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2 Samuel 11:26-12:13 1
26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.

1 The 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. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but 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.” 5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” 7 Then 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. 8 I 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. 9 Why 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. 10 Now, 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. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’” 13 Then 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.

onelambBackground

Like David, we often forget to count the costs of our sins, but it is Nathan’s confrontation of David that requires us to carefully consider powerful story in a broader way. It is a story that reflects in particular on the sins of the powerful and the grief those in power can leave through their sinful actions. And so God sends the prophet, Nathan to David (12:1). Nathan enters to shake David out of what looks like a power-drunken stupor, but Nathan’s method is sophisticated. He does not confront David directly. Instead, he tells the parable about the rich man who takes the poor man’s beloved lamb. David is so self-righteous and self-assured that his anger kindles against this man (12:5). David’s responds like a man accustomed to pronouncing judgments. David says that the man deserves to die “because he had no pity” (12:6).

Nathan’s timing is perfect. When David arrogantly slips into his role as judge, Nathan delivers the judgment: “You are the man” (12:7). God’s investment in David has been so great and God’s disappointment so deep that Nathan’s lecture even ends with the typical parental question: “Why?” (12:9). “Why did you do it, David?” “Why have you despised the word of the Lord?” God is taking David’s failure personally and He is not a parent who will be satisfied with a guilty expression and a sincere apology. In verse 10, God explains what David’s punishment will be. There will be a sword over David’s house, his family, and his dynasty for all time. The unconditional covenant, extended by God in Chapter 7, has not been revoked, but now there is the curse to accompany it.

Now the amazing thing about David is that he recognizes his depravity. He does not try to explain. He does not protest the judgment. He says simply, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Perhaps David realizes, not only that he has done something evil, but that as the anointed one of the Lord, there is no such thing as a strictly personal action or a personal sin. David has public role as God’s anointed king and David’s sin reflects upon God.

Biblical Truth 2

David is not upset with the loss of his men. He is quite happy with the results. But what David had done displeased the Lord. The whole matter of Uriah as it is called, the adultery, falsehood, murder, and this marriage at last, it was all displeasing to the Lord. He had pleased himself, but displeased God. God sees and hates sin in his own people. However, nearer any are to God in their profession the more displeasing to him their sins are; for in them there is more ingratitude, treachery, and reproach, than in the sins of others.

God does let his people suffer in sin. By this parable Nathan drew out from David a sentence against himself. There is great need in the recognition of one’s own sins. In this story God was faithful. God says in plain terms, you are my man but I hate your sin! Wherever God finds sin, He will not let it go unpunished. David says not a word to excuse himself or make light of his sin, but freely owns it. When David said, I have sinned, and Nathan perceived that he was a true penitent, he assured him his sin was forgiven. Nathan confirms, you will not die: that is, not die eternally, or be forever separated from God, as you could have been, if you had not repented. It is important for us to remember, however, that for one momentary gratification of a vile lust, David had to endure many days and years of extreme distress.

Items for Discussion

  • Why do you think that Nathan was so effective with King David?
  • What does it take for a person to recognize their own sins?
  • God clearly showed that there are consequences to sin. Are consequences necessary for repentance to be effective? Explain your opinion on either why it is or why it is not.
  • Do you have a “Nathan” in your life?
  • What emotions angered David in verse 5? Can we be saved without it?

 

Luke 8:1-3 3
1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

Background

This evangelist is generally supposed to have been a physician, and a companion of the apostle Paul. The style of his writings, and his acquaintance with the Jewish rites and usages, sufficiently show that he was a Jew, while his knowledge of the Greek language and his name and speak of his Gentile origin. Luke is first mentioned (Acts 16:10-11), as with Paul at Troas, where he attended to him to Jerusalem, and was with him in his voyage, and in his imprisonment at Rome. This Gospel appears to be designed to supersede many defective and unauthentic narratives in circulation at that time, and to give a genuine and inspired account of the life, miracles, and doctrines of our Lord, learned from those who heard and witnessed Jesus’ teaching and miracles.

Biblical Truth

We are here told what Christ made the constant business of his life, teaching the gospel. Tidings of the kingdom of God are glad tidings, and what Christ came to bring. Certain women attended upon him who ministered to him from their substance. It showed the mean condition to which the Saviour humbled himself, that he needed their kindness, and his great humility, that he accepted it. Though rich, yet for our sakes he became poor.

Items for Discussion

  • What can you learn about the role of women in Christ’s time?
  • How would you characterize Christ’s relationship with women?
  • In many of today’s interpretations of women’s roles in a church or denomination, what inconsistencies do you see being propagated today that were not part of Christ’s church?
  • What conclusions can you draw from the comment that women were supporting Christ out of their own means?

Discussion Challenge

  • To help our friends, families, neighbors and workers to understand that while God may evoke consequences on sinful behavior, God has taken away the consequence of eternal separation from Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
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