September 16: “A Speck, a Log, and a Story”

6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 12
2 Corinthians 5
Ezekiel 19
Psalms 64-65

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

2 Samuel 12:5-6 (CSB): “David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan, ‘As the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb.’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In 2 Samuel 12, we have an encounter between king David and the prophet, Nathan. King David had committed adultery with another man’s wife, she became pregnant, and then he had her husband killed in battle in an attempt to keep his offense private.

The prophet Nathan comes to David and tells him a story. He tells about a rich man and a poor man. He tells of a rich man who had more sheep than he could count and a poor man who had only one sheep that he loved dearly. He said that the rich man had company drop by and, rather than having one of his own sheep killed, went and took the poor man’s only lamb and killed it to provide for his guests.

When David heard this, he became furious. He was livid at such an injustice. Probably loudly and with great animation, we are told that king David answered Nathan.

2 Samuel 12:5-6 (CSB): “David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan, ‘As the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb.’”

As we hear David’s words, realizing the evil he committed and is covering up, our blood begins to boil. While he is angry at the injustice of the rich man in the story, we are angry at the injustice of king David. In fact, we find great satisfaction when we see Nathan listening to king David’s response and then raise his bony finger to David’s face and say…

2 Samuel 12:7 (CSB): “… ‘You are the man!’ …”

But get this, dear friend. While we are angry at an unjust king David for being angry at the unjust rich man in the story, someone else could probably look at our self-righteous piety and get angry at the injustice of our own sentiments.

Simpy put, it is human nature to get angry at what someone else has done wrong when we have problems of our own. In fact, sometimes we find comfort in pointing out other people’s sins because that activity temporarily takes our eyes off of our own actions that cause such guilt in our souls.

So, rather than repent and deal with our own sin, we hold onto it and find someone else who is sinning and stand in merciless judgment over them.

This is exactly the attitude that Jesus was addressing when He told His followers…

Matthew 7:1-5 (CSB): “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use. Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.

Friend, its easy to be like king David. It’s easy to commit a sin, refuse to acknowledge and make it right, and yet look down our noses at someone who is doing something much less offensive than what we’ve done. It’s easy, it’s natural, but it’s sinful and unjust.

While we need to speak truth into each other’s lives, sometimes hard truths, Jesus-followers aren’t to find delight in looking down on others and pointing out their errors. Instead, we should “speak the truth in love,” being broken over someone else’s sins, and being humbled at the fact that we are sinners, too.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I realize that there have been times when I’ve looked down my nose at others for the sin that they were engaged in. I felt righteous in doing so. But, I realize that the Pharisees must have felt that same way and Jesus was constantly getting angry at them. Help me to love truth but to love compassion and grace just as much. Help me to be quick to acknowledge my own sin and my own struggles even as I help others with their struggles. I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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