Posted by: arieliondotcom | April 10, 2013

When the Answer is You (2 Samuel 12)

When the Answer is You
(2 Samuel 12)

CS Lewis said that modesty is not thinking too much of yourself but thinking of yourself too much. But there’s a time when it’s not only appropriate but necessary to think about yourself. And that is concerning sin. If you get sprayed by a skunk it’s silly to wonder what stinks. It’s you. But all of us live with the stink of sin so much that it takes careful self-examination, often inspired by the actions or comments of others, to realize we need cleansing.

David stinks with sin, the biggest sin of his life. He has had Uriah the Hittite murdered in battle so that he could have Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba. And that is after he commits adultery with her in the first place and impregnates her. But strong as the stench of that sin is, David thinks he can make things right by marrying Bathsheba and moving on.

But GOD will have none of that. He sends Nathan the prophet to David who thinks Nathan’s just relating a court case he’d like David’s opinion on. He tells of a ruthless rich man who had plenty of sheep. But when a guest comes to dinner he refuses to kill one of his own sheep for them to eat. Instead he kills his neighbor’s pet lamb, the only animal the neighbor had. The neighbor had coddled and cuddled and doted on this lamb the way we treat a puppy. He handfed it and raised it with his children who came to love it. But the rich man stole, killed, and served the poor neighbor’s lamb for dinner.

When David hears this story, he’s furious! First of all, every Jewish person knew how cute and cuddly lambs are. They were commanded once a year to take a lamb out of their flocks and live with it like a pet for two weeks before killing it as the Passover lamb. By then they and their children would have grown attached to it and the horror of sacrifice would have an effect on them.

But that was nothing compared to this. David had his memory stirred of when he had been a shepherd. He had known the joy as a little boy of raising lambs. He had risked his life to protect them. There was nothing as innocent and harmless and trusting. And this one was stolen and eaten leaving an already impoverished man and his children heartbroken as well. In his outrage he shouts that rich thief should die after making restitution of four lambs to replace the one he stole and killed. Nathan suddenly shouts “YOU are that man!”

Nathan hadn’t been talking about lambs. It was Uriah who was the poor man, whose wife Bathsheba had been the joy of his days, his comfort and love. You get the sense that he was much older than Bathsheba and she was more of a daughter than a wife. But out of pure lust, David, who had plenty of wives had taken her from him. It was only then that David realized how horrible his sin was. And he knows that the One he really sinned against, beyond Uriah or Bathsheba, was GOD Himself.

In His sentence of judgment, GOD through the words of Nathan, confirms it is GOD that David truly betrayed and despised. David gave the demons of hell and all who worshipped other gods grounds to mock GOD and say His ways were useless and His guidance powerless. He had set the angels in heaven in shock with their mouths gaping open at such sin. And so, although David had sinned in secret, his punishment would be before the whole world. Even in this punishment, though, GOD showed Himself more merciful than David. Although David rightly said he deserved to die, GOD spared his life. But his judgment would be fourfold, as he had said it should be. The little lamb of a baby Bathsheba was carrying would die. And though David is only told murder won’t leave his house we know that three sons will be killed.

Before judging GOD for taking the life of the baby remember that the love and life and sympathy you feel emotional about for that baby are all from GOD. You wouldn’t have those feelings if He didn’t so we can trust Him to have done the right thing for the baby both before and after death. David knows that grief after the baby is gone is pointless and has finally been put back on track but at horrific cost now and in the future. In fact, having his life spared may be more judgment than mercy.

GOD loves us too much to let us live in sin. Because it’s not just smelly, it’s deadly, physically, emotionally, and especially Spiritually which means eternally unless we confess and repent. And even then there will be repurcussions.

You are the man. You are the woman. We are the cause of hurt in our own lives and others. Remember that when you wonder why GOD would choose the Cross to bring us back to Himself by the sacrifice of JESUS, the innocent Passover Lamb of GOD. The stench of our sin was so bad, the horror of its consequence so immense, it took something that bloodily brutal to pay for it. We are the reason Christ died such a death.

The answer to why Calvary is so horrible is you. Me. Us. Our sin. The answer to why GOD is so great and deserving of our love and devotion is because, in JESUS, He rescued us and gave us eternal joy though we are the cause of that horror.

Sniff your soul. Your sin can only stop stinking by regularly applying the Blood of the Cross and accepting you are the man, or woman, GOD has forgiven for the sake of the Blood, and makes clean.

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