Why Did Not God Have David And Bathsheba Stoned For Their Adultery?
Dear Mike,Hi R____
I hope you and yours and doing well. I have always been puzzled by the account of David and Bathsheba. Here we have a man having intercourse with a married woman, and the law clearly stating that under such circumstances both the man and the woman were to be put to death.Deuteronomy 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.And yet, instead of that, God puts their child to death and allows David and Bathsheba to live. Why were they not killed? We know that David repented of his sin, but then I wonder if for example, anyone else committed this act, that they could avoid the death penalty by repenting as well, or were David and Bathsheba an exception to the norm. I am not so sure if this has any bearing on this issue or not, but when the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus, (interestingly the man wasn't, whoever he was) he did not command her to be put to death either, but showed mercy. I guess I always thought the law was basically unforgiving and unbending as to its application. Any thoughts on this, brother?
You ask why David and Bathsheba were not put to death according to the law of Moses. The answer from scripture is that "this happened to them and it was written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
I have written two papers which bear on this subject which I hope you find the time to read. They are The Law of Moses Versus The Law of The Spirit and Rightly Dividing The Word Using A Principle Which Only The Apostles Understood.
I simply do not have the time to rehash those two lengthy papers, but suffice it to say that Christ came as a reformer, as He was prophesied to be from when the law was first given. These words were uttered at Sinai at the giving of the law:
Deu 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
Deu 18:16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb [Sinai] in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
Deu 18:17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well [spoken that] which they have spoken.
Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Deu 18:19 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him.
Deu 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Just as it is today, God's people do not want to hear what He has to say. They want someone else to tell them what God says and then if they like it they will listen, but they had better not be told that they are called to be crucified with and die daily with Christ. That is not a marketable message.
The only time Israel is recorded as saying, "Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not" was at Sinai.
So Christ knew that the law of Moses was but a parenthetical period in His plan and purpose which would serve simply to show mankind his inability to obey even physical commandments, much less much more demanding spiritual concepts like "resist not evil... love thine enemies... don't even look on a woman to lust after her in you heart..." etc.
It was the Old Testament prophets who declared that God was not interested in outward acts of obedience, but in inward spiritual obedience from a converted heart within.
1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Samuel was both a judge and a prophet. Christ was well aware of these words which He had inspired Samuel to record. And He also inspired these words which he utilized with both King David and the woman caught in adultery.
Hos 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
So Christ reminds the self-righteous Jews that they, like their father Judah as regarding his daughter-in-law Tamar, are all worthy of death, and then He speaks the most wonderful words that have ever been heard by man:
Joh 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
Joh 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Joh 8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
Joh 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not].
Joh 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Joh 8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9 And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
Joh 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
Joh 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
You and I have had an extended discussion about the concept of "living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." This story is a perfect example of how we all are destined to do so. If you or I read this story and think in our hearts what the Pharisee thought of the publican, 'Oh, I am so thankful to God that I have never been such a self-righteous person as those Jewish scribes and Pharisees,' then we have at that very moment, said in our hearts that 'These words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God (in "what is written" 1Co 4:6) are not for me, because I have never done, and would never do such a self-righteous thing.'
That is a lie on the part of any human being. The only reason any one of us does not succumb to the lowest pulls of the flesh is that God himself has hedged out the Adversary and has not permitted us to be so "sifted" as to commit those heinous deeds.
Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
So it is with all who serve Christ. They do so because He is in them, and their days of their service to Him, with Him in them, "were written in His book before any of those days were." None of us serves God simply because we have and have exercised our own free will to obey God.
Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them (ASV).If there is any truth to this verse of Psalms, then there is also great hidden truth in these verses:
Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
If the scriptures are true, and it is "Not of him that wills, but of God who either shows mercy or hardens," if Joseph's brothers were not responsible for Joseph being sold into slavery, if Jacob and Esau were preordained to do what they did to one another "while they were yet in their mother's womb, having done neither good nor evil," then the words of Christ are also true, and we all will "live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, keep the sayings of the words of this prophecy and drink of this cup." It is all already written in His book and we will live by every word.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Jer 25:13 And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.
Jer 25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.
Jer 25:16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.
Jer 25:17 Then took I the cup at the LORD'S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:
Jer 25:18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;
Jer 25:28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.
Samson married a Philistine woman of Timnath, contrary to the commandment of God, and yet we are told "it was of the Lord."
Jdg 14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
If Samson's marriage to a Philistine woman, was "of the Lord," why are not our sins also "after the counsel of His own will" and a matter of living every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God? Of course, that is exactly what they are:
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.
Why weren't David and Bathsheba stoned for their adultery? It was to tell us that Christ was coming to reverse the law's claim on us for our spiritual adultery. Why did Christ not keep the law of Moses which required that the man and the woman caught in adultery be stoned to death? It was because He had come as a new spiritual priesthood, and "there being a change in the priesthood there must be a change also of the law," a change from the carnal letter of Moses to the new, even more impossible, "law of the spirit..."
Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
Heb 7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
Heb 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
Heb 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
Heb 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
But the application of that change is to teach us to compare spiritual things with spiritual and not spiritual with physical. Spiritually you and I are both the scribes and the Pharisees wanting to stone a woman who is less of a sinner than are we. We are Judah who wants Tamar burned. We are also the woman caught in the very act of spiritual adultery with Babylon and all of her false and blasphemous doctrines, and we are also both the good seed and the tares. That is why both grow together in us until the harvest which is the day of judgment that the house of God is now in.
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17 For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
We are not to "suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters" because we have already lived that part of the "words that have proceeded out of the mouth of God."
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
We "live by every word of God," not just the good words of God. To deny this is to deny all these scriptures which tell us that it is God who creates "the wicked" you and me for the "day of evil" in each of us. Our every thought and action is "from the Lord."
Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
I hope this does not offend you, but I must point out that this 4th verse tells us that all wickedness is "for Himself" and for the specific purpose of working out His "predestinated... days that were ordained for" us all.
I hope this has answered your question about why God did not have David and Bathsheba stoned, why Christ did not stone the woman caught in adultery, and I also hope that it has helped you to see that Christ is judging His christ now, and is binding the tares in bundles to be burned, now as we live out every word that has ever proceeded out of His mouth, not in letter but in spirit.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. [which God has for this time blinded, to His Truth].
Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
Your brother in Christ,