Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 12

Nathan’s story

2 Samuel 12:2-3

David began to listen to Nathan’s story with interest - but as David listened, he became angry.

The story was about a poor man who suffered because of a rich man’s greedy attitudes. David cared about poor people; he came from a poor family (1 Samuel 17:28 and 18:23). Poor people and people in desperate circumstances had considered him their friend and helper (1 Samuel 22:2).

The rich man in the story already had everything that he needed or even desired. That was like David, the king of Israel, who had his palace and his many wives (3:2-5; 5:13). David had all that, but he still desired more. Like the rich man in the story, he wanted something that God had provided to someone else.

That rich man’s desire was for the young sheep that the poor man owned and loved. Nathan strongly emphasised the poor man’s love for his sheep. That sheep mattered so little to the rich man, but it brought great pleasure to the poor man.

That simple pleasure ended suddenly because of the rich man’s greedy attitudes. The rich man was also very proud. He thought that his desire mattered more than the poor man’s rights. As a rich man, he considered himself able to do whatever he wished. So, he acted with great cruelty. He seemed hardly aware of how much the poor man suffered because of his (the rich man’s) actions.

Next part: A rich man's cruelty (2 Samuel 12:4)


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