Did God Contradict?

Praise the Lord, I need an explanation on 2 Samuel Chapter 12. I have two questions

  1. 2 Samuel 12:8 God says. I have given your master’s wives into your arms .Is it not contradiction to God 's own law. Please explain.

  2. 2 Samuel 12:14,15 Why did God allow deadth of innocent child born to David and Bathseba.Did God who is father to the Fatherless punish the innocent child?

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Hello, @Jaikar. You have some really great questions!

First, the rendering of the Scripture given here, “I have given your master’s wives into your arms” is not exactly an accurate rendering. The Hebrew word this version is translating as “arms” actually translates to “bosom.” Whenever someone was taken into someone else’s bosom in the Bible, it was usually referring to a care-taking or stewarding role as opposed to marriage. The New King James Version gives a bit more accurate of a rendering, reading, “I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping…” So the verse is not saying that God gave David his master’s wives to take them as his own wives. God gave them over into David’s care. If He had not, the wives would have been turned out with no where to go and no one to care for them.

I myself struggled with this issue for quite some time. If we ask this of the text here, then we must ask it of all similar situations in life. Why did God allow that innocent child to die at the hands of her abusive parents? Why does God allow innocent children to die of starvation?

There is indeed suffering in this world because it is broken. And it is understandable that we see physical death as something horrific and punishing. But it is important to see death from God’s perspective. For example, one of our good friends from our previous church died of cancer. People were saying, “It just wasn’t God’s plan to heal her.” I asked, “Do you believe she is with the Lord?” “Well, of course!” They exclaimed. I then asked, “Then how is it that we claim that God did not heal her?” We have to understand that while from our very limited view, death looks like the end because we no longer see the person here, God sees the life that is available beyond the “first” death. In a recent talk from the Saturday session, “The Task in a Time of Crisis,” Ravi makes the point that God is over all of time. Jesus is Lord of the past, present, and future, so Jesus is the reference point for everything that happens anywhere on the time line. Jesus is the single interpretive figure of all of history. This fact should change our perspective a bit, I would think. To us who see him no more, the child is dead, but to God who sees him still, he is alive and more well than he ever could have been on this earth with all its troubles because of Jesus and his work on the cross.

This is my take on it. Let me know if this helps or leads to more questions! :slight_smile:

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Hi Jaikar,
I think everyone has struggled with this passage. Lindsay’s reply is so great, what can really be added to the substance of it?
If we look at Lindsay’s post as the complete picture, let’s say, we could zoom in on some details. There are some things I have associated with this scripture, maybe it will further help you in your own contemplations…
In my Bible, next to verses 13-14 of 2 Samuel 12, I have written a huge question mark. How do we reconcile verses 13-14 with Scripture like Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:19-20?
Some considerations:

  1. the child’s death is clearly linked (the result of?) David’s sin - verse 14
  2. but the LORD “put away” David’s sin - verse 13

So is it not punishment, but protection?
But protection of what?

  • Of the integrity of the kingdom God is trying to establish (i.e. David’s kingdom - 2 Samuel 7; 2 Samuel 5:12 - the kingdom of Israel)?

  • Of the child itself, somehow? Compare 2 Samuel 12:15 with 2 Samuel 12:24: verse 15 says Uriah’s wife bore David a child; verse 24 says David’s wife bore David a child. Both of these verses are referring to the same woman. Consider the cultural and legal implications of verse 15 for everyone involved, David, Bathsheba and the child.

  • Of the LORD’s own name? The LORD’s first concern is always for His own Name and glory, and rightly so. In reading 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles and the Psalms, we can see that David knew how to appeal to the LORD on the basis of the sake of His Own Name, even as Moses did, e.g. Numbers 14:13-21. The name of the LORD is high above all the earth.

Also, in verse 23 of 2 Samuel 12, David says of the now deceased child, “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” So, as Lindsay said, that child is not only no longer afflicted, but fully alive. We all know where David went. :slight_smile:

Further, but not last, in consideration, are these thoughts:

  1. This is not God’s fault, but David’s. David was warned against this very thing, quite bluntly: Exodus 20:17
  2. God’s heart. How must it have broken because of all this? The child was innocent, yes. But no heart has ever been more innocent than God’s, and it bears the weight and scars and indignation of a billion children’s deaths.
  3. God took no delight in the child’s death. He does not even delight in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 18:23 and 32.

I hope this helps further illuminate Lindsay’s wonderful response and your own searchings. The Lord lead you in wisdom, God bless.

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Ah, thank you so much for adding your insight, @countryinked! Your response has been an edifying read and is very much appreciated!