2 Samuel 12:1–6 (ESV) – 1 And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
We have been considering the story of David and his affair with Bathsheba for the past several days. David has gone to great lengths to hide his sin, including the killing of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. David surely believed he had gotten away with everything, but this is never the case. God always knows and he was displeased with David’s multiple sins.
Nathan was sent to confront David. In doing so, he told him a story of a rich man and a poor man. The rich man stole the poor man’s one lamb. This story angered David because he immediately recognized the injustice in the actions of the rich man. “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die,” David responded. David did not realize that the story was about him.
It is interesting that David so quickly forgot his own great sins, but was ready to sentence another man to death for something much less. Are we not all like David in this way? We see our own sins as small and trivial and deserving of grace, but at the same time we are much less likely to extend the same grace towards others. Let them get what they deserve! Thankfully, we serve a God who is gracious and just. Sin is a serious matter to him and does not go unpunished. However, there is also grace for all those who will repent and turn to Jesus Christ. It is a wonderful free gift for all who will believe.
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