Are You Listening?

Are You Listening?

In Psalm 141:3-4 King David is praying earnestly that God will help him live a righteous life. He specifically prays that God will:
  • Keep him from speaking evil
  • Keep him from desiring wicked works or engaging in them with others
  • Keep him from partaking in the delicacies (spoils/plunder/niceties) resulting from the wicked ways of others

Then he prays:
  • Psalm 141:5 Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.

The King of Israel asks God to use righteous people to help keep him from wickedness. David tells God he will view the correction/rebuke of others as a kindness; as something good. He asks God to help him accept correction/criticism while he continues to pray against the wicked deeds of others.

Let’s look at three examples from the Bible where God does use others rebuke David.

Nathan’s Parable (2 Samuel 12:1-12)
The LORD uses Nathan the prophet to confront King David about his adultery with Bathsheba and then murdering her husband.

The Approach
  • 2 Samuel 12:1-2 Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds.
    • Nathan tells David a story about a rich man who selfishly takes something of value from a poor man. David is enraged! He says the rich man will die and repay four times what he took.
The Point
  • 2 Samuel 12:7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.
    • Nathan reveals that his story was a parable. He tells David that he is the rich man in the story. He confronts David about his sins of adultery and murder.
      • Read Psalm 51 for David’s prayer of repentance.

The Woman of Tekoa (2 Samuel 14:1-21)
Joab uses a woman from Tekoa to confront King David about his un-forgiveness towards Absalom.

The Approach
  • 2 Samuel 14:2-3 And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman, and said to her, “Please pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel; do not anoint yourself with oil, but act like a woman who has been mourning a long time for the dead. 3 Go to the king and speak to him in this manner.” So Joab put the words in her mouth.
    • The wise woman from Tekoa tells David a story and claims that she is a widow. She tells the king that one of her two sons killed the other during a fight and the entire family wants her remaining son to die as punishment for his crime; thus leaving her no heir. David says that she nor her son shall be harmed.
The Point
  • 2 Samuel 14:13 So the woman said: “Why then have you schemed such a thing against the people of God? For the king speaks this thing as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring his banished one home again.
    • David figures out that Joab has put the woman up to this. Her story points to the sin of un-forgiveness in David’s heart towards his son Absalom (who murdered one of David’s other sons named Amnon).
      • Read 2 Samuel 14:33 to see how David eventually uses a kiss to express forgiveness towards his son Absalom.

Bathsheba’s Reminder (1 Kings 1:11-27)
Nathan uses Bathsheba to confront King David about his negligence in not appointing a successor.

The Approach
  • 1 Kings 1:13-14 Go immediately to King David and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord, O king, swear to your maidservant, saying, “Assuredly your son Solomon shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne“? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ 14 Then, while you are still talking there with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm your words.”
    • Knowing that Nathan will be coming right behind her to reinforce her claim, Bathsheba reminds David of the oath he made to her about Solomon becoming king.
The Point
  • 1 Kings 1:18 So now, look! Adonijah has become king; and now, my lord the king, you do not know about it.
    • Bathsheba and Nathan inform David that as he lay in bed dying, in the absence of leadership, Adonijah has appointed himself king. David recognizes the need to act immediately and admits he has not fulfilled the oath he made before the Lord about Solomon becoming king (1 Kings 1:30).
      • Read 1 Kings 1:32-35 for David’s formal proclamation that Solomon is to be anointed as King of Israel.

We are never really told why parables, stories and schemes were used by those rebuking David. Certainly correcting or criticizing the King of Israel was a delicate matter. But one thing is made very clear by these scriptural accounts, David was listening!

God is ready, willing and able to use
righteous people to speak
Godly wisdom and truth into your life.
Are you listening to them?

Prayerfully read these related verses.
  • Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
  • Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke
  • Proverbs 19:20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days.
  • Matthew 18:15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
  • Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

If you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, then you stand righteous before God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Perhaps God is wanting to use you to speak
Godly wisdom and truth into the life of someone you know.
Are you listening to God?


Father, I thank You for my Christian brothers and sisters that are willing to speak Godly wisdom and truth to me when I need to hear it. I beg You to give me ears to hear. Thank You for these three examples from Your Word that show how important it is to listen. I pray that You will give Your children ears to hear Your truth regardless of how difficult that may be. I pray that You will embolden Your children to follow the gracious Biblical method of addressing these issues given in the New Testament. I praise You for Your goodness. I love You because You first loved me. I pray in the powerful name of my Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.