A year passed away. The child of Bathsheba was born. We can imagine what that year had been to David. Bathsheba, whom in all probability he truly loved, was with him as his wife; but it is inevitable that he had been haunted by the memory of Uriah and by the fear of Joab.
At last the prophet Nathan came and uttered a parable in which David's sin was portrayed. David uttered his opinion on the side of right. Then, like a flash, the prophet charged David with having committed the sin David had condemned. It was at that moment that the best in David was apparent, as he confessed, "I have sinned." His repentance was genuine and immediate.
That repentance was manifested in his attitude in the presence of the punishment which fell upon him. His child was stricken, and the king mourned, and besought that its life might be spared. This could not be. When the child was dead David worshiped.
Perhaps nothing more perfectly reveals the sincerity of his repentance than this ready acceptance of the stroke by which God refused to answer his prayer.
In the midst of his worship, he said of the child, "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." This shows his consciousness of the spiritual world and of the life beyond.
The account of his dealing with the children of Ammon after his victory over them should be read in the light of the margin of the Revised Version, which shows that he placed them in servitude rather than treated them with barbarous cruelty.
the Second Week after Epiphany