Tag Archives: counseling
This commercial cracks me up! I worked for years co-teaching a course for counseling students (with my friend Al McKechnie). I’ve known a few “classic narcissists”! You?
(“Oh, no!”, Nathan might have thought. “I’m in the middle of rebuking the King of Israel!”). Let’s continue our discussion of the prophet’s Nathan’s confrontation of David and his sins against Bathsheba and her godly husband Uriah. Please take the time to read over 2 Samuel 12 again:
Here are a few of those principles we’ve already seen:
2. Use wisdom in your confrontation (vv. 1-4).
3. Speak directly about the sin (vv. 7ff).
4. Review God’s acts of kindness and goodness in the person’s life (vv. 8-10).
5. Speak of the awful evil of despising God’s word (vv. 9-10).
6. Warn the person of God’s hatred of sin and His power to bring judgment into one’s life (vv. 11-14).
Here are one final principle that I see in this passage about getting involved in another person’s life:
7. Upon repentance, comfort! (v. 15). That David repented is implicit in this passage. Explicitly he confesses his sins in Psalm 32 and Psalm 51.
The consequences: After Nathan had rebuked David, he went home. We read that the Lord struck Bathsheba’s baby with an illness. David poured himself into fasting and praying for the baby’s recovery, but the baby died on the seventh day (v. 18). The servants fear telling David of the child’s death, perhaps concerned that he would kill himself out of despair. Instead, David got up from the ground, cleaned himself up, and went and worshiped the Lord. He then went to his home and ate (v. 20). The servants are surprised at David’s reaction, but he says, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
This, it seems to me, is a great OT statement on the afterlife! “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” David and Bathsheba have a son Solomon and we are told “the Lord loved him” (vv. 24-25). We then read of a great military victory by King David (vv. 26-31).
One takeway for me today: Some tragedies we bring on ourselves, and they come with consequences. But life can go on in the Lord and He can give victory in the next chapter of our lives!
“Rebuke the king?”, Nathan might have thought to himself. But that’s what the Lord calls him to do. Let’s read over 2 Samuel 12 and then make a few more observations:
Here are several of those principles:
2. Use wisdom in your confrontation (vv. 1-4). The story that Nathan tells – with the heart-touching details of a family pet being stolen and barbequed by an evil rich man incenses David! And when David says, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die” (v. 5), he condemns himself!
3. Speak directly about the sin (vv. 7ff). The “man,” by the way, is the word ISH in Hebrew. Nathan says in verse 7, “ISH! You are the man, David!”
5. Speak of the awful evil of despising God’s word (vv. 9-10). Please notice that despising the word of the Lord and despising the Lord Himself are equivalent expressions in these verses.
6. Warn the person of God’s hatred of sin and His power to bring judgment into one’s life (vv. 11-14). The Lord will bring calamity on David from his own household. Someone will sleep with his wives in broad daylight before all Israel (David’s sin was in secret)!
(to be continued)
A couple of takeaways for today:
1.God hates sin and must punish it!
2. We are wired up to get outraged at another’s sin but minimize our own!
3. We need people in our lives who will lovingly confront us with our sin!
4. It is always right to remind each other of the Lord’s kindnesses to us!
“But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” So ends chapter 11 of 2 Samuel. But displeasing the Lord requires repentance! And God raises up Nathan the prophet to do the unthinkable — to confront the King of Israel with his sin. Let’s carefully read 2 Samuel 12 as we begin to make some observations of this episode in David’s life:
As I look over this chapter, several principles of intervening in another person’s life occur to me. Whether one is involved in counseling as a profession or simply wanting to help another person, the principles that guided Nathan deserve our careful attention.
Here are several of those principles:
1. Make sure you are sent by the Lord (v. 1)! Some of us are always feeling “sent” to rebuke or correct others. The text tells us that “The Lord sent Nathan to David.” How do we know when we are “sent”? Galatians 6 say, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.”
Apparently there was direct instruction from the Lord to Nathan to confront David. Our instruction comes from God’s written Word. We are to care about those whose lives are being ruined by sin — and get involved!
2. Use wisdom in your confrontation (vv. 1-4)! Everyone loves a good story — and Nathan spins one for King David. Only he does not begin his story by saying, “Once upon a time . ..” No. To David the story sounds like a real event in his kingdom.
We will notice the details of that story in our next post — and see David’s reaction!
Today’s takeaway: God has a process of dealing with sin among His people. And some of us are sometimes called by God to do something hard. May you and I have the courage to lovingly confront when called by God to do so!
One of the great joys of my life over the last 15 years or so is co-teaching a course entitled “The Integration of Psychology and Theology.” My fellow teacher, Dr. Allan McKechnie, is a gifted counselor — and I’ve learned a lot about myself over the years.
I’ve also gotten all the free counseling that I want! The downside is that it has come from a class of students who are only beginning to learn how to do what we call “soul-care.” I don’t hesitate to quote to them Job’s statement to his critical friends, “MISERABLE COUNSELORS ARE YOU ALL!”
Seriously, so many of our “issues” have a psychological dimension, don’t they? Years ago a church I was quite fond of criticized me for making a positive statement about Christian counseling. The critic, it turned out, was later sadly accused of a serious sexual sin (which might have been helped had he sought out biblical, godly counseling).
We are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made” — and this includes our psychological make-up. [I’ve been encouraged by Larry Crabb’s book Connecting if you want to pursue this area further].