when King David first saw her, but, based on Jewish customs, what she was doing was a ritual purification following her monthly cycle. So, when she becomes pregnant, we know the baby is King David’s. No need for a paternity test and an episode of the Jerry Springer show. This baby is King David’s because Bathsheba was not pregnant when he first saw her and her husband Uriah had been off fighting King David’s war. Continue reading