Lord, You are long-suffering and full of mercy. Help me understand Your heart when You bring light and truth.
Read 2 Samuel 12:1-25
 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.  The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,  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.  “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.”  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.”  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.  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.  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.  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.’  “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.  You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.'”  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.  But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.”  After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill.  David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.  The 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.  On 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.”  David 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.”  Then 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.  His 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!”  He 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.’  But 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.”  Then 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;  and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow do you respond to correction?
The prophet Nathan tells David the story of a rich man taking everything from a poor man. David feels righteous anger at the crime committed, and then Nathan drops the bombshell: David is the rich man (7)! David probably thought he had gotten away with his adultery (ch. 11), but God has seen and heard everything. He is displeased with David (11:27).Although David realizes he is the sinner in the story, he could have tried to cover up the sin. Many rulers imprisoned or killed prophets for highlighting their sin, but David finally acknowledges the sovereignty of God (13). If only he had acknowledged God’s lordship in chapter 11! God had richly blessed David, and yet in greed, he desired more. Perhaps we, like David, need reminding of the great provision and blessings we have received from God. The well-known hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness springs to mind. It might help to combat our desire for more. One last question to consider: Although David and Saul both sin, why does David retain his kingship while Saul loses his?
Turn over any ambition or desire for more that is pulling you toward sin. Recognize and thank God for all he has given.
Lord, thank You for sending those who speak truth. May we, like David, receive the exposing word as a gift from You.
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