2 Samuel 12:1-12 (Part 1) – Confronting The Truth in A World of Personal Spin

Posted: June 24, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel

2 Samuel 12:1-12 (Part 1 of 2)
Nathan Rebukes David

Are you a conflict avoider at all costs or are you a person thinks you are right no matter what? If you are a conflict avoider, check out Nathan in this passage. If you think that you are always right no matter what, check out David in this passage. This is not some ancient passage of a text that has nothing to do with us. This passage is real life. Just consider this…

I am a conflict avoider. I hate conflict to the point that I will often suppress my own feelings and rationalize how I am wrong and the other person is right just to avoid a conflict situation. Even if I am quite sure that I am in the right about a situation, I will often only address a wrong done toward me unless I am forced into a place where I can do nothing but come out with my hurt and anger. Maybe, it’s because of my relationships in the past where I valued being in a relationship (even ones that were bad for me) more than having my own needs recognized by the person with whom I was having a relationship. Somehow over the course of my past, I developed this sense that I did not have the right to have my own feelings because they would be ridiculed if I expressed them. In that way, I became a doormat for the relationships in which I was a part. I would not stand up for what was right. Rather, I would sublimate my feelings and allow the other person in the marriage have their way. That pattern of behavior made for very unbalanced relationships where it became their way or the highway, so to speak. The patterns learned in earlier life have lingered on throughout my life. I still struggle with the validity of my feelings. I often keep quiet when I should speak up and resolve the conflict. The results of emotional battery in previous relationships did not magically go away when I accepted Christ as my Savior. Being able to speak up when I have been hurt or wronged is still something I struggle with 16 almost 17 years into my salvation.

However, at the same time, our world is filled with people in this age of social media that have no conception of the fact that they could be wrong. Polarized conflict is an everyday part of life. Facebook arguments blaze through the internet ad nauseum. No one listens to reason and whatever I believe is the truth and whatever you believe, if it is opposite of what I think, makes you a demon of the highest order. Just look at the world in which we live. Trump haters abound on the internet and in the news. Everything that Trump does is roundly criticized. Even if Trump did something that was worthy of a Nobel Prize, his opponents would criticize it. His opponents are relentless in their hatred for him or anyone who works for him that no amount of reasoned arguments will dissuade them. Trump supporters are just as bad on the other end. They will justify his stupid remarks as solid gold and will defend him just because the Trump haters don’t like what he said. There is no objectivity anymore. There is no reasoned argument and the seeking of solutions to disagreement. There is no willingness to admit that we are wrong about anything. In recent weeks, it has struck me how we no longer have objective news in our society. We have people’s impressions of the news passed off as objective news. We color the world the way we want it colored so we subscribe to the news sources that reflect our opinion. Objective journalism got left in the dust somewhere. Anyone who holds a different view from us is a threat to us and is simply dismissed as being an enemy on the order of Satan himself. “I am right and nobody can change my mind” should be the catchphrase that describes the polarized nature of our nation.

These are the things that I thought of today when reading this passage, 2 Samuel 12:1-12. First, how sometimes we have to stand up for what is right regardless of the consequences. But, second, and opposite of the first, how we create spin to justify our position, regardless of the consequences. Let us read 2 Samuel 12:1-12 now to see how these two concepts come into play:

Chapter 12

1 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. 2 The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. 3 The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. 4 One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”

5 David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! 6 He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. 10 From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.

11 “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”

In this passage, we see that, as a prophet, Nathan was required to confront sin, even the sin of a king. It took great courage, skill and tact to speak to David in a way that would make him aware of his wrong actions. When you have to confront someone with unpleasant news, pray for courage, skill and tact. If you want that person to respond constructively, think through what you want to say. How you present the message may be as important as what you going to say. Season your words with wisdom.

May we as Christians be a people who can stand up to the culture and express Christian values even if it brings us into conflict with the world around us. Being a conflict avoider myself, I need this courage in the world in which we live today as Christians. May we have the courage to live according to God’s Word even if it causes us to be in conflict with the culture. May we have the courage to articulate God’s Word to a world in a way that connects with them. May we have the courage to stand up for what is right according to His Word and present it in ways that are not just dismissed by a culture that wants to believe only in what is right for themselves, by a culture that glorifies my truth as what is right for me, by a culture that is drifting farther and farther from the universal and timeless truths of God. May we have the courage to stand upon God’s Word in a way preserves our relationship with God and enlightens culture. May we have the courage of Nathan to confront the wrong but do it in a way that opens people’s eyes to the wrong rather than dismissing it.

We also pray for a world where we can admit that we are wrong rather than justify our position. May we become a world less polarized. May we become a world where the truth is objective and we must comply with it rather than it complying to us. In this passage, we see that David had become so insensitive to the truth and the error of his ways that he did not realize that he was the villain of Nathan’s parable. He had so wrangled the truth to meet his needs that he no longer was sensitive to the sins he committed in the Bathsheba/Uriah incident.

We pray for a world where the truth of God becomes valuable again. We pray for a world where we have the courage to admit that we are wrong when we are confronted with the truth and try to reconcile with those we have hurt. We pray for a world where the mark of a man is his ability to say I am wrong, you are right, and try to reconcile with those we have hurt. May we have a world where we can admit that we have held a wrong opinion, see the truth, and say I was wrong. May we have a world where we love one another and respect each other. May we have a world where we respect each other as children of God. May we have world where we have the humility to see the error of our ways and repent of them. May we no longer see the truth as our personal possession (to be twisted into the pretzel that suits us best) but the possession of God himself. May we all be subject to his truth and repent of our errors when we are confronted with God’s truth.

Amen and Amen.

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