David’s Pleading

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Two-minute read.

“David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.”

2 Samuel 12:16

David’s pleading.

After David slept with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, she became pregnant. Still married to another man, King David devised a way to kill him. Calling Uriah from the battlefield, the king filled him with decadent foods and fine wine, then sent him home to sleep with his wife. Uriah, a man of honor, refused to enjoy marital pleasures when his men battled valiantly. And so David sends orders with Uriah to deliver to Joab, the army commander.  David ordered Joab to place Uriah in the fiercest fighting so he would get killed.

Once Uriah dies, David marries Bathsheba. God sends a prophet to David, who informs the king that he will suffer God’s justice, the sword never leaves his house, and the unborn child will die. Desperate, David tears his clothing, puts on sackcloth, and pleads with God through prayer and fasting to spare the child. However, the Lord remained faithful to His word, the baby died, and David got the answer to his pleading.

“For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.'” 2 Samuel 12:12

What David did secretly, the Lord chastised publicly. God sees all we do and responds to our actions. The king didn’t repent until Nathan pointed out his flaws. David would have continued his deceitful path if the prophet hadn’t come. But God publicly responded to David’s secret activities, exposing the warrior’s wicked ways. When David tried to manipulate God through fasting and prayer, it didn’t work. Once his son died, David took off the sackcloth and accepted his fate.

God does love us and wants the best for us. Trying to manipulate the Lord through prayer and fasting to ignore our misdeeds and bless us anyway doesn’t work. David’s pleading did not affect God’s decision. We serve a just and holy God who tells us sin has consequences. The Lord does forgive us, but we still endure the fallout from our misguided decisions. 

When I racked up credit card debt, God forgave me, but I still had to repay the borrowed money. Yes, the Lord could have made my debt disappear, but I wouldn’t have learned the lesson if He did. And if David didn’t suffer the consequences of his actions, he wouldn’t know either. Bad decisions lead to unfavorable outcomes.

Seek God before you head down a wayward path. Let Him correct your direction before you end up in a mess like David.

Journal Questions:

  • How can I apply today’s devotion to my life?
  • When have you tried to manipulate God with your prayers?
  • How can prayer and fasting help you stay on the path of righteousness?


Lord, thank You for teaching us a valuable lesson from David’s actions. Help us avoid making the same mistake, following after our desires without consulting You.  As we seek You through fasting and prayer, guide us on the path of righteousness, leading us away from temptation and helping us to find life to the fullest in You.  Let our heart’s desires align with Yours. IJNIP. Amen

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