Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 10-12
“Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12). 2 Samuel 10 continues David’s conquest of the heathen nations, but dark days and foreboding are at the door of David’s house. The inspired writer notes the progression of errors made by David beginning in chapter 11: 1) He stayed at home when it was time to lead in battle; 2) He was still in bed when he should have been attending to royal business; 3) He refused to remove his eyes from evil in that he “beheld” (kept on watching) a naked woman; 4) He rejected the identification of Bathsheba as “the wife of Uriah the Hittite; 5) He acted upon his lust. David’s sin with Bathsheba and his subsequent cover up, which included murdering her husband, led to a lifetime of heartache and public humiliation. From this text we learn the danger of shirking one’s responsibilities. Had David gone out and led his armies as he ought, this sordid affair would have never occurred. Nathan’s courage and cunning in rebuking David is remarkable. His account of the two men and the little ewe lamb incites David’s emotions, and he is furious at the wickedness of the wealthy man saying, “The man who has done this shall surely die!” Nathan drives the final nail in the coffin with his pointed rejoinder, “Thou art the man.” David’s punishment reminds us that the price for a moment of pleasure can last a lifetime.
New Testament reading: Luke 10-11
Sometimes our choices are not between bad and good, but between good and better. The account of Jesus with Mary and Martha shows us the value of discernment. While Martha busied herself trying to be a good hostess for the Lord (good), Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his teaching (better). Jesus described Mary as choosing what was needful, meaning truly necessary. Moreover, He said what she had chosen could not be taken away from her. What Martha sought to provide and receive was only temporary – her guests would soon be hungry again. Had she not provided her guests with food, the loss would also only be temporary; they could eat later at a more convenient time. Truly, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt 4:4).