How much have you thought about your own sin?
2 Samuel 12
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 traveller 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 traveller 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. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”
15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 17 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.
18 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.”
19 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.”
20 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.
21 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!”
22 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.’ 23 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.”
24 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; 25 and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.
26 Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. 27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. 28 Now 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.”
29 So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. 30 David 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 31 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labour 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.
How much have you thought about your own sin? I mean, we know that as broken humans we all sin, but how often are you confronted with your own sin? Sometimes I think about the ways in which I reject God that I don’t even know about, the things I do and say that I don’t even recognise as being sinful.
In this passage, we see Nathan (one of God’s prophets) tell King David a story that exposes his sin against God, and we see his response to this rebuke. I believe that David’s sin was intended as a warning to all of us how capable we are of sin. There are a lot of stories in the Bible written to warn us of the danger of sinning against God. In 1 Corinthians Paul tells the church “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come….” (1 Corinthians 10:1-10).
This is the story of the slaughtered lamb which exposed the immensity of David’s sin, but it is the story of the slaughtered Lamb of God which exposes the immensity of our Sin. The story of Christ in the gospels is an even more disturbing one than the one Nathan tells David. But unlike this story whose aim is to expose sin, its role is so we can cry out to God in repentance. The death of the Son of God has taken our punishment. No matter what we’ve done God doesn’t refuse us or reject us. In Christ, we are forgiven and our sins are wiped clean.
Head: How does knowing that Jesus was slaughtered for you, change how you view your own sin?
Heart: How does it make you feel to know that despite your sin, God has given you life through Jesus?
Hands: How will you respond to God, when you are exposed to your own sin?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you have mercy upon me and that you have sent your own Son to be the slaughtered lamb for my sin. Even though I do not deserve it you have shown me grace and forgiven me so that I can live eternally in your Kingdom. Help me to fix my eyes on you in everything I do this week. Amen.
A song to listen to: Fall Before Him