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Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: May 13th

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“Have mercy upon us, O Lord.”

2 Samuel 12:1-10 , 2 Samuel 12:13 , 2 Samuel 12:14

2 Samuel 12:1

Such a sin could not remain unpunished. The Lord sent the same messenger to rebuke who had formerly come to bless. It was great mercy on God’s part to send a faithful preacher to David; if he had not loved him, he might have left him to his own hardness of heart. We ought to bless. God much for those who will honestly deliver the divine message to us, whether it be sweet or bitter.

2 Samuel 12:6

Little did he think that he had pronounced sentence on himself. We are ready enough to condemn others, but, ah! how slow to see sin in ourselves.

2 Samuel 12:7 , 2 Samuel 12:8

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.

The parable was full of wisdom, and the application full of courage. How thunderstruck was the king! How his colour must have changed! How loudly did his conscience say “Amen” to all that the prophet spake. Nathan went on to set forth David’s sin, that he might see more of its blackness, and repent the more heartily.

2 Samuel 12:10

Here was sharp medicine for a foul disease. If we sin, we must smart for it. The Lord’s beloved cannot escape the rod if they transgress. In this case, as in most others, the chastisement was of the same nature as the sin. He had slain Uriah with the sword, and the sword was now to waste his family.

2 Samuel 12:13

A child of God may sin, but he cannot continue in it. If there had been no grace in David, he would have been angry with Nathan, but the spiritual life within him brought him into the dust of repentance at once. Many sin, as David did; but never repent, as he did.

2 Samuel 12:13

How quickly the pardon came! “Confess, and live” is God’s word to the erring. The Lord our God delighteth in mercy. Let us go to him and acknowledge our transgressions at once, and find immediate pardon.

2 Samuel 12:14

Though David shall live, he shall smart in a tender place. God forgives his children, but he will not suffer them to think lightly of sin; he will smite them heavily, though not mortally. O Lord, keep us from sin.

Mercy, mercy, God the Father!

God the Son, be thou my plea!

God the Holy Spirit, comfort!

Triune God, deliver me!

Not my sins, O Lord, remember,

Not thine own avenger be;

But, for thy great tender mercies,

Saviour God, deliver me!


“He shall gather the lambs with his arm.”

2 Samuel 12:15-23

2 Samuel 12:15

God is true to his word, whether he threatens or promises.

2 Samuel 12:16

We are permitted to pray against coming ills. If David was not forbidden to plead even when the divine will had been declared, how much more may we appeal to God while as yet his purposes are unknown to us.

2 Samuel 12:17

They feared for his health, but he was ready to sacrifice himself for his poor suffering babe. He was a tender father, and it pricked him to the heart to see his child suffering through the father’s sin. Perhaps it was during this period that repentance was having its perfect work, and he was regaining the smile of his heavenly Father.

2 Samuel 12:20

While the child lived he pleaded for its life, but when it was dead he submitted at once to the divine will. He seems also to have realised his pardon by faith in the atoning sacrifice, and therefore with humble gratitude went up again to the house of the Lord to worship, and returned to his palace to pursue the ordinary avocations of life. Some by their long mourning after the loss of children appear to be angry with God, and maintain a spirit of rebellion against him. Such was not David’s mind.

2 Samuel 12:21

Those who are not themselves taught of God cannot understand the believer’s conduct. He neither rejoices nor mourns according to the world’s fashion, but allows his judgment to act, and his better feelings to have full play. This makes independent and consistent Christians appear to be odd and singular.

2 Samuel 12:22 , 2 Samuel 12:23

A great deal is suggested by the words “I shall go to him.” David could not have thought his child to be annihilated; it would have given him no comfort to hope to be annihilated too. Far less could David have imagined that the child was in misery, for he did not expect to go there at death. The father believed his babe to be in heaven, and expected to meet him there; and we also believe that all the dear little ones who die in infancy are in glory. We say all little ones, because this child was the offspring of shame, and if it be where David now is, we feel sure that all other departed infants are there also.

“Millions of infant souls compose

The family above.”

By the death of his babe the first blow of the rod fell upon David, and throughout the remainder of his life he found his trials multiplied.

It is the Lord whose chast’ning hand

Has filled the cup of woe;

The shaft of death by his command

Hath struck the fatal blow.

It is the Lord and he is good,

Unchangeably the same;

Though sorrow rises like a flood,

I’ll bless his holy name.

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