Despising the Commandments of God
2 Samuel 12:9
Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? you have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword…

David, by his grievous sins, had virtually shown contempt for the well-known commandments of God against coveting the wife of another, and against adultery and murder. Hence the force of this remonstrance. It may be properly addressed to all who in any way show contempt for any of the Divine commandments; to all men, therefore, since all are in some respects and in some degree guilty of this sin.


1. Those who take no pains to know and understand them. Who do not think it worth while to inquire, in reference to their course of life, their duty to others, or any particular action, or even their religious faith and observances, what the will of God is; but are content to follow without question the customs of the world around them, or their own inclinations and habits.

2. Those who refuse to give heed when their attention is called to them. Which may be by their own consciences, or by other men.

3. Those who disobey them. And the degree of contempt shown by disobedience will be in proportion to

(1) their knowledge;

(2) their remembrance, at the time, of the commandment, its Author, and its sanctions;

(3) the difficulties of disobedience which have to be overcome; and

(4) the remonstrances of conscience, and of the Spirit of God, which are resisted and conquered.

II. THEIR SIN AND FOLLY. They may be addressed as the prophet addressed David, "Wherefore," etc.

1. What rational ground have you for doing it? Seeing the commandment

(1) is "of the Lord," who has the highest right to the obedience of his creatures;

(2) proceeds from the perfect reason and the infinite love; and therefore

(3) is adapted to promote the good of each and all. "The Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good (Romans 7:12). Consider any particular commandment you have disregarded, and you will see that all this is true of it; and that, therefore, your conduct is foolish and wicked.

2. How can "you" do it? Who have been laid under obligations so weighty by the kindness of God; who know so well his character, claims, and laws; who have so often and in such various ways professed love and loyalty to him; who are bound by so many considerations to set a good example; or (as in David's case) are appointed to be an upholder of law, a guardian of innocence, a protector of the public morals.

3. How "dare" you do it? In view of the shame and moral injury you bring on yourself; the evil you do to others; the terrible threatenings of the Word of God against sinners; his knowledge of all you do; his awful holiness and justice; and his almighty power to execute his threatenings. In view also of death, and of the day of judgment, when your most secret sins will be brought to light and punished. - G.W.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

WEB: Why have you despised the word of Yahweh, to do that which is evil in his sight? You have struck Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

The Fearless Preacher
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