Saturday, May 27, 2017

May 27: 2 Samuel 12; Psalm 119:65-80; Proverbs 16:4-5; John 16



Overview

            2 Samuel: The Lord sent Nathan the prophet to confront David about his sin with Bathsheba. He tells David a parable about a rich man taking a poor man’s only pet ewe lamb to feed his guest. David says the man deserves to die. Nathan tells David that he is the man for killing Uriah and taking his wife for his own. The Lord tells David he has given him everything and if it weren’t enough he would have given him more but David despised the Lord’s word.
            David admits his guilt and the Lord tells him he will not die but the consequences of his sin are: the sword will not depart from his house, his wives will be given to his neighbor who will lie with them publicly, and his son by Bathsheba will die.
            When the child becomes ill, David weeps and fasts. When the child dies, he gets up and eats. His servants are confused. David tells them that while the child was alive, perhaps the Lord would spare him so he fasted. Once he died, he can’t bring him back but David will go to be with him. He comforts Bathsheba and Solomon is born. The Lord love Solomon so he is also called Jedidiah (means beloved of the Lord – ESV notes).
            Joab fought against Rabbah, the Ammonite’s capital. When it was about to fall, he told David to come and get the honor or the city would be renamed in his honor. David brought all the forces and took the city and took their king’s crown for himself. He took the plunder and made the people slaves.
            Psalm: The Psalmist continues to extol God’s word. He knows God has dealt well with him and ask to be taught. He knows that affliction brought him back to the Lord and learned God’s statutes. People say bad things about him but he keeps God’s word. His word is better than riches.
            Because the Lord made him, he asks for understanding. Others will see and rejoice that he hopes in God’s word. He acknowledges God word is right and his afflictions are God’s faithfulness. God’s love is comforting, his mercy gives life. The Psalmist asks God to put to shame those who lie about him while he meditates on God’s word. He wants those who fear the Lord to turn to the Psalmist to learn God’s testimonies. He wants to be blameless and not put to shame.
            Proverbs: God has made everything for a purpose, even wicked people. That doesn’t mean those wicked arrogant people are any less of an abomination to him. He will punish them.
            John: Jesus continues talking to the Apostles. He explains he is telling them these things so they won’t fall away. They will be kicked out of the synagogues and whoever kills them will think they are helping God. He didn’t tell them earlier because he was with them, but now that he is going away, he will send the Helper. The Helper will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Sin because they don’t believe in Jesus, righteousness because Jesus is going to the Father, and judgement because the ruler of the world is judged.
            Jesus has more to tell them but they are overloaded. The Spirit will guide them into truth, tell of future things, and glorify Jesus.
            The Apostles don’t understand Jesus when he says, “in a little while” they won’t see him and then will. He explains they will weep and mourn while the world rejoices, then their sorrow will turn to joy and no one will be able to take that joy away. They will then ask the Father in Jesus’ name and he will give it to them so their joy will be full. At that time, he will talk plainly about the Father but now, he will be leaving the world and going to the Father.
            The Apostles say that he is now speaking plainly and they know he has come from the Father. Jesus doubts that they understand and tells them they will soon be scattered. They will leave him alone but he will still be with the Father. He is telling them so they may have peace, but in the world, they will have tribulation. Jesus has overcome the world.

What Stood Out

            2 Samuel: “Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man” (2 Sam 12:5).
            Psalm: “I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me” (Ps 119:75).
            Proverbs: “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” (Prov 16:4).
            John: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12).

Insight

            2 Samuel: David’s sin catches up with him when Nathan confronts him. When David hears about the man who sinned against his neighbor by taking his pet lamb, David became angry and pronounced judgment. This was an interesting way of convicting David of his own sin. He first had to express righteous anger over someone else’s sin. When he was in this mood, God convicted him of his own sin.
            We all have pet sins in our lives. These are the ones that just don’t seem to be bad enough to take the time to repent. Sometimes, it’s the way we talk to or about others, snide comments, gossip, hurtful observances about their person. It could be bad habits that don’t honor the Lord like drinking too much (but not an alcoholic – God forbid). Perhaps its eating too much (never gluttony). However, we can become very angry when we see someone else doing something we consider a vile moral evil. Every time we become angry over someone else’s sin we should ask the Lord where he wants us to repent. Judgmental anger often reveals we have our own sin that require attention.
            Psalm: In today’s reading the Psalmist expresses gratitude in his afflictions. He exhibits a great trust in the Lord. I wonder how many Christians can take these verses to heart? “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word” (Ps 119:67). “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Ps 119:71). “I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me” (Ps 119:75).
            God’s affliction or discipline is something that we should accept and be glad that he loves us enough to keep us from going astray. We should know that when we bend his rules, he will do what is necessary to bring us back to him. God is faithful and his steadfast love is behind his rules and is why he won’t let us go our own way. Let’s thank the Lord for his afflictions.
            Proverbs: We don’t like verses in the Bible that tell us God has even made evil people, calamities, or afflictions for a purpose. Yet here is a proverb that clearly states that there is a purpose for wicked people. We could say that their purpose is to be punished because they were made for the day of trouble. However, as we look at the reading in Psalm 119, we have to realize that the day of trouble is the day when the wicked afflict us. Sure, they will be punished in their own time. But our afflictions often come from wicked people and God has a purpose in that. This is hard theology. When we embrace and trust that God’s ways are best, we can get rid of our arrogance that makes us think we know what is best.
            John: Jesus kept telling the Apostles that everything he was talking about was to give them joy, peace, and not falling away. Yet, he also realized that they couldn’t yet understand what he was telling them. The Holy Spirit would make it clear when he comes to them. At this point in their lives, they were overwhelmed.
            When we grow in Christ, we start at the same point as the Apostles. They believed but without the Holy Spirit they couldn’t really grasp the deeper meanings of Jesus’ teaching. Sometimes, we need to be patient with people who are expressing an interest in Jesus. We can’t dump all the hard theological concepts on them because it will overwhelm them. Even after coming to saving faith, we often need to keep it simple until their faith becomes stronger and they learn more and more about our great God.

Application

            I need to express my gratitude to the Lord about afflictions. They may be minor or major, but they have a purpose and I need to trust Jesus in all of these.

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