14 July 2016

2 Samuel 12:1-6

"The Lord sent Nathan to David." (v. 1)

Psalm: Psalm 119:17-32


Today's passage really begins on with 2 Samuel 11:26-27, where Bathsheba discovers that her husband, Uriah has been killed. She grieves for him, but (in verse 27) when the time of mourning is over, David sent for her and she became his wife and bore him a son.

David has got all he wants, or has he?

Having seemingly been silent in the tale, God now takes the initiative and sends Nathan to David. Nathan has already delivered one message to David (2 Samuel 7:1-17) about God's covenant with the king. But this is a very different piece of news to bring.

The passage says nothing about what Nathan may be thinking or feeling, but one thing we do know is that he is faithful to his calling. The prophet delivers his message in the form of a parable.

In the Old Testament the prophets fulfilled two roles, that of foretelling (ie predicting the future) or forthtelling - speaking God's word of truth that is often unpopular to hear. In this passage Nathan is doing the latter.

Nathan arouses David's sense of justice at the end of the parable, as the king exclaims "As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die" (v. 5). You will have to wait under tomorrow to read Nathan's final words.

To Ponder

  • Nathan gets his message across by using a parable. What is your favourite parable, either told by Jesus or even a modern day one? Why do you like it? And more importantly, maybe, how does it challenge you?
  • How are the prophets of today? What are they forthtelling? And, again, how does that challenge you?
  • In her Vice-Presidential address to the Methodist Conference at the beginning of the month, Rachel Lampard spoke strongly about justice. Take the opportunity to read or watch it. What do you take away from what she says? And, yet again, how might this challenge you?

Bible notes author

Ken Kingston

Ken Kingston preaches in the High Wycombe Circuit. He has worked for the Connexional Team since 1992 in a variety of roles and has been involved in 'Called by Name' and 'Time to Talk of God' amongst others.