April 7, 2017

April 7, 2017

2 SAMUEL 8-12

Focus Verse: Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.”
Nathan then said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul.
2 Samuel 12:5-7

 

This is the power of a parable. It’s the reason why Jesus taught in parables so often and it’s the reason why so many people still use the same technique today. It’s just so effective!

 

Can you imagine what would have happened if Nathan had just waltzed into the palace and told King David, “King, you screwed up. You slept with Bathsheba, committed adultery and then killed her husband to cover it up.” Personally, I don’t think that would have gone over all that well. Now I know that David was a better king than most, but there’s a pretty good chance that Nathan’s head would have rolled for a move like that. I mean, if he was willing to kill Uriah to cover up his affair, how far would he go?

 

But instead, Nathan enters into this territory gently with a story. He shows David the mistake that was made in another, imaginary person. David, not Nathan, is the one who identifies the injustice and demands that something be done about it.

 

It is then that Nathan can drop the hammer and show David that the story is actually about him.

 

It’s sad that this is who we are. Every single one of us. Why do we learn so much better in parables and stories? Because it gives us the chance to do what we do best, judge others. Nathan knew this full well, Jesus knew this even better, and every preacher across the globe who uses sermon illustrations, whether they realize it or not, utilizes this technique. Our pride simply won’t let us see our faults as easily as it lets us see the same faults in others.

 

We need to flip the script on this. As we are made more into the image of Christ, we will be quicker to identify the areas of weakness in our own life first, and then, instead of responding in judgment toward the sin of others, we will respond with grace and discernment on how to deal with the sin. But as long as our pride stands in the way, as long as we are quicker to see the sin in others than in ourselves, as long as we feel that we are living on some sort of moral “higher ground” than those around us, we will always need parables to put us in our place.

 

God, help us to be like David and respond with repentance when confronted with our own sin. Help us to get to the point where we are so confident in who we are IN YOU, that we don’t need parables to correct us.

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  1. I’m facing a different situation with my neighbor, but still in line with what you’re teaching here. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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