Today’s Bible reading: 2 Samuel 12:1-31; John 16:1-33; Psalm 119:65-80; Proverbs 16:4-5
God sends Nathan the prophet to confront David about his sin in 2 Samuel 12. Whenever we sin God will attempt to convict us through the Holy Spirit so we come to repentance on our own. But if that doesn’t work God will send other people in our lives to confront our sin.
Nathan tells the story of a wealthy man stealing from a poor man (2 Samuel 12:1-5). This is exactly what David had done. David “stole” Bathsheba from her husband Uriah. A wife belongs to her husband (and a husband belongs to his wife). Adultery is a form of theft. It is also a form of ingratitude because it shows dissatisfaction with what we already have.
Our level of spiritual maturity can be measured by how long it takes us to admit our sin and ask for forgiveness. The less time it takes the more mature. After being confronted by Nathan, David sees his sin and immediately confesses (2 Samuel 12:13).
Nevertheless, sin has consequences and David will not be spared (2 Samuel 12:14). From this point forward we never read of David committing adultery again. The sin that seems to have been in him all his life has finally been dealt with. But it took a radical series of events to bring David to this point. I’m sure he had a guilty conscience at times over the years regarding his lust. I’m sure he had many opportunities to deal with it on his own. But he didn’t. So God dealt with it. But by this time the sin was so deep that God had to do some major surgery to remove it from David’s life.
The fact that the child dies (2 Samuel 12:18) shows us that the innocent often have to pay for the sins of the guilty. Its sad but true. We are all sinners who cause others to suffer. At the same time we are all victims of other people’s sin.
Despite his flaws David is still a strong man of God. Even in the midst of such difficulty he goes to the Tabernacle and worships (2 Samuel 12:20). Its very tempting to ignore God when things are going poorly in life. That is exactly what Satan wants us to do. But what we need to do is to keep communicating with God throughout the difficult times. He is always with us. And worship is a great healer. It causes us to focus on the goodness of God rather than our present circumstances.
2 Samuel 12:23 seems to imply that babies (and maybe children of a certain age) who die go to heaven. God is not an ogre. He is reasonable and loving and will make provision for those who die too young to have been born-again.
When we remove prayer from schools or legalize abortion or (soon) legalize same-sex marriage there is much celebrating. People who fought for these things think they have made society better. But they haven’t. Someday Christians will be killed for what they believe by people who think they are making the world a better place. While that does happen today in other parts of the world, during the Tribulation it will happen world-wide (John 16:2).
God is a straight-shooter. He will tell us things that are difficult for us to hear but which we need to know (John 16:6-7). This includes informing us about our sin as we saw with David. Everything God does is for our benefit.
There are many sins… lying, stealing, murder, etc. But the “sin of the world” is its refusal to believe in Jesus (John 16:9). All other sins stem from this one.
In less than 24 hours Jesus will be arrested, beaten, mocked, humiliated, nailed to a cross and, finally, dead. Yet in these passages He is comforting His disciples who will lose heart (John 16:16-24). Considering what He is about to go through, it should be the disciples that should be comforting Him. But Jesus is confident. He has stronger than anything the world can throw at Him (John 16:33)
These words were spoken by Jesus to believers (Judas is no longer around in this scene). Notice in John 16:33 Jesus offers peace (“may have peace”) but promises trouble (“will have many trials”). Christians are not immune to trouble in this life. We will have difficulty. But notice that we are not guaranteed peace throughout it. Peace does not come naturally nor is God going to supernaturally bestow peace on us. It is available if we want it.
It really takes a faithful heart to recognize that it needs to be disciplined (Psalm 119:75). I was very humbled when I read this verse today. I realized that I am nowhere near being able to say this. But I can see the beauty of having such an attitude.
Everything that exists was made by God for Himself (Proverbs 16:4). Everything in nature. Every possession that we have. Everything was made by God to be used by Him. Living this truth can bring humility.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post