Monday, November 5, 2012

Lord Teach Us To Pray! Part 196

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

David’s life was neither linear, nor in perpetual ascent. There were moments in David’s life wherein he allowed the flesh to overwhelm the spirit. Wherein he did not pray and seek the face of the Lord, but did as he desired.

Since we’ve discussed David’s first recorded prayer and his prayer after being told of the blessings God would bestow upon him and his household, I want to continue our discussion of David’s prayer life with a prayer he prayed after he was rebuked by the selfsame prophet who had previously come to tell David of God’s favor upon him.

David had strayed. He had allowed the lust of his eyes to dictate his actions, and had orchestrated the death of a man named Uriah in order to claim his widow Bathsheba. This was the low point of David’s walk, and the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David in order to rebuke him.

To aid in opening David’s eyes to the enormity of his sin, Nathan spoke a parable of a rich man and a poor man to him.

Both the rich man and the poor man lived in the same city, and while the rich man was exceedingly wealthy, the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished.

The poor man loved his lamb to the extent that it ate of his own food, drank from his own cup, and lay in his bosom.

As it happened, a traveler came to the rich man, and refusing to take from his own flock in order to prepare a meal for the traveler, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.

2 Samuel 12:5-6, “Then David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As the Lord lives the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.’”

If Nathan would have come right out and accused David of being an adulterer, and one who plotted the murder of his own man, perhaps David would have attempted to justify his actions, or minimize his accountability in the matter.

Because Nathan started out with the parable of a nondescript, faceless, and unknown ‘rich man’ and described what David had done using the ewe lamb as an example, David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, though he did not know him, because his actions were inexcusable, despicable, and immoral.

2 Samuel 12:7-9, “Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if they had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.’”

Imagine someone telling you the story of a heartless individual, who was cruel, and merciless, and who did vile things. Then imagine, once the story is done, and you are thoroughly angered, the individual telling you the story delivers the punch line: ‘You are the man!’

If I were to venture a guess as to how David felt when he heard these four words, I would say he felt allot like one feels when they’re on a plane, and the plane hits an air pocket.

David’s stomach likely rose in his throat, and he felt as though he was falling, not sure if the fall would ever stop.

One instant he is ready to put the man in Nathan’s parable to death, the next instant he discovers he is the man of whom the prophet spoke.

Not only did Nathan reveal David’s sin to him, he also revealed why it was so egregious in the sight of God. God judged David’s sin on its face, but also in light of how much blessing God had bestowed upon him, and how much favor He had shown him throughout his life.

Although David did not strike the blow, but had Uriah – the man he is accused of killing – placed where the battle was thickest then instructed his men to withdraw, God still concluded it was David who killed him.

The words spoken by Nathan were harsh words to be sure, and through him God inquires of David why it was he chose to despise the commandments of the Lord, and do evil in His sight.

If this would have happened in our modern age, perhaps the answer to God’s query might have been, ‘because it felt good, because sin is relative, because the preacher told me I’m saved, sealed, and sanctified forever no matter what I do,’ but David’s answer was one of admission, confession, and taking responsibility for what he had done.

2 Samuel 12:13-14, “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’”

There is no sin without consequence, not the least of which is giving great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. We live neither in a bubble, nor in a vacuum. Men see us every day, they see our actions, they see our conduct, they see our lifestyle, and Lord forbid that we give them occasion to blaspheme as David did.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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