May 27

2 Samuel 12:1-31 

The last we read in 2 Samuel 11:27 was that the thing David had done, displeased the LORD (we could probably categorize that as an understatement). David committed adultery with a loyal soldier’s wife. She came back pregnant, so David tried to cover up his sin in various ways, even to the point of having Uriah killed on the battlefield. God saw everything David did and now sends Nathan the prophet to him.

David hasn’t a clue that Nathan knows. Nathan presents a scenario, wherein a rich man with multiple flocks, has a visitor swing by, and rather than taking a sheep from his own ample supply, he has the audacity (and cruelty) to take away his neighbor’s only sheep, a sheep that was more like a pet to him and his children who grew up with it. What do you think King David? What should be done? David’s words are swift and severe, just without jest:

2 Samuel 12:5–6 (NKJV) “So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! 6 And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.’”

Nathan’s response to David is swift as well, “YOU ARE THE MAN!”

After all that God had done for David over the past 30+ years since Goliath – protecting, providing, anointing, appointing, the shepherd, the king, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, this is how he shows his gratitude to God? I’m especially heartbroken by the way this sin forfeited David’s future for both him and his family.

Notice again, the words of Nathan:

2 Samuel 12:8 (NKJV) “I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!”

So heartbreaking, God WOULD HAVE GIVEN him so much more…but he lost it due to sin. David would be forgiven and his life would be spared, but his sons would die, his daughter would be raped, and the sword would not depart from his house. What David did was done in private, but part of the consequences of his disobedience would be his wives ravished in public.

My heart aches as I contemplate all this, and my heart aches when I think of the myriads of men and women who have fallen into sexual sin. Yes God forgives, and yes He’s merciful, but to those who know better, O the reaping results beyond my ability to articulate. If David knew in advance what the fruit of his “fling” would be, I’m willing to bet anything, he would have looked the other way.

Please friend, learn from David’s mistake, keep yourself in the battle as you serve the Lord, stay close to Him, and please, I beg you, run fast and far from sexual sin. God is indeed gracious, and willing, and able to forgive, but I’ve seen the devastation it does to so many lives!

David is fasting and praying all night for the life of his son to be spared, but God had other plans. His servants are afraid to tell him the tragic news. David discerns…his son has died and asks them point-blank, something his servants affirm. So David rises, washes, anoints himself, changes his clothing and heads to the tabernacle and worships. His servants are puzzled at David’s behavior, they were convinced that the news of the child’s death would have completely devastated him, but notice David’s response:

2 Samuel 12:22–23 (NKJV) “And he said, ‘While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’”

Of course, everyone’s different. We fight for the lives our loved one’s, through prayer, and often through fasting, but death is not a respecter of age or person. David knew he couldn’t bring his child back, but he also knew that one day he would “go to him,” that he would see his child in heaven. This is a great comfort to us in days of death and the pain it causes. It also teaches us that babies go to heaven if they pass away. Even though we’re all born in sin, God shows grace to children until they reach the age of accountability. We don’t know the precise age, some say around 12-years old. I would say it’s when a person is clearly old enough to understand the gospel and accept or reject it. Only God knows when that age is for each child (Psalm 51:5; Jonah 4:11).

John 16:1-33 

Jesus warned His disciples about the coming persecution, how the government and religious leaders would put them to death, thinking they were doing God a service. It does help to know in advance that our lives as Christians will be vigorously opposed by the world, the flesh, the devil and his demons. Whenever I experience oppression or opposition it shouldn’t take me by surprise, our Lord warned us about this.

Jesus’ men were not just down, they were devastated that He was leaving them, but the Lord did His best to encourage the guys and us, with the Person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said it is to our advantage that He went away, because that opened the doors for the coming of the Holy Spirit to live within the hearts of every single believer all around the world! Pastor Chuck Smith put it this way, “As long as Jesus was with them, He was limited by space and time in His material body. But when the Holy Spirit came, He could be inside us (Christians) all the time.” (see also 2 Corinthians 6:16)

The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, that He might convince us of our need for Salvation. The Holy Spirit is the one who imputes to us the righteousness of Christ, and then, the more we yield to Him, He imparts that same righteousness to make us more like Jesus in practical ways. The Holy Spirit speaks to the heart of mankind warning the world of the judgment to come. What an awesome work of the Holy Spirit who is gathering a bride for Christ as He reaches out and speaks to the whole wide world.

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth and even tell them things to come. This is the promise of the complete cannon of Scripture, the writing and inspiration of the New Testament. Up to that point they only had the 39 books of the Old Testament, but the Holy Spirit would guide them into “all truth” and even reveal the prophetic aspects of Scripture (things to come). The church realized early on that these 27 books (letters) of the New Testament were authoritative and they just naturally rose to that place of prominence in the church. Similar to the way Peter elevated Paul’s writings to the rest of Scriptures (2 Peter 3:15-16).

As I was reading this chapter this time around, it hit my heart, how comforting of a passage it is to those of us whose loved ones have passed on in Christ. Jesus said you’re not going to see me for a while, I’m going to My Father, but then in a little while you will see Me again. He said, your weeping will turn to a joy that no one will ever be able to take away. It will be the fullness of joy. May all our hurting hearts be encouraged by this truth.

What a wonderful life we have as Christians, revealed to us so clearly in this chapter which is filled with the beauty and love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t mean we won’t experience those tough times of tribulation, it simply means that even in those types of trials we are triumphant – we are more than conquerors “in all these things” (Romans 8:37). Jesus never hid the hard times from us, He promised them, but also promised to be there with us through it all, and grant us victory in every valley.

It’s even more than a promise. I like the way Warren Wiersbe put it, “In the next few hours, the disciples would watch their world fall apart; and yet Jesus assured them that He was the winner. ‘I have overcome the world’ is a fact, not a promise, and it applies to us today. We are overcomers through Him (1 John 5:1–5).”

Psalm 119:65-80 

Almost every verse is a prayer to God, and includes a reference to the Word of God. I cannot overstate the importance of prayer and the Word. This communion, this heart-to-heart conversation with our Creator is the key for us as Christians, prayer and the Word.

Teach me, the Psalmists prays (Psalm 119:66, 68) for I believe Your commandments.

Three times in our section for today the Psalmist speaks of being afflicted (Psalm 119:67, 71, 75). God allows things to happen, and sometimes even brings it on us Himself, because He loves us. We must respond accordingly! The Psalmist was wise in allowing the affliction to get his attention and to bring him back when he strayed (Psalm 119:67). He knew it was good for him (Psalm 119:71). He knew that the hard times of affliction came from a faithful God who loved him (Psalm 119:75). If only we would pay attention to those times of discipline from our Father. What’s God trying to do in my life? Change my circumstances or change me? Change my spouse – or that “person?” Or change me?

We’re reminded in Psalm 119:73 that we’re “hand-made” by God – we’re all unique in order to fulfill unique purposes; may God give us understanding in His Word and His plans for our lives.

The Psalmist wisely prayed for mercy (Psalm 119:76-77). Reminds me of Jesus’ words about the man who was heard by God in:

Luke 18:13 (NKJV) “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’”

Three times in this section we’re reminded that the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart (Psalm 119:69, 70, 80). We are to keep God’s Word with our whole heart. When the Psalmist describes the heart of some being as “fat as grease,” he’s not talking about cholesterol build up, he’s speaking of hearts that are insensitive, calloused, dull, and without feeling or substance…may that not describe any of our hearts. Imagine having a heart that’s “blameless?” That’s to be our goal.

Proverbs 16:4-5

V. 4 – All creation, all His kids made for Himself.

Romans 11:36 (NKJV) “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

It’s all for Him, we’re all for Him – even the wicked on that dreadful day of doom. This doesn’t mean the wicked had no choice, that before time began their fate was sealed (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). But what we discover is that when the wicked go the way they’ve chosen, eternity without God, it will glorify God – they will experience justice, and we as His children made for Him, will be eternally overwhelmed by His grace.

V. 5 – God hates pride; and He will punish pride; even if all the prideful people get together, it’ll be like a billion ants without a chance. Consider the Battle of Armageddon when King Jesus smites the world with His Word (the sword in His mouth) or at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, when the world musters up its final rebellion…Father God simply calls down fire from heaven. We read in:

Revelation 20:9 (NKJV) “They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.”

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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