by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Parable of the Ewe Lamb (4 of 15)
Series: The Parables of the Old Testament
Clarence Macartney
2 Samuel 12:1-23

Alexander of Macedon was painted with his hand resting on his face, as if in reverie. But the real purpose was to hide the ugly scar on his cheek. The German emperor was photographed and painted standing in a position so that his withered arm would not appear. But in the Bible men are painted just as they are. No scar, however hideous, no ugly deformity is omitted. When Nathan rebuked the king for his sin, he told him that what he had done would give occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. It gave occasion then, and it gives occasion now. Like vultures over the carrion, the enemies of God have wheeled and screamed over the fallen king. But had it not been that God wanted to teach judgment and penitence and forgiveness, we should never have heard of the fall of David. He was a man after God's heart, and yet the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, and the Lord sent Nathan. For David's good, and our own, this parable is told.

Not in their brightness, but their earthly stains, Are the true seed vouchsafed to earthly eyes, And saints are lowered that the world may rise.

Although a sharp dart for a heinous sin, the parable has a tenderness and winsomeness in it which might make one think that He who taught in parables had spoken it Himself. The first chapter in David's fall was bad enough. He had taken the wife of the brave and loyal Uriah, and that created conditions that made it expedient for him to go the next step and cover up his sin by taking the life of the faithful and unsuspecting soldier. Failing to make Uriah his tool by flattery and intoxication, he plots for his death.

Sin is like some drugs-cumulative. Take them today, you must have them, and in larger quantity, tomorrow. One sin opens the gate and prepares the way for the next. Herod slew James, and when he saw that it pleased the people, he stretched ...

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