Scripture for Week of February 23 – March 1

2 Samuel 12:1-31 (NIV)

1The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

4“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

5David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

11“This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”

13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

15After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 17The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

18On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

19David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

20Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

24Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; 25and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.

26Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. 27Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. 28Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.”

29So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. 30David took the crown from their king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city 31and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

 

6 replies
  1. Doug Barclay
    Doug Barclay says:

    Although David was a “man after God’s own heart”, some bad decisions led to disastrous results. Leading up to this passage, we find that David stayed home when he should have gone to war; while Uriah was away at war, David had a one-night relationship with Bathsheba that resulted in pregnancy; to cover up his sin, David tried to bring back Uriah to coax him to sleep with his wife to think the child would be his – but Uriah was too loyal and devoted to his men to enjoy the comforts of home during wartime; David had Uriah killed, Bathsheba lost her husband, and the child resulting from David’s night of desire ultimately died.

    In 2 Sam 12, Nathan confronts David about his sin. Nathan acted in courageous faith and approached David as a spiritual mentor to get the king to see what he did was wrong. Because he cared enough to confront, Nathan was able to speak into David’s life and allowed God to convict David of his own sins. Nathan used an illustration and let David incriminate himself. Nathan acted in a godly manner to point out the sin and need for redemption. Do we have people in our lives that care enough about us to point out our errors in a godly way? Are we grounded deep enough in our relationship with Christ to confront individuals in our sphere of influence about the error of their ways? Left unchecked, sin will continue to seek and destroy. We all need to have people in our lives to speak the truth – even when it hurts, is not popular and is unwanted. Godly discipline restores our relationship with Him.

  2. Tracy Bush
    Tracy Bush says:

    When I read this; I am quickly drawn to the story of David having an affair, a one night stand with a woman named, Bathsheba. Rather than immediately facing the music and make things right, he tried to cover up his sin and in the process had her husband, Uriah, murdered. And David thought that he had got away it.

    However, things are not always as they appear. There is a single sentence at the end of Chapter 11 that reads like this: “But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.” David has fooled everyone else, but he hadn’t fooled God. God had waited patiently for a year to settle His accounts. God is not concerned with time. God is concerned with timing. The Bible says in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7, NIV)

    The truth of the matter is we all sin and God knows that and God realizes that. But what concerns God is when we sin and when we are confronted with our sin – how do we respond? When we finally realize that we are the “Man In The Mirror” then what? We learn how God deals with his children when they sin and how His children should deal with God when their sin is revealed.

    I am so thankful that we can bring our sins to God, that He may deal with them through His grace.

  3. Mark Matson
    Mark Matson says:

    Thank you God for using Nathan in such a way that for the vast majority of us don’t do and don’t like to be the recipient like King David……

    I love Nathan’s response to David when he “calls him on the carpet” regarding his sin….”YOU DA MAN!!!!” When we use this phrase today the meaning is different than what was communicated when Nathan used it….Today’s use is one of encouragement, shout out, that a Boy, etc…..Nathan’s use was out of accountability and recognition of wrongdoing…..We need more God fearing believers who will be Nathan’s to other believers as well as non-believers to respond out of obedience to the Lord in a forthright but loving way……More often than not, the recipient becomes defensive, angry, justifies, and rationalizes the sin…..Here, Almighty God uses the prophet Nathan to bring King David to his knees to a state of repentance…

    Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness when we sin but we also remember that there are consequences for our sin…..Lord, send an army of Nathan’s to our nation and let that army originate @ FBCPTC….

  4. Marc McDermott
    Marc McDermott says:

    Although I have read and studied this passage of scripture many times, I am always amazed that
    a man of God like David could stoop this low. What he did was beyond comprehension. It broke nearly every commandment from God, especially those of the second table.
    How he was unable to comprehend the personal message that Nathan delivered to him is even more unbelievable in respects. How could David not understand who he was talking about? Why did he think Nathan would make a special trip to the king’s throne just to tell him a sad story about one of the many subjects in his kingdom? How could he not get it?
    This only proves the carnal, depraved nature of man; the hardness of their hearts and darkness of their minds. While the unsaved and wicked person is described as such in Romans 1 & Jude 1 (and elsewhere), for a person who is redeemed to act in like manner is incomprehensible. It defies logic. Jesus Himself, Paul, and Peter all inform us that “they who do such things shall not enter/inherit the Kingdom of God”. This decree must be thoroughly examined in each of our lives. What does it imply? As the works of the flesh are obvious to the lost person, so the fruits of the Spirit should be just as obvious to the Christian who has the Spirit of Christ living in him.
    Now the fact that David immediately acknowledged and repented of this sin upon being fronted with it by Nathan shows his response was right and after a Godly sort. However the fact that he continued to ask God to reverse His righteous sentence while the baby was still alive shows there was still something of an unrepentant heart that would not accept God’s judgment. Again, this was no small sin David committed. David’s guilt and true repentance afterwards is shown in his writing of Psalm 51.
    However this would not be the last time David would be guilty of exceeding sinful actions, or of showing unwillingness to comply with issues in the right manner. His dealings with his wicked son Absalom and refusal to do the right thing nearly caused David to lose respect of his men and lose rule over his kingdom. His terrible decision to count all his fighting men later on in his life caused much more than the death of a good husband and out of wedlock baby. (2 Sam. 24) Even Joab saw that David was making a huge mistake in doing so, and tried to talk him out of it to no avail. This time it was the prophet Gad who confronted David with a truly horrible and devastating sentence. The result of his sin was the death of 70,000 people. That is double the population of all of Peachtree City. How David ever lived with that I can’t even imagine.
    Of course the focus of Sunday’s message is not David but the prophet Nathan. And lest we cast stones at David, not being without sin ourselves, we must look at what Nathan did and what we can learn from the scriptures about confronting others of sinful or unwise, unbecoming behavior. Nathan was fortunate that his confrontation resulted in a positive outcome. How many of God’s prophets were met with hatred, revile, persecution, and even death upon their unwelcomed message? It is not always popular to bear the message of charging others with sin. For most people do not want to hear of it.
    To those who are lost and/or unrepentant of their ways, the scripture speaks and warns clearly. There are many verses and entire passages that tell us we must warn them of their ways and the wrath to come to those who die in that state. “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” Of course we are beseeched to do it in such a way as to be non-judgmental and/or non-confrontational, and in a caring and loving spirit. And what worked in Jonathan Edward’s preaching may not produce the same effects today. I personally believe that upon witnessing to the lost we should enforce the reality that none of us has the promise of tomorrow to make that important decision. We should also always give scripture to back up what we say, and to take with them to read over and reflect upon themselves.
    As to the confronting sinful actions and behavior to other Christians in a backslidden or fallen state, James tells us that to do so will “hide a multitude of sins”. Paul certainly dealt in a direct manner with the various sins that were going on in the church at Corinth. You could argue that his methods were quite harsh. Even to go so far as to expel such if they would not come to terms with those who confronted them. And having nothing to do with them until they repented and obeyed. Paul even confronted the apostle Peter about his hypocritical behavior around Gentiles and Jews. How many times did Jesus use the words “have you not read the scriptures?”, “have you not understood..”, “but what saith the scriptures?”, “are ye also without understanding?” when confronting sinful , stubborn, darkened minds. Scripture tells us that when sinful behavior takes control over a person that “their minds have been darkened”, and that “they have forgotten that they have been cleansed of their sins”.
    So we must do this also in a loving manner, realizing that we too, except for the grace of God and the strength of our faith, could be in such a state of mind and deed. We will all reap what we sow. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, to give an account of the things we have done in this life-whether good or bad. Better to cut off the hand or member of our own body and enter into heaven than to enter hell with both. To help others in need is to do it unto Christ. Whether it means helping them in a physical or spiritual need, or helping them to realize their sinful condition. If we don’t do it, it equates to not caring. It equates to not loving your neighbor as yourself. Especially of those who are of the household of faith. In the words of Fanny Crosby: “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying , snatch them in pity from sin and the grave, weep o’er the erring, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus , the mighty to save”. “Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore, touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness, chords that were broken will vibrate once more.” This is a timeless truth, and applies to both the lost and the saved who have fallen into sin. We are to help them both however we best can, and regardless of whatever their response is to us-whether good or bad.

  5. Pastor Joey
    Pastor Joey says:

    The story of Nathan confronting King David is one of the more powerful and profound moments in the Old Testament. In speaking on the text, J. Vernon McGee said, “In my judgment, Nathan is the bravest man in the Bible. I know of no one who can be compared to him.” When you consider what was asked of him and what was at stake, I would most certainly agree with McGee. Just how much courage does it take to confront a brother in sin? Even more, just how much courage does it take to confront the King who is in sin and has to power to extinguish your life? This is what Nathan faced when God called him to go to David.

    Now it is important to note from Scripture that we are all called as followers of Christ to spur one another along towards love and good deeds. Galatians 6:1-2 reminds us we all need people in our lives who are willing to hold us accountable to following Christ and walking in holiness. Simply stated, we all need people in our lives who care whether or not we are living in righteousness or in sin — and they are willing to speak up and into our lives to encourage us in the pursuit of Christ. We need both accountability and editability.

    Here is the simple reality — holiness matters. And to walk in holiness requires accountability. It requires having someone who is willing to speak into your life to spur you on to faithfulness. And should we stumble, we need someone to speak up so that we don’t believe the lies we are employing to justify our position. Not only do we need such people in our lives, we must be such a person for others. Secret sin can never be our friend. I think this is why Spurgeon once said, “You say that you can handle your secret sins, that there is no one hurt by them. But you may as well ask the lion to let you put your head into his mouth. You cannot regulate his jaws; neither can you regulate sin. Once done, you cannot tell when you will be destroyed. You may put your head in and out a great many times; but one of these days it will be a costly venture.” Costly indeed. And also bloody,embarrassing, and devastating.

    We all need a Nathan in our life. And we all need to become a Nathan to others for their well-being too. We need people who will love us enough that they will have the courage and calling to confront us when we need them — and we need to have the courage and calling to help our brother who is in need. IT Matters!

  6. David Bearden
    David Bearden says:

    Nathan’s manner and choice of words when confronting the king surpass wisdom. The prophet uses a parable created to mine the emotional depths of a shepherd. Nathan’s recounting achieves the desired effect: David identifies with the victim, and, in the process, incriminates himself:

    “David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.’”

    It’s important to note, however, that Nathan’s rebuke is not spurred by hearsay; neither is it delivered via an air of superiority. Rather, the prophet is “sent” to David after conferring with Almighty God, which, in my opinion, is critical when it comes to one sinner reproving another of sin. Furthermore, Scripture shows that Nathan and David share more than just an official relationship; in fact, they seem to have a close friendship. For example, based on the use of the shepherds’ parable, Nathan really ‘knows’ David. Consequently, Nathan is not David’s judge, and the courageous prophet’s rebuke comes, first, in obedience to God and, second, as a result of a genuine love for his king and neighbor.

    When it comes to addressing the sin of others, it’s important that we tread humbly and follow Nathan’s example in our manner of reproach. This Spiritual attitude is captured in Galatians 5:13-15:

    “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

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