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Amazing Grace

2 Samuel 12:1-14

This passage is very beautiful but there is an attention in it. Nathan’s short story lasting only four verses but gives big impact. All seems like it was following David’s plan until the last chapter 11, “but the thing that David had done displease the Lord”. By reading chapter 11 we will assume that there is going be a punishment or wrath from God. And it is true there is a punishment for David, but then chapter 12 begins with the very important and terrifying sentence, “The Lord sent Nathan to David.”

Here actually, there is a great grace given to sinners. Without this one sentence of the Lord sending Nathan, there is no hope for David and there is no hope for mankind. God will not leave His children comfortable in their sin. He will continue to chase after and reveal the sins of His children so that they don’t feel safe in their sin. It is because God is still graceful and still love us. God know sin will ultimately not only destroy our inner self and also people around us.

Nathan didn’t directly rebuke David but with a very simple and interesting story which pears David’s heart. The rich man in the story is painted in simple sentence in verse 2, but the poor man is painted in such a way with up to four times details. David as the highest Judge of Israel, hearing the story, burned with anger against the rich man who not only did evil things but also had no pity. Nathan didn’t debate or argue with David, not even judge him. David judged himself. Nathan only said, “you are the man!”. This is the holy craftiness of God’s grace.

Verse 7-12 talks about the horror of His grace. After opening up David’s mask and facade, Nathan announced judgement and punishment from God to David in 3 phases:

Firstly, he speaks of the goodness and the grace shone to David. In order to see the horror of sin we must see it in the context of God’s grace. To go against the Lord is the great foolishness and it does not make sense. The only reasonable and acceptable response of God’s goodness is to surrender your life as a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord. David who was blessed bountifully, did foolish sin like the rich man by struck down Uriah, taking his wife, and killing him by the sword of Ammonites.

Secondly, he speaks of the characteristics of sin. Sin goes against everything that God has made known to you. David despised the commandment of the Lord. To despise the word of the Lord is to assume God’s word as nothing. It means that you see it as something to be cast aside and stepped on. Moreover it means you despised the Lord himself who has spoken. Sin destroys ourselves and those around us. By killing Uriah and taking his wife, David destroyed their marriage.

Third phase, verse 10-12, he speaks judgement to David. The sword will never depart from his house. His wives will be handed over to his companion. Everything that David did in secret, will be done to him before all Israel. May we remember that God who is so graceful, is also holy and full of justice. The grace of the Lord is free, but not cheap. In fact, it is very costly.

We can now finally learn the miracle of God’s grace (verse 13-14). The previous six verses Nathan opened up David’s sin and gave judgement toward him. Then David realized his sin and responded in Hebrew with two words. “I have sinned”, that is one word. The second word is “against the Lord.” It is quite a simple response that David has had. Sometimes we wrongly think that many words, lots of shouts and tears is a good repentance. The Lord who look at David’s heart know that he truly repented. Nathan’s answer in verse 13b shows God’s miraculous way. The Lord put away David’s sin and he shall not die. It is not something that David is worthy of receiving.

Those who truly repent on their sin, will accept whatever consequences happened from their sin. It is still better than death eternally separated from God. This consequences still have to be happened to show that God is just. The child who is born to David shall die in replacement of him. We can see this as a foreshadowing of the son of God who has died in our place.

May we remember this. The death of the Lord Jesus Christ was not deserving and instead we are the one who deserve it. Because all have sinned and the wages of sin is death. This holy Son of God, the son of David who committed no sin died in our place so that God can communicate His love and His justice. A love that won’t let us go. A grace that continuously seek us to return. Love and grace that we receive in Jesus Christ.




©2020 by International Reformed Evangelical Church Melbourne.

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