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Nathan's Confrontation

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
February 20, 2021 12:01 am

Nathan's Confrontation

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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February 20, 2021 12:01 am

It seemed that King David had gotten away with adultery and murder. Then God sent a prophet with a parable that would strike the king's heart. Today, R.C. Sproul draws us into the confrontation that changed the trajectory of David's life.

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King David send against Bathsheba, her husband Uriah and the people of Israel and God confronted him.

David didn't know who God was, and though he straight so radically. As soon as he heard the unvarnished word of God's I have sinned against the Lord doesn't try to lie his way out of it. He doesn't try to negotiate it. He admits it immediately. David is one of the great heroes of the Bible is Psalms he wrote some of the most beautiful praise music ever written is called a man after God's own heart, and yet he said egregiously, with devastating consequences. But even in his full we have much to learn. There's doctors whenever we discussed the use of parables. It's an inevitable but we think immediately of the teaching of Jesus because Jesus made the use of parables and artform and we remember that a parable, the very word parable comes from two different words from the Greek root ball at all and the prefix par or para below means to throw or to hurl something and the prefix par amines alongside of we have paramedics, paralegals, parachutes, and so on and so a parable is something that is tossed or hurled or thrown along side of something else in the way it was used as a literary form or device of communication pedagogically by teachers and biblical times was this Jesus would want to communicate a particular truth and he would explain it in the normal didactic terms of the teacher and then in order to illustrate it so that it's truth could be crystallized, he would tell a story like the parable of the good Samaritan were other such parables. But Jesus was not the only person in Scripture to use parables infrequently. To be sure, but there are occasions where in other portions of Scripture we find parables and one of the most famous and most effective of all parables ever found in the Bible is the parable that I call the parable of the greedy rich man and it was a parable that was told to David after his sin with Bathsheba and his setting up of Bathsheba's husband Uriah to be killed in battle at the end of the 11th chapter of second sin after the message comes back to David and to Bathsheba that Uriah has fallen in battle we read this in verse 26 when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead.

She mourned for her husband. I just think of that for a moment. Bathsheba wants to be with David.

Bathsheba is carrying David's child. Bathsheba does not want her husband to find out about her adultery, but then the message comes to her that her husband has fallen in battle and in many ways it solves all of her problems but yet she goes into the morning we don't know what kind of morning it was.

We don't know whether was a morning that was genuine because she suddenly felt a pang of the loss of this one.

She at least at some point in her life and love, or whether it was a morning that was motivated by guilt scriptures don't tell us, but there is a hint in the text because of what follows immediately after we read the text that she mourned from her husband and says and what her morning was over, David sent, and brought her to his house and she became his wife and bore him a son her. Her grief was not a long one. She got over her morning in a hurry and moved out of her humble home across the street and became the bride of the king and the mother of his child. This is the historical situation. These are the circumstances that prompt the visit of the prophet Nathan to David before we get to that. Let's look at the final line of chapter 11. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord. You notice in the story of David and Bathsheba. David is sending people everywhere he sends messengers to Bathsheba.

He sends messengers for Joab. He sends messengers for Uriah and then he sends Uriah into battle and then sends another messenger to announce the news of his death. Later David is orchestrating it all sending people where he wants them to be and where he wants them to go now there's a shift in the story. Now it's not David who does the sending but now it's the Lord who sends God sends the prophet Nathan to David. Chapter 12 begins with these words than the Lord sent Nathan to David and he came to him and said to him note before I read what Nathan says in Nathan's parable. Sometimes I like to guess and speculate what people were thinking and feeling in real human circumstances in the ancient world, probably the most unenviable task in all of Israel was to fulfill the role of the prophet prophets rarely volunteer for missions. One of the things that's characteristic of prophets in the Old Testament is that they were men who were sent and usually they were sent for the task that no sane person would volunteer to do because normally they were sent to bring messages of divine judgment and nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news but now God speaks. Somehow the Nathan and tells Nathan whispers in the Nathan's ear. However, he communicates the Nathan, the gravity of the Kings sin, and he says Nathan you go to David and you confront in the New Testament. Elaborate procedures are set forth by Jesus in terms of instructions to the church for how to handle cases of church discipline. How if one person is overtaken by the sin and of one person goes to them and admonishes them and they do not repent then you go with two people to this person to try to plead them to repent and and you know how the procedure goes in the New Testament. In fact, one of the most misquoted verses in all of Scripture is the text that when two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them. I don't mean to suggest for a moment that when were gathered together in prayer two or three people that Christ isn't presently certainly present he's promised to be with us always, even to the end of the eight but the specific context in which Jesus made that specific promise within the context of church discipline when he was saying when you two or three go to reclaim a fallen brother and the confront that person with their sin on the mission of church discipline. I promise you that I will be with you because if there's any time the church needs to know and have the security of an awareness of the presence of Christ is when they're doing this very unpleasant business of rebuking and admonishing and of calling a person to accountability so I don't know what Nathan was thinking, but Nathan, humanly speaking, had to go to the K what the some fallen parishioner in the church year is going to the king is not going were two or three elders. He's going by himself to confront the king for an unspeakable crime. I want to say this about that crime. Before we examine the parable, we will look in our next lesson at David's response in the penitential Psalms and particularly in Psalm 51 where in that psalm. David cries out against the and the only have I sinned, oh Lord, that's a puzzling statement from the lips of David maybe was hyperbole or David perhaps was thinking in ultimate theological categories and realized that the ultimate person who is violated and betrayed by human sin is God himself. But when David says against the and the only advice in there some kind of overstatement here because David did not simply sin against God. They would send against Bathsheba. David sinned against Uriah David sinned against his general Joab by ordering Joab to be involved in this conspiracy, and by extension David send to every citizen of the nation to put their trust and confidence in David as their king. The extent of David's sin knew no bounds, but in any case, it's in the circumstances, and in this situation that Nathan comes to David with his parable here. Now the words of the parable that Nathan spoke, he said to David, there were two men in one city, one rich. The other poor.

The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished, and it grew up together with him and with his children.

It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup, and lay in his bosom was like a daughter to him and the traveler came to the rich man who refused to take from his own flocking from his own her to prepare one for the wayfaring man who would come to him instead he took the poor man's lamb and prepared for the man who had come to him almost sounds like a story of a ball that we've already encountered in the life of David. Remember that the terms of this parable tell the story of a wayfarer who is hungry you has no food and keep in mind that there was the law among the Jewish people. The law of hospitality that required that you fed and housed for a minimal period of time. Those who needed shelter and food who were strangers and pilgrims or aliens in the land. Those who were wayfarers and so when Nathan tells the story he tells the story of a man whose fabulously wealthy.

He is untold sheep and flocks, and so one and a wayfarer, and this wealthy man who could well afford to take one of his lambs and slaughter it and feed this hunger traveler instead goes over and seizes the sole possession of the poverty-stricken peasant who had reared as if it were his own daughter. The single ewe lamb that was his pride and joy in the rich man took it for himself and used it to feed the stranger I was David's reaction to the story. David is 40 us the Scripture say so that David's anger was greatly aroused against the man and he said to Nathan as the Lord lives, the man who is done. This shall surely die, and he shall restore fourfold for the Lamb because he did this thing and because he had no pity not notice how David expresses himself.

He's outraged that anybody would do such a wicked thing as to steal another man. She a rich man taking a single lamb from a poor man and David's wrath is kindled and noticed that he swears about the otters and notes so that there's no question about David's sincerity as he rings his judgment as the king of the nation upon this evildoer, as the Lord lives. This man shall surely die. And that's not enough before he is executed he has to make restitution and he doesn't just have to give the man back one Lamb but is fourfold restitution that has to take place by decree that you tell me who this fellow is and I'm not on a going to execute them. But I would take four of his sheep and give it to the poor man who lost the only one that he had because he did this thing and because he had no pity to say what kind of insensitive sociopath would do this that had no mercy whatsoever for this poor man that he would just come and grab all the riches that the poor man had in his maker existence.

When you know the punchline. As soon as David stops his ranting and raving screaming about the radical injustice of this crime that Nathan has just described him in terms of a parable and David didn't recognize it as a parable he thought he was getting the sober truth. A simple account of something that had taken place in his kingdom.

And when he hears this and he ventilate his anger as soon as he stops to take a breath. Nathan looks him in the eye. This is a prophet speaking to the king sent David that all art the man. Centuries later, a similar expression was made that has become famous in church history and in the annals of theology, and the words come down through our own Christian tradition in their Latin version. They are two words back off Homo behold, the man, those words were uttered not by a prophet or at least not by willing prophet, but an unwilling prophet Pontius Pilate when he displayed the scourged and humiliated Jesus before the screaming crowds who wanted his blood after pilot set I find no fault in the man he brought forth Jesus dressed in the garments of mockery with the crown of thorn upon his head and he said to the assembled model told behold the me but unwittingly Pontius Pilate when he used that expression was making a phenomenal affirmative judgment about Christ because there stood man in absolute purity in total contrast to what Nathan was beholding before David Nathan's echo Homo is shorthand for, behold the guilty man, David, thou art the man and 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. I gave you your master's wives into your keeping and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And this is God speak David given you the kingdom. And if that had been too little, I also would've given you much more why have you then despise the commandment of the Lord to do evil in his sight. God is saying to his servant David didn't know what what you need. I've given you everything a man could ask for. You seized for yourself. The object of your lost killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword. You've taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Now therefore David listen to the consequences of your sin. The sword shall never depart from your house.

If one would listen to the rest of the story. The revolt of Absalom. The intrigue of the court the violence that attended the house of David.

The rest of his life you would hear the utter truth of this foreboding prophecy. Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house. God is not saying I'm going to let bad things happen to you, David, and I'm just gonna step out of the way and let your children rebel against you know David can make it happen. I'm going to orchestrate and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of the sun you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel before the sun, and David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. This is his first act of repentance. This is the second time in this portion of redemptive history we see people who at one time in their lives were godly who got in the serious trouble, who were rebuked and awakened from their sin and is soon as they were awakened. They recognized the voice of God Eli when he heard the message that God gave to Samuel in the darkness of the night in which God said that he was going to destroy the sons of Eli and destroy his house. Eli's response to that terrible terrible moose was. It is the Lord PC David didn't know who God was, and though he strayed so radically. As soon as he heard the unvarnished word of God's hot I have sinned against the Lord doesn't try to lie his way out of it.

He doesn't try to negotiate it. He admits it immediately. Nathan said the 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.

And Nathan departed to his house.

I'm going to forgive you.

David your eternal guilt has been remitted temporal punishments will follow. There will be consequences to your house to enter the fruit of this list. Place yourself in David shoes that day.

Imagine what it was like to hear that. Imagine the regret that gripped David day listening to Renewing Your Mind on the Saturday I believe Webb and I hope you'll stay with us because RC has a final comment about the need to view our sin accurately.

Every week we returned to Dr. scroll series on David's life that we have watched David go from a young shepherd with impeccable morals and ideals to a man and leader who is fallen in a most shocking way in each case, though David is taught every generation what it means to live our lives for God's why like to recommend our resource offer today when you contact us with a donation of any amount. We will send you Dr. scroll series. Thus, the glory, it examines every book of the Bible in 57 messages and helps us see the narrative of Scripture, the special editions that provides an extra disc containing the study guide for the series to request duster glory. When you go to Renewing Your Mind onward or when you call us at 800-435-4343 Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach of Ligonier ministries.

It is our desire to encourage you to grow in your faith. To that end, we produce or publish resources like the Reformation study Bible table talk magazine along with video teaching series. We also host conferences here and abroad. All of these resources designed to help you articulate what you believe and why you believe it. So thank you for partnering with us in this worldwide effort to proclaim the holiness of God to as many people as possible in our core in dire thought for today I want to remind you of a distinction that we make in Christian ethics in Christian behavior that has to do with judgment. There are harsh judgments that can be made and then there are those judgments that we call the judgments of charity the judgment of charity is a best case judgment when perhaps you have done something to injure me or to wound me or to offend me. It is my duty to look at that action in the best of all possible. I mean if you think about the people who have hurt you in your lifetime.

I assure you that the vast majority of cases where people have seriously wounded you and hurt you, that in the vast majority of cases.

Those people did not plan it in advance, but we have a tendency when somebody sends against us to impute to that person. The worst of all possible motives and yet when we are guilty of injuring another person of wounding somebody we generally give ourselves the judgment of charity was civil I didn't really mean to do that. I didn't mean to hurt you in that way and we collar our own sin, with the best of all possible motives. That's human nature to do that we blind ourselves with rationalizations of RC and exhibit a for that is David, the king forced David to see the truth of what he done required nothing less, than a personal visit from a prophet of God is RC mentioned they would face severe consequences for sin.

The rest of his life, but because of Nathan's faithful confrontation, through the most task facing. He repented to join us next Saturday for Renewing Your Mind


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