2 Samuel 12:10
Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house; because you have despised me…
Thou hast despised me. In the dreadful sins of which David had been guilty he had treated God with contempt. He had treated as of no account all the kindness of God to him; had disregarded his claims; shown contempt practically for his authority, his precepts, his observance of his conduct, his justice and its penalties, his favour, his voice in the conscience. The charge brought against David may be brought against many who are not guilty of gross and flagrant crimes like his.
I. WHO ARE GUILTY OF DESPISING GOD?
1. All sin involves contempt of him. It shows:
(1) Indifference as to his Being and perfections. If the sinner does not boldly say, "no God," he practically ignores him, leaves him out of account in his conduct, and treats his presence and observation of him, his hatred to sin, his threatened judgments, as of no importance, not worthy of serious consideration (see Psalm 10:13).
(2) Contempt for his authority.
(3) Despisal of his kindness (Romans 2:4).
(4) Contempt of his wisdom, as expressed in his laws. As if the sinner thought he could guide and govern himself better than God.
(5) Disesteem of his favour and friendship.
2. Certain kinds of sin may be mentioned as showing such contempt.
(1) Unthankfulness and discontent. As if God's gifts were not worth having.
(2) Rejection of Christ and salvation - his best gifts, in which he appears more fully and manifestly than in aught else. "He that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me" (Luke 10:16). "Hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:29).
(3) Neglect of the Holy Scriptures. In them God comes to instruct us, to make us partakers of his own wisdom, to make known his will, etc. To neglect them is to show contempt of him.
(4) Negligence as to his service. As to the hours and exercises of devotion. God invites us to converse with him, to make known our requests, with the promise of gracious answers. To disregard prayer, or offer unreal worship, is to treat him with contempt: He is most worthy to be praised. To decline to praise him, or to praise in words only, is to despise him. In the sacrament of the Lord's Supper he comes specially near to us, to commune with us in Christ, to feed us with the body and blood of his Son. To turn away from the holy feast, or come with hypocrisy, or with hearts or hands stained with unrepented sin, is to treat him with contempt. And in more active life, to be slovenly, slothful, indifferent; to offer him a half-hearted service; to present him with niggard offerings; is to show grievous disrespect to him (see Malachi 1:6-8).
(5) Contempt for his people, or any of them. As if the godly were necessarily fanatical. Or because they may be feeble, or inexperienced (Matthew 18:10), or poor (James 2:6). Or because they differ from us in judgment or observances (Romans 14:3, 10). "He that despiseth you, despiseth me" (Luke 10:16).
II. THEIR FOLLY AND WICKEDNESS. Considering:
1. Who is despised. "Me." The infinite Majesty, the Source and Sustainer of all beings, the Giver of all good, the Creator, Preserver, and Benefactor of those who despise him, without whom they have nothing and can do nothing; perfect in all that is good, and worthy of all esteem and love; who is reverenced, adored, loved, and served by the loftiest intelligences, by all the wise and good in all worlds; the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all that is glorious in holiness and love appears, revealing the glorious excellences of God.
2. Who is the despiser. "Thou." So ignorant, so needy, so dependent, so greatly blessed, so sinful, so perverted in mind and heart, and incapable, while untaught of God, of judging aright as to the best things. It is the creature despising his Creator, folly despising wisdom, weakness despising Omnipotence, the lost despising his Deliverer, the destitute despising him who would enrich him with everlasting riches.
3. The contrast between him who is despised and the things which are valued. God is rejected and treated as of little or no account; while things which are worthless or injurious, or which if valuable have only a limited and transient worth, are highly prized and pursued as if of supreme worth and importance.
4. What is involved in despising God. It is to despise ourselves, our own souls and their salvation, the true riches and honour, our true and everlasting happiness, eternal life, all that most deserves to be valued.
III. THEIR DOOM.
1. To be themselves despised. "They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed" (1 Samuel 2:30). They shall rise "to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2), exposed and regarded as fools, and treated as worthless. "Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them" (Jeremiah 6:30).
2. To find by wretched experience how real and how essential to their happiness is he whom they have slighted. To learn the value of his favour by the irreparable loss of it. The sin of despising him they will no longer be able to commit. But the doom may be averted by repentance, as David's case teaches (ver. 13). - G.W.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.