Growup: Day 89

2 Samuel 7-11

It’s funny to be writing a “growup” blog today – it’s Angus’ birthday! And it’s amazing to see how much he’s grown up in just 12 months. Physical growth is so rapid in the early years isn’t it?!

I reckon it can be the same in our new life in Christ too. At the beginning we seem to grow every day. It’s easy to look back and think “Wow! Look how far God has brought me in just this short time!”. But then the growth seems to slow down or even to plateau. It becomes much harder to know what God is doing in us. Whatever growth there is seems imperceptible.

I’ve been encouraged this week from God’s word to see that his way is often to work quietly and steadily rather than in dramatic ways and that if we simply apply ourselves to listening to his word and doing what it says, then we can count on him to be at work in us for our good and his glory.

Having said all that, today’s passage is definitely a big one! It moves from the sublime promise of God to David in 7:8-16 to establish his throne forever, to the ridiculous treachery of David in chapter 11 where he commits adultery and murder. What do we learn? Well, if even David, God’s anointed king and the “man after god’s own heart” can get it so wrong, then we really do need a Saviour! Praise God that his forever King, King Jesus, has achieved for us what no mere human king ever could.

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3 comments on “Growup: Day 89
  1. David says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve been pondering the following verses and wondering how I should view them this side of the cross:

    1 Sam 12:
    13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
    Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”

    I guess I’d hope that if I was forgiven for my sin there wouldn’t still be some sort of consequence for it from God like the above. What should we expect though?

  2. Pete Thompson says:

    Hi David

    Good question. It’s the sort of question that we always need to keep asking as we journey through the Old Testament: “what difference does Jesus make?”

    But on the other hand, we’ve got to make sure that don’t draw too big a distinction between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New – they’re the same person, and it’s not like God went through some mid-life crisis between the 2 testaments!

    It’s important to note that God continues to judge in this present age (see Romans 1:18 – “the wrath of God is being revealed”)and even though it’s very rare, we sometimes get a glimpse into exactly how and when he’s doing that – have a look at the story of Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5 for a scary example!

    BUT, I understand that your question David is a bit different – something like: “what does ‘forgiven’ mean if not that the consequences of our sin have been dealt with and there is ‘no more to pay'”? I guess the most helpful biblical distinction that I can think of is that between ‘comdemnation’ and ‘discipline’. Because “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) we can be sure that we will never experiences the consequences of our sin as payment for those sins. Jesus has done that for us.

    HOWEVER, when we sin, we need to be corrected and or rebuked so that we will repent and live by the Spirit. And as our loving and good and wise heavenly Father, God “disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son” (Hebrews 12:6 & see also Proverbs 3:12). As such, the writer of Hebrews urges his hearers to “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons” (Hebrews 12:7) I believe that this is exactly what is going on with David in 1 Samuel 12. It might seem like extremely hard discipline but I think that we need to trust God’s judgment on that.

    In the end, it comes down to trusting that the judge of all the earth will do what is right (Genesis 18:25) and that our heavenly Father disciplines us in just the right measure because he loves us so much.

  3. James Ritchie says:

    Thanks Pete. Good explanation. How amazing is it that we who utterly deserve condemnation receive wise and loving discipline – changing us so that we find our satisfaction, joy and worth in Jesus rather than in empty things of this world.

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