A Pet’s Death

Read: 2 Samuel 12:1-7
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy (Proverbs 28:13).

A friend of mine who runs his own company says he has two rules for his employees: “Rule 1: The boss is always right. Rule 2: If the boss is wrong, refer to Rule 1.” He’s obviously joking, but these words do reflect the way many of us would like to live.

An “I can do no wrong” mentality would have resonated with King David at a certain time in his life. For he lied, stole, committed adultery, betrayed and murdered a friend, and yet lived as if he had done nothing wrong. So the prophet Nathan had a difficult task to complete (2 Samuel 12:1): How do you confront the most powerful man in the kingdom and get him to confess crimes he had willfully concealed? Such a confrontation could have been considered a capital offense against the king.

So Nathan came to David with a story about a poor shepherd and his beloved pet lamb (2 Samuel 12:3). It was common for shepherds to have a special lamb as a pet. Having been a shepherd (1 Samuel 17:15), David would have felt the strong emotional bond between the man and his lamb (2 Samuel 12:5-6).

Nathan forced David and all of us to consider the horrors of killing a pet. The gratuitous slaying of the innocent lamb exposed the repulsiveness of David’s sin, and it also pointed to the murder of another innocent beloved Lamb 1,000 years later. This death exposes the ugliness of our own sins (1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 2:2).

David concealed his sins (Psalm 32:3). But they still were “piled up before God” (Isaiah 59:12). God sees our secret sins (Psalm 90:8). We can’t simply live as if we’ve done nothing wrong (Jeremiah 2:35, Jeremiah 17:9-10). Let’s confess our sins today and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:8-10).

Taken from “Our Daily Journey”