These small group studies through the lives of David and Solomon contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Consequences of Sin – 2 Samuel 12 Inductive Bible Study

I. Story of the rich man and the sheep (1-4)
II. David recognizes the cruelty of the rich man (5-6)
III. Nathan rebukes David (7-12)
IV. David repents and the consequences of his sin (13-19)
V. David and Bathsheba’s future (20-25)
VI. Report about the country’s battles (26-31)


Psalm 51 and 32.


1. The Lord sent Nathan to David. Though it seemed almost no one knew what David had done, God knew. God was not going to allow David to get away with it

2. Nathan tells David a story – This is a wise way to approach the situation. If Nathan had started off by directly accusing David, David may have naturally reacted by denying, making excuses, or various other blame shifting techniques. First Nathan got David to admit in principle that the type of sin he committed was wrong. David was very willing to admit that someone else who had done what he had done was sinful. After admitting that, he would not be able to deny that he himself had sinned by doing the same thing. Through this story we are reminded of the principle that it is easier for us to see/admit other people’s sins than our own.

3. The man who did this must die! – David was right. He was deserving of death. So are we (see Romans 6:23.) At the same time God is merciful.

4. Verses 7-8 – You are the man! David had acted selfishly. Instead of enjoying what God had given him, he was unsatisfied and wanted something different, something more. We do the same thing. Greed, envy, coveting, and discontent are all similar sins. We should be cheerful and satisfied with what God has given us. We should use what he has given us to glorify Him rather than to satisfy our own fleshly desires. I should ask myself the question, “Am I truly thankful for what I have? Am I content with what I have? Or is there something more I am desiring?”

5. Nathan declared that David was Uriah’s murderer though he didn’t use his own sword to do it.

6. Verse 10 – Sin has consequences. The sword would not depart from his house. Some of these consequences could have been supernatural interventions. But many of these conflicts naturally arose because of David’s sins (this one included). For example if David did not marry many women (and steal another’s wife), but instead focused on training up his own children well then Absalom likely would not have rebelled against him. Perhaps it was David’s lingering guilt over his sin with Bathsheba that prevented him from acting decisively when his own sons sinned, thus letting that sin to grow. When one of David’s sons raped his half-sister, David did nothing. This may have been because he felt he couldn’t punish his son when he had done something as bad or worse

7. David repented – This is the good aspect of David’s character. Unlike Saul, who made many excuses, David genuinely repented. You can see more about his repentance in Psalm 52. David is a good example to us. When confronted with our sin, we should immediately repent without offering any excuse.

8. David’s child died – Our sins affect others. It is even more true that a father’s sin affects his own children. I believe David’s despair in this passage is caused by his knowledge that his child would suffer because of him. As a parent, I think there is nothing worse than being the cause of suffering to your children. David rightly fasted and prayed pleading for God’s mercy. But while God forgives us, He doesn’t guarantee to take away the consequences of our sin.

9. I will go to him, but he will not return to me – Some use this verse as evidence that children go to heaven. It could be an indication of this or it could simply indicate that David would join the child in death. Based on the context, and seeing David’s non-despairing attitude after his child died, I would tend to believe that David was expressing the belief that he would see his child again in heaven one day. If that is the case (and many believers take this on faith), then the child’s premature death was not a bad thing from the perspective of the child as it meant that he merely ascended to God’s presence sooner.

It is a great comfort for the parents of children who die early to know they are going into the hands of a gracious, merciful and loving Father who takes great delight in loving the young and helpless.

Next: David’s Family Life
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