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Old Testament: 2 Samuel 12:1-31
God will sure show mercy when we sin and we’ll be backed but nevertheless we will get smacked.
2 Samuel 12:1-15a A Famous Nathan Hot Dog (if you’re not from the northeast check it out: Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.)
Yahweh sent the prophet David with a message. Notice the wisdom on Nathan’s part. He doesn’t just confront David frontally, he goes through the back door with a parable. He tells David of a rich man who has many sheep and a poor man who only has one. The rich man has a visitor and instead of cooking up one of his many lambs for him, he takes the poor man’s one little lamb. David was incensed. He wanted the rich man brought to him to be executed.
Nathan replied to David, “You are the man!” (v. 7). Nathan then pointed out to David his sin. He had had so much from the Lord, a great house, wives, riches, power and more if he had asked. But then he took Uriah’s only wife and killed him!
Nathan told David the punishment would be evil and death entering into his family line. He predicted that someone close to him would sleep with his wives so that everyone would know about it. He said that what David had done in private, Yahweh would do public. An example of this would be that Bathsheba’s baby only lived about seven days before dying. David had given an opportunity to all of Yahweh’s enemies to mock Him.
2 Samuel 12:15b-25 Yahweh Chastens David
The Scripture will not dignify the situation at all. “Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David . . . ” The focus in v. 15b is on the sin committed against Uriah by David. It wasn’t David’s son who died, it was the child born to “Uriah’s widow.” It was the lady without a husband who bore the son. She had belonged to Uriah. So much in so few words. However, David and Bathsheba have gone down in history as famous lovers with a famous son, Solomon. Perhaps we should refer to David as Bathsheba’s second husband. The son was illegitimate. Uriah was a wonderful hero with impeccable integrity done in by a man of power. David was a rat.
On the other hand . . . how many rats has God used to do His work. Someone early in my Christian life one time made the statement, “My God is too big to use sin.” In fact, God is so big that He often uses sin. Name any big hero in the Bible. Abraham? Lied to save his skin and turned his wife over to another man. Twice. Moses? Murderer. Samson? Womanizer, killer. Gideon? Barak? Cowardly. The Apostle Paul? Murderer, anti-Christ (before he was saved). Peter? Cowardly. What a motley crew! All were nothing before and without faith.
However, David was a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22). He didn’t eat for seven days after hearing the baby was sick. David’s servants were afraid to tell David that the baby had died for fear he would harm himself. But David heard the servants whispering and knew what had happened. Then David washed up and went into the Tent to worship. And then he ate.
All this confused the servants and they asked David why he now ate after the child had died. David replied, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ 23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (v. 22, 23). When there was nothing else David could do to persuade Yahweh to let his child live, He went back to his normal routine.
Verse 23 is often used to comfort those who have lost a young child. David said, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” It seems to indicate that children who are not capable to choose Christ and die prematurely will land in Heaven. The key is that they do not reject Christ. Those who live to the “age of reason” are capable of rejecting Christ and so are responsible (cf. John 12:48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day”). All capable of trusting Christ are responsible to believe in Him (John 3:16, 18).
2 Samuel 12:24-31 Yahweh Shows Grace To David
Yahweh showed David grace by giving him a son through Bathsheba and the Lord’s name for him was “Jedidiah.” Jedidiah means “Loved of the Lord.” We know him as “Solomon” (v. 24).
Joab was able to cause the Ammonite city of Rabbah to cave in. He called for David to send troops to finish it off. David came in time to collect the king’s crown and take the people as slaves.
New Testament: John 16:1-33
In the OT the saints did not have the Spirit seal, in the NT there is a whole new deal.
John 16:1-15 The New Deal
Jesus warns His disciples that men who think they are doing the right thing will try to off them for Yahweh’s sake. They don’t have a relationship with the Father or Jesus though. The Apostle Paul comes to mind? Jesus didn’t want them to be surprised when people trying to take their heads (cf. 1 Pet. 4:12). Jesus was with them so He could protect them at first but now He had to give them new instructions (v. 4).
Jesus knew that the disciples were sad at His leaving but He tells them He has to leave so they can have the Holy Spirit. This is a whole new deal that the world has never seen before. The Holy Spirit will be with them and in them (John 14:17; Rom. 8:9).
One of the main jobs of the Holy Spirit is to convict non-believers of sin and that the most important thing in life is to believe in Jesus (v. 8-9). Jesus never did anything on his own initiative (John 8:28, 42).and neither does the Holy Spirit (v. 14).
John 16:16-22 Good Grief
Jesus told the disciples everything that was going to happen but some of it didn’t register till later. He told them straight out that in a bit they wouldn’t see Him but then they’d see Him again. He could see that they were trying to figure it all out so He gave them another analogy. It told them that His going away would be like a woman going into labor. There is a lot of pain at first but then when the baby is born there is a lot of joy. So, He said, there would soon be grief but not much later rejoicing that will last forever.
John 16:23-33 Storm Warning
Jesus told the disciples about another part of the new deal. He told them they hadn’t asked for anything before on His behalf but He told them they could now and it’d make them really happy. Jesus said that they’d leave and be “scattered” (v. 32) but the Father would never leave Him. He told them a storm was brewing but they could have peace realizing that Jesus had “overcome the world” (v. 33).
Psalm 119:65-80 A Wisdom Psalm By Anonymous
The Psalmist knew that life with troubles were fraught, but he also knew that submission to God’s rules meant he was being taught.
Psalm 119:65-80 Yodh The Man!
Psalm 119 is a wisdom psalm about the glories of Scripture. It is a teaching poem that has 22 stanzas corresponding to each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Today we look at the Teth stanza. Teth is like an “T” in English. The second stanza we’ll consider is the Yodh stanza. Yodh is like an “Y” in English.
When Jesus spoke of “every jot and tittle” in the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Matt. 5:18). The “jot” of which He spoke was a Yodh, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. A tittle was a small stroke of the pen, the type of which could change something like a P to an R in English. He was saying that He was going to fulfill the law down to the smallest points.
Are you that meticulous in the study of the Word that you are trying to fulfill it as carefully as you can? Of course, you can only do that with the help of the Holy Spirit. But in our age, we do have the help of the Spirit to do God’s will (see A Mistake In The Bible? for comment on John 7:17).
The Teth section states that the psalmist actually found affliction to be a benefit (vv. 65-72). We don’t like to think that way. We want to just be comfortable and happy. But illness, tragedy, and hard times result in character (cf. Rom. 5:1-5). The writer mentions “affliction” twice (vv. 67, 71). He wandered before he experienced distress (v. 67). He saw his bad times as good since it was during those times that he really learned God’s Word (v. 71).
Arrogant people had lied about him (v. 69). I hate when that happens! They will die of heart disease anyway since their hearts are filled with plaque (v. 70). They don’t eat right.
Judas was such a one. He valued gold and silver above God’s law (v. 72). Do you care more about iPhones and cars more than God’s Word? In America, unless you are very poor, there’s probably not a reason why you wouldn’t have a nice, leather-bound study Bible. But that’s just my opinion. The alternative would be some really good Bible software.
The psalmist wanted to do all he could for the Lord. The person who led Dwight L. Moody to the Lord, Henry Varley, once told Moody, “It remains to be seen what God will do with a man who gives himself up wholly unto Him.” Moody wanted to be that man. So did this psalmist.
We should remember that God made us and we didn’t make ourselves (v. 73, cf. Ps. 100:3). The psalmist realized that since God had put us together, He also knows what’s best for us. What’s best for us is found in His Word (v. 74). So he always looked to God’s Word for help.
He knew that God would comfort him and show him His special love (hesed, v. 76). He knew that because he knew and loved God’s Word (v. 77). Arrogant people are a royal pain but the psalmist knew he’d find help in God’s Word when attacked (v. 78). So he didn’t just study God’s Word, he meditated on it (check out paragraph six in Don’t Eat Icky Stuff).
The psalmist wanted to hang with people who also reverenced the Lord like he did (v. 79). But where do you find people like that now?
He really wanted to do what God wanted him to do so that when he appeared at the judgment seat for believers (see Bema Me Up, Scotty!) he wouldn’t wish he had done more in God’s service (v. 80).
Proverbs 16:4-5 You’re Fired!
God even uses men that are bad, believers should know that and be glad.
In the comedy Blazing Saddles, former NFL star, Alex Karras, plays a big, dumb brute. That’s why it’s funny in that movie when he profoundly says that he is “only a pawn in the chess game of life.” That’s what I think of when I read about Satan.
R.C. Sproul has said that if God allowed even a single atom to run off on its own, He wouldn’t be sovereign. God controls all things, even the wicked (v. 4). Even Satan . . . who is just a pawn in the chess game of life. That doesn’t mean that he can’t hurt us but it does mean that we are safe in the arms of God.
Satan’s main sin was a sin of pride. He is an abomination to the Lord (v. 5a). So is everyone who follows in his wake. He will be punished by being thrown into a “lake of fire” (v. 5b, cf. Rev. 20:10). So will all human beings who are too proud to humble themselves to trust Christ for salvation (cf. Rev. 20:15).
But understand that Hell was not created for human beings. God does not wish that any human being perish (cf. 2 Pet. 3:9; John 3:16). Hell was created for the devil and his angels, not the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve (cf. Matt. 25:41).
Choose Life: Scripture: John 16:33 NASB “A Peace Of The Action”
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I remember seeing a famous Christian author years ago. He was all in a dither because he thought he was going to miss his plane. I remember thinking, “I wonder why he’s so upset. Doesn’t he trust the Lord?” Of course, since then, I’ve realized how hard it is to trust the Lord in some difficult situations.
We should be able to always have peace in any situation. That doesn’t mean that we will. But we should. Jesus said in the world we’d have tribulation. He said in Him we could always have peace. As we age, we should always try to trust the Lord more and more so that we can always adjust to the standard of peace.
How are you doing on trusting the Lord? Do you usually have peace?
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Check out my blog, The Idiot Rule. I explain why it’s always better to trust the Lord and how it can save a lot of embarrassment.
Do you have a “go-to” verse that helps you to trust the Lord in all circumstances? If not, you might want to find one and memorize it. My favorite, out of several, is Isaiah 41: 10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” NASB).
What is your “go-to” verse in times of trouble?
The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: A Famous Hot Dog