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Devotionals

He Took the Poor Manís Lamb


The parable of the rich man and the poor manís lamb is most touching. Most parables (short stories with deep inner, moral meaning) are found in the New Testament of Godís word, the Bible. The parable on which we shall focus today is found in the Old Testament, II Samuel, Chapter 12.

God had appointed a prophet, Nathan, to deliver His messages to David, the King of Israel. Nathan was Godly and dedicated to giving Godís message exactly as God has given it to him. God directed Nathan to tell the following parable to David: A rich man and a poor man lived in a given city. The rich man has many, many sheep and cattle. At this time, oneís wealth was largely determined by the number of animals one owned; therefore, it is clear that the rich man was very rich. However, the poor man had only one little ewe lamb, which he had bought, fed, and watered. The family, including the children, loved the ewe lamb and made it a part of their family. The family would feed the lamb their food and let it drink their water. The family members would pet and hold the lamb close to their chests to the point that the poor man considered this ewe lamb his daughter. Oh, how the family of the poor man loved the pet lamb.
The rich man was going to host an out-of-town guest, and he wanted to provide a tasty meal for the friend. Although the rich man had many animals, because of greed, he did not want to kill even one of his lambs. Therefore, the rich man took the poor manís pet lamb, slaughtered it, and used it as the main dish of the dinner honoring the guest.

When Nathan finished telling the story to King David, David was furious and said that the rich man should die for his greed and lack of caring for others.

Without hesitation, brave Nathan did what God instructed him to do, and told King David that he was the rich man. David had just pronounced his own sentence. Here is irony of situation, an unexpected turning of events. Needless to say, David was shocked; he suddenly realized how selfish, greedy, and uncaring he was.

What had David done to deserve such a condemnation from God? One evening, David was walking on the roof of his palace, and nearby on another roof was Bathsheba, who was bathing. Bathsheba was seductive and beautiful. He wanted her even though he discovered that she was married to Uriah, a soldier in the army of Israel.

At that time, Israel was fighting a war with the Ammonites. David, wanting to get rid of Uriah, instructed his general to put Uriah on the front lines where hot fighting was taking place. As David hoped, Uriah was killed; this left David free to marry Bathsheba. Therefore, when the prophet told David that he was the rich man taking advantage of the poor man, David realized his horrendous sin and was deeply repentant.

Pouring out his heart to God, he displays true sorrow and pleads for forgiveness in Psalm 51. First, David acknowledges his terrible sins and asks for mercy and a thorough spiritual cleansing from God. The following passage from Psalm 51 gives us the flavor of his emotional poem:

7 Take away my sin, and I will be clean.
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness;
let the bones you crushed be happy again.
9 Turn your face from my sins
and wipe out all my guilt.
10 Create in me a pure heart, God,
and make my spirit right again.
11 Do not send me away from you
or take your Holy Spirit away from me.
12 Give me back the joy of your salvation. (NCV.)

Friend, if you are carrying a burden because of some foolish act in your life, as did David, confess your sin to God, show your sincere sorrow by turning from that sin, and ask God to forgive you, giving you power through His Holy Spirit, to be victorious over temptation. Upon doing this, you will find a depth of peace that is beyond human understanding. You will find forgiveness and eternal life.

 © 2005 Guthrie Memorial Chapel