A Humanist perspective on what we can learn about what is morality from the Bible.
2 Samuel 12: God kills an innocent child to get back at David
God sends a messenger to David to tell him – you idiot – what they hell did you do – sleep with another man’s wife and then kill him? What were you thinking? David admits he sinned and asks for forgiveness. So God says – ok – but I’m going to kill the child to make up for this blaspheme. The child gets sick. David petitions God, but to no avail. The child dies. David comforts Bath-sheba and they have sex again and she has another son named Solomon. God loves this child. David finally defeats the Ammonites and takes the crown of gold back to Jerusalem.
In other words:
God is mad at David for killing Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband), so he kills David and Bathsheba’s love child.
2 Samuel 12:2-7 – God has Nathan , a priest, deliver his message of disappointment through parable. Imagine there is a rich man with lots of sheep and a poor man with just one. A stranger comes into the land and the rich man, not wanting to give him one of his sheep takes the sheep from the poor man. Would that be ok? Ummmmm. No. Apparently the sheep in this parable are David’s wives (plural) and Uriah’s wife (singular).
How bad is it?
2 Samuel 12:11, 12 –“ I will raise up evil against thee of out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of the sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” Yeah – God is pissed.
Least favorite bit:
2 Samuel 14: After David repents, God decides – well – I’ll just kill the kid and we’ll call it even. ( I can’t even begin to describe how immoral God is in this bit – I just. can’t.)
2nd least favorite bit:
2 Samuel 12:24 – David and Bathsheba have another son, Solomon – and God likes him. Again, the morality of this is just. I can’t.
Sanest part of this chapter:
2 Samuel 22, 23 – After fasting and trying to convince god to spare the first child and failing. David doesn’t even mourn. When asked why he says, “But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” This is a very rational and dare I say humanistic approach to grief.
Moral Lesson Learned:
When you do something wrong, be honest about it and apologize (2 Samuel 12)