IF DAVID, A MAN AFTER GOD’S HEART,
COULD DECEIVE HIMSELF INTO ADULTERY AND MURDER,
THEN WE MUST NOT MINIMIZE THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN.
THE ENEMY IS CLEVER AND DECEIVES THE BEST.
ANY ONE OF US IS CAPABLE OF BEING DECEIVED AND JUSTIFYING ANYTHING.
WHAT CAN PENETRATE THE DARKNESS OF OUR HEARTS?
NATHAN USED A STORY, A PICTURE, A PARABLE.
INSTEAD OF SIMPLY CONFRONTING DAVID WITH HIS SIN,
HE TOLD HIM A STORY ABOUT A POOR MAN WHO LOVED HIS ONE EWE LAMB.
NOT ONLY CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS HOW TO CONFRONT OTHERS,
BUT WE CAN GLEAN HOW TO USE THE PICTURES OF PROVERBS AND PARABLES
TO PENETRATE OUR OWN HEARTS,
BRINGING LIGHT TO OUR DARKNESS.
THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED TO ME WHEN I HEARD A SERMON ON
MARTHA THE MANIPULATER
IT WAS EASIER FOR ME TO SEE MARTHA’S IDOL OF CONTROL THAN MY OWN
BUT THEN I REALIZED, GOD WAS SAYING: THOU ART THE WOMAN!
GOD HAS CHANGED ME, A WOMAN IN THE LAST ACT OF HER LIFE,
AND HE DID IT THROUGH A STORY.
If you read Idol Lies, you know how He changed my relationship with my administrative assistants, and even with my children. In June my daughter Beth, her family, and her extended in-laws family came to my cottage for ten days. Beth is the daughter we adopted from Thailand, and had had such deprivation in her first twelve years, that she had much to overcome. What she had never had and needed so badly, was grace. Steve gave it to her, and I tried, but so often I failed. This vacation was different — she felt grace from me, and began to relax. As she began to relax, the whole atmosphere changed for both of us. (How sad that in the past she has not felt truly relaxed around me, her mother!) Perhaps my favorite day was near the end of the vacation when I took her to play pickleball with me at the Y while her in-laws watched the children. Though she just has one arm, had never played, and often fears criticism from me, she plunged in with all her heart. She was amazing on the court, spinning and driving that ball so that her opponents had trouble returning it. Everyone watching was cheering her on and asking, “Who is this one-armed girl?” Oh — what grace can unleash. I wish I had changed sooner, but I’m so thankful for the story of Martha that had the power to put light into the darkness of my heart.
LIKEWISE, IN THE BOOK, THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE:
The authors open with a true story of a man who was being unfaithful to his family and had decided to leave them to be with another woman. He’d taken fire in his bosom, like David, and was blind. No pleading, no arguments, and no tears could stop him. He had made up his mind.
But one day his daughter told him about a dream she had had. She, her mother, and her siblings had been hit broadside by a careless driver, and their injuries were catastrophic. She was lying on the road, bleeding, when she saw the man who hit them. She said, “It was you, Dad.”
Her word picture penetrated his heart. He repented, came home. He changed.
GOD USES PARABLES, IN PART, TO HELP US SEE WHAT OUR HEARTS ARE HIDING
FROM HIM, FROM OTHERS, AND FROM OURSELVES.
A STORY PENETRATES OUR DARKNESS WITH LIGHT.
This week we will look at the story of David and hear a great free Keller sermon, and then consider how to put the pictures of the proverbs we will study to work on our own hearts.
1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
2. Can you think of a story or picture, either from Scripture or a sermon or a book that penetrated your heart and helped you develop a new compassion or to see a darkness or idol in your heart? If so, share briefly.
MONDAY — WEDNESDAY
Because the story of David and Bathsheba is so familiar, I’m going to come from a little different angle and also have you listen to Keller’s free sermon on it before we go onto the chapters in Proverbs that are filled with life-changing word pictures.
Though David had thousands of men in his armies, there were “thirty mighty men” who were close to him and did great deeds of valor for him. Uriah was among those mighty men.
3. One of the incidents of the mighty men is described in 1 Chronicles 11:15-19. How did they risk their lives for David?
Proverbs 6:27 paints this word picture:
Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?
4. Read 2 Samuel 11 and find examples of David trying to carry fire in his bosom.
5. Apply the above word picture to your own heart. Where are you trying to walk on hot coals because you are so reluctant to let go of an idol? Identify the lie.
Listen to the following free sermon on David and Bathsheba.
6. What comments or notes do you have concerning the above sermon?
Thursday-Friday: Proverbs Filled With Pictures
Last fall when we were studying marriage, we did look at some of the pictures in Proverbs concerning sexual intimacy — so as a review for those who were with us, and new material for our new sisters, please read the opening to that blog by clicking here and then sharing how one of the pictures penetrates your heart and why:
7. What picture penetrates your heart and why?
8. Read Proverbs 5 and find a picture that is meaningful to you and explain why.
9. Do the same with Proverbs 6.
10. And the same with Proverbs 7.
11. What is your take-a-way and why?