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                           "NATHAN'S REBUKE"

                            2 Samuel 12:1-15

INTRODUCTION

1. Many are familiar with David's sin involving Bathsheba, resulting in
   adultery and murder

2. Though these were dark pages in David's record, they were preserved
   that lessons might be learned by those who followed after - cf. 1 Co
   10:11-12

3. There are lessons to be learned, not only from David's mistakes, but
   from the rebuke that Nathan gave to David because of his sin

4. Found in 2 Sam 12:1-15, Nathan's rebuke will serve as the basis for
   our study today (READ)

[Among the lessons that might be gleaned from "Nathan's Rebuke" is 
this one...]

I. WE ARE OFTEN BLIND TO OUR OWN FAULTS

   A. IN THE CASE OF DAVID...
      1. He could easily see the sin in the man of Nathan's story 
         - 2 Sam 12:5-6
      2. But not in himself; it took a direct accusation ("You are the
         man!") by Nathan - 2 Sam 12:7a

   B. IN OUR CASE, THIS IS OFTEN TRUE...
      1. We can easily see the "mote" in another person's eye, but not
         the "beam" in our own
      2. There are several reasons why this may be so
         a. We may let strong desires confuse the plain distinction
            between right and wrong
            1) E.g., many have softened their views on divorce and 
               remarriage when it hits their family
            2) Therefore changing our convictions on a position when it
               hits close to home
         b. We may habitually flirt with evil, diminishing our sense of
            it as evil
            1) E.g., accepting the world's definition of immodesty in 
               regards to apparel
            2) Therefore the standards of the world soon become our 
               standards
         c. We may refuse to apply principles of scripture to the moral
            nature of our personal conduct
            1) E.g., whether or not certain habits are consistent with
               the Christian life
            2) Therefore behaving in a way more becoming a person of 
              the world, than one who is a child of God!

   C. BECAUSE WE ARE OFTEN BLIND TO OUR OWN FAULTS...
      1. We need to be thankful for friends like Nathan
         a. Caring enough to bring our faults to our attention
         b. Courageous enough to challenge our conduct
      2. We need to be like David
         a. Open to the constructive criticism of others
         b. Not so blind as to fail to see our faults when pointed out
            by others

[Another valuable lesson from "Nathan's Rebuke" is that we learn...]

II. THE BEST WAY TO BRING ABOUT REPENTANCE

   A. APPEAL TO GOD'S LOVE...
      1. Nathan reminded David of God's great kindness - 2 Sam 12:7-8
      2. This appeal based upon God's love and mercy is found in the
         preaching of the gospel
         a. Paul made it in Ro 2:4
         b. Likewise Peter in Ac 10:34-36,42-43
      -- In our own efforts to save or restore others, let's be sure 
         make the same appeal to God's love!

   B. REVEAL THE SIN...
      1. Nathan was very clear in telling David what he did was wrong 
         - 2 Sam 12:9
      2. In a similar way, the gospel makes it clear that all are 
         sinners - cf. Ro 3:23
      -- Since people will not repent unless they realize they are 
         sinners, it is necessary to help them see their sins (with the
         right attitude, of course)

   C. WARN OF THE CONSEQUENCES...
      1. Nathan spelled out what would happen because of David's sin 
         - 2 Sam 12:10-12
      2. The gospel, while it contains "good news", is no different 
         - cf. Mk 16:15-16; Ro 2:5-11
      -- As we seek to call others to repentance, we must in love and 
         great solemnity point out the consequences of sin!

[As we continue our examination of "Nathan's Rebuke", we now see...]

III. THE PROPER ATTITUDE IN REPENTANCE

   A. DAVID PROVIDES THE PROPER EXAMPLE...
      1. He made it PERSONAL - "_I_ have sinned..." - 2 Sam 12:13
         a. He didn't try to place the blame on Bathsheba or the 
            circumstances
         b. He didn't try to spread the guilt to others (e.g., Joab's 
            involvement in the death of Uriah)
         -- He accepted the full responsibility of his own sin!
      2. He saw the true nature of his guilt:  it was "...against the 
         _LORD_" - 2 Sam 12:13
         a. It is true that he also sinned against Bathsheba, Uriah, 
            his own wife, etc.
            1) But true penitence comes from an understanding that sin
               is more just a violation of HUMAN relationships
            2) It is an affront against the GOD who created us in His
               image!
         b. Notice, then, what David wrote in Ps 51:3-4 as he 
            confesses his sin...
            1) "Against You, You only, have I sinned..."
            2) With poetic hyperbole, he confesses his sin against God
               as well!

   B. MUCH REPENTANCE TODAY FALLS SHORT IN THIS REGARD...
      1. We often don't make our sins PERSONAL enough
         a. We may be quick to admit "We have sinned"
         b. But will we also be quick to admit "I have sinned"?
      2. We often don't think of how our sins are AGAINST THE LORD
         a. Unless we do, our repentance is likely to be shallow
         b. I.e., our conduct will change just enough to satisfy the 
            approval of man
         c. E.g., someone who needs to repent for forsaking the 
            assembly...
            1) We often say they have "sinned against the church"; 
               while true, they need to appreciate that in fact they 
               have "sinned against the Lord"!
            2) If they view themselves as only having sinned against 
               the church...
               a) They may only be concerned about being faithful in 
                  the eyes of the church
               b) Thus correcting only their conduct as the church sees
                  them
            3) But if they view themselves as having sinned against the
               Lord...
               a) They will be concerned with being faithful in His 
                  eyes
               b) Thus correcting any conduct visible only to the Lord!

[Our next observation may be the most encouraging one gleaned from
"Nathan's Rebuke"...]

IV. THE PARDON PROVIDED BY GOD

   A. THE EXAMPLE OF DAVID'S FORGIVENESS...
      1. His forgiveness was IMMEDIATE - cf. 2 Sam 12:13
         a. That is, when the proper conditions were met
         b. In his case, the confession of his sin
      2. His forgiveness was COMPLETE - cf. 2 Sam 12:13
         a. Nathan said "The LORD also has put away your sin"
         b. The phrase "put away" is similar to other terms suggesting
            a complete forgiveness of sin:  "covered", blotted out", 
            "remembered no more"

   B. GOD'S PARDON IS SIMILAR TODAY...
      1. It is both IMMEDIATE and COMPLETE
      2. But there are conditions that must be met
         a. For the non-Christian - cf. Jn 8:24; Ac 2:38; 22:16
         b. For the Christian - cf. 1 Jn 1:9; Ac 8:22
      3. Such wonderful pardon is made possible only through the blood
         of Christ! - Ep 1:7

[Our final observation may be the most sobering one to contemplate...]

V. CONSEQUENCES OF SIN OFTEN FOLLOW DESPITE PARDON

   A. DAVID LEARNED THIS FROM NATHAN...
      1. Though he was forgiven of his sin, there would still be 
         consequences of his sin
      2. Nathan listed them in 2 Sam 12:10-12,14; all of which came to
         pass:
         a. The baby died
         b. David's daughter (Tamar) raped by her half-brother (Amnon)
         c. One son (Amnon) killed by another (Absalom)
         d. One son (Absalom) leads a conspiracy, takes over the
            kingdom, lays with his father's concubines, and is finally
            killed

   B. THE SAME IS OFTEN TRUE TODAY...
      1. An alcoholic may quit drinking and be forgiven, but still 
         suffer the physical consequences of alcoholism
      2. A parent may obey the gospel, but do so too late to have a 
         positive affect on the spiritual development of the children
      3. A young person may "sow their wild oats" before settling down
         and becoming a Christian...
         a. While forgiven, they may still have to "reap what they have
            sown"
         b. E.g., the rest of their lives being adversely affected by 
            such things as:
            1) An unexpected pregnancy (an early or unwanted marriage)
            2) An unscriptural divorce (not free to remarry)
            3) A moment of passion (suffering with incurable STDs)
            4) Experimenting with drugs (irreversible brain damage)
      -- God's pardon is wonderful, but we must not forget the 
         consequences of sin!

CONCLUSION

1. Such are the lessons we learn from "Nathan's Rebuke"...
   a. We are often blind to our own faults
   b. The best way to bring about repentance
   c. The proper attitude in repentance
   d. The pardon provided by God
   e. Consequences of sin often follow despite pardon

2. As with much of the events recorded in the Scriptures...
   a. There are lessons to help us in our own relationship with God
   b. There are lessons to help us be of service to others regarding
      their relationship with God

May we be wise enough to heed the counsel of "Nathan's Rebuke"!
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