From Jim O'Brien
September 02, 2016

Hi Friend,

The Generosity of God

People who are even vaguely familiar with the Bible know the story of David and Bathsheba. David allowed himself to lapse into a sin which was about to be discovered. His solution was to kill a good man to cover up his failings.

This must have presented a dilemma for God. Of the billions of people who have ever lived, God loved David as much as any. The Bible says he was a man after God's own heart. (Acts 13:22) Yet, he had sinned a great sin. It was more than leaving dirty socks on the floor. David had committed two egregious sins resulting in the death of several people and God's sense of justice required that something must be done.

God sent the Prophet Nathan with a message for David. The words give us a good insight into the mind of God. "Then Nathan said to David...This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah.'" (2 Samuel 12:7-8)

Now it was clear that God had blessed David. He was the least of his brothers yet he was anointed king. He had never been in combat, yet in his first battle this inexperienced boy defeated a seasoned giant of a warrior. Later, the King of Israel with a trained army pursued David and his rag tag band of brothers for several years, but was never able to catch him. Time after time God saved David from being killed. God took an unknown child and made him king over Israel and then used him to accomplish the impossible task of reuniting a divided nation.

Nathan takes this message from God to David and then adds a remarkable statement. "And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more." (verse 8)

Notice that God had already given the harem of Saul, the previous king, to David. One can rightly assume this group contained some of the most beautiful women in the world. Could David not be satisfied with the blessings God had given? Why was he compelled to seek an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba?

So God's statement that He would have given "even more" if David had asked is significant. Furthermore, the parable Nathan used is about a man who had many flocks of sheep but took the only one belonging to a poor man. The analogy is to David's several wives as opposed to Uriah who had only one and she was more precious to him than David's many. In other words, God was willing to wink at David's polygamy; it was because he took what belonged to another man that God called him to judgment.

This is not to say that God approved of polygamy. Rather, "because of the hardness of their hearts" (Matt. 19:8) God tolerated a practice that was common to kings of the day. Yet, there was a limit to God's tolerance.

One of the underlying points of this experience is the generosity of God. Though God had given David more than he could have imagined in his wildest dreams, He would have given even more. He's just that kind of God.

This concept came to mind the other day when it was announced that Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, refused to stand for the national anthem before the game. It was a protest against America. It should be noted that he has been paid over $120 million in the last three years. If that weren't enough, America would have paid him much more. Now he has embraced Islam and hates the country that provided his fortune.

My reaction is to freeze his financial assets in America, send him to Iran with a football and let him enjoy their generosity. But there is something deeper in the story. The nature of God is to always send warnings. I wonder if Colin Kaepernick is a warning to America. Of all nations, the U.S. has been blessed beyond anything the world has seen. Maybe Colin Kaepernick is a symbol for us! Like the silly narcissistic celebrities in our midst, America has forgotten WHO gave us these blessings and we have turned to other gods.

I suspect that if God sent a Prophet such as Nathan to us today he might say much the same as he said to David. "If this wealth were not enough I would have given you even more."

There is hope in the story of David. David humbled himself before God, repented and God was quick to forgive. And it doesn't take an entire nation. When Jesus warned of a time so bad there had never been a time like it in history, he also said, "but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." (Matt. 24:22)

In times like these the elect are on their knees in prayer!

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien