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The Father’s Forgiveness

Author: F. Duane Lindsey
Week of April 19, 2015
2 Samuel 12:1-31

After David sinned, Nathan the prophet told him about a wealthy herdsman and a poor man who had only a pet lamb. When the rich man wanted to serve a guest, he “refrained from taking one of his own sheep...Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man” (2 Sam. 12:4).

David walked right into Nathan’s net and said, “The man who did this deserves to die!” (v. 5) Nathan must have pointed his finger at David as he said, “You are the man!” (v. 7) David was the rich man whom God had blessed. But he took the “ewe lamb” of Uriah the Hittite. After Nathan pronounced God’s judgment on him, David confessed, “I have sinned against the Lord” (v. 13; cf. Ps. 51). Then Nathan informed David of God’s gracious forgiveness: “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die” (v. 13; cf. Ps. 32). But Nathan indicated that David’s sin would have consequences—“the son born to you will die” (v. 14).

When the child became ill, David prayed and fasted for the child. When the child died, David’s servants feared to tell him lest he might “do something desperate” (v. 18). David saw through their cloak of secrecy and learned the child was dead.

Surprisingly, instead of mourning further, he bathed, dressed, worshiped God, and went home and ate. His servants inquired why “while the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” (v. 21) David said he fasted and wept because the Lord might let the child live. “But now that he was dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him [in death], but he will not return to me” (v. 23).

Remember: The Apostle John wrote to believers, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). As in the case of David, confession of sin will lead us into the experience of forgiveness that stems from God’s grace.

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