OYB May 27
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 May 27
Observations from Nathan's story: The power of story is phenomenal! We are made for story, and that is why it evokes such an emotional response from David. Nathan's story is brilliant because:
David understands being poor
David has a soft spot in his heart for sheep
David has felt the pain of injustice from "the other man in town" (who is rich, no less)
12:5 "As surely as the Lord lives," he vowed, "any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! Out of David's own mouth. David had double indemnity! According to the law, you should die for adultery AND you should die for murder. So why do you think God let David off the hook?
12:7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are that man! Stab, plunge, twist. Taking place months after the sin (the baby was born), this was a painful scene, I'm sure. But interestingly, David's heart was soft enough to be convicted and his conscience stricken. I'm sure David's sin was weighing heavily on him already, day and night. This must have been a real blow to get caught so point blank in his sin, but also a great relief. Repentance is really for us. Can you imagine the weight of the sin on David's conscience for all this time? Moral of the story: Do you really want a prophet in your inner circle of friends? Just kidding.
12:8-9 And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? This verse always makes me sad. To think that God was that gracious that He would have given David even more, had he asked, yet at least one of David's major sins was taking matters into his own hands. I feel God's disappointment in these words. I feel His disappointment in me the times I despised all His good gifts by greedily looking for my own sinful solutions.
12:10 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. Though David got off the hook from death, he still has to be made an example for the people as one in leadership. God has to deal painfully with his sin, and he will have repercussions for his sin both immediately and for the rest of his life (we will endure the bad and the ugly with him).
12:14 "However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die." We have such responsibility as the Lord's Name bearers on this earth! We can cause so much damage.
12:24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Solomon is a beautiful picture of redemption! Out of all of David's sons (and there are many), Solomon, the son born from the sinful relationship, is chosen for the line of Messiah.
16:2 "They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God." A good example of this is Stephen (the first Christian martyr). In Acts it says that Saul (later Paul) was nodding his approval while they stoned Stephen. We see in this verse that it is the religious mainstream of the day who felt like they were doing God a favor to martyr a true believer in Jesus. Because of hints in Revelation, I think the end of this age will be a repeat of this mentality. We think of the anti-Christ being set against believers, but there is also going to be a religious system working with the anti-Christ for a time. It is conceivable that anyone who is marginal in their faith (lukewarm, unstudied, disobedient, comfortable-see verse 3) could very well join this system and believe they are doing the right thing.
16:9 The world's sin is unbelief in me. I love this NLT version!
16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. I have seen in my own life that almost always when I am living in obedience, God has prepared me ahead of time for sorrowful events. I can think of a handful of difficult events in the past few years where He spoke reassuringly to me beforehand, alerting me to coming change, and it really helped me through. I believe He will do this for His chosen ones as we near the end of the age as well.
16:20 "Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. I used to think this meant that the world would rejoice because Jesus was dead, but in context, I believe it means the world will rejoice because He came to save them! The apostles will grieve, but their grief in the death of Jesus will be for the salvation of the world.
16:22 "Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you." At the time, Jesus was speaking on two levels. The apostles would see Him again after His resurrection, and then they would be willing to die for the joy they felt! When the Kingdom arrives with Jesus, our joy will be so over the top that we will hardly be able to contain it! I can't wait!
16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." Wow, Jesus has overcome the world! Mercy triumphs over judgment!
119:71 My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. There is nothing in the world like suffering to refine us! It centers us on what's important, convicts us of our sin, gives us more empathy for others, opens our eyes to what is real and what is fake—yes, the school of suffering is our best education in this world!
119:73 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. Seems like a fair request!