My Favorite Proverbs: The Merciful Man (Proverb 11:17)
“The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”
When it is difficult to be merciful:
1.When the offense is frequent.
“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21-22).
2. When I forget my own sin.
“So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (Jn. 8:1-11).
3. When I forget the enormity of the sin-debt for which I have been forgiven.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
How my soul benefits from being merciful:
1.I can be forgiven.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14-15).
2. I may reconcile with my brother.
“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” (Matthew 18:15).
3. It creates a better atmosphere from which to examine my own temptations.
“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” (Gal. 6:1).
Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy
David and Bathsheba (cont.)
- Read and/or paraphrase 2 Samuel 11: 6-11 to your children. There are some great things to talk about with your children from this brief account.
- First, review with them how wrong it is for us to ask other people to become involved in our sin. Who did David commission here to go get Uriah? David was actually wanting Uriah to come home to Jerusalem so could start a process of deceiving him. He did not want Uriah to find out that he had taken Bathsheba to his palace. So he got someone else innocently involved. David was making a habit of this. Do you think when someone becomes powerful and rich, like David was, that it is easy to start thinking that he can boss everyone around and everyone has to do whatever he says, even if it is wrong? Do you think David thought this, at least for a time?
- Read to your children Deuteronomy 8:17-18 and ask the question “Who is it that gives people power to get riches? ” (Ask the question first and tell them to listen for the answer as you read.) Ask your children if they know someone who has riches. Maybe they may think of a football player or a movie star. If they do name a person, ask them if they think that person is remembering to honor the one who gave him/her the riches. Discuss this.
- David acted like he had called Uriah to find out all about the battle, but, really, he was trying to get Uriah to go home to Bathsheba, so they could act like everything was okay and David had never even taken Uriah’s wife. (Your older children will here tell you the detailed reason for David wanting Uriah to go home–so everyone would think the baby Bathsheba was expecting belonged to her husband.) Was David “pretending” with Uriah? Was he trying to “pretend” that he had not taken Uriah’s wife, so that no one would know? Do you think “pretending” here is kind of like lying?
- But Uriah did not go home to Bathsheba, after all. What reason did he give for sleeping outside David’s door with all the servants? Discuss some ways that this shows Uriah’s loyalty to the nation of Israel and his great leadership qualities. Uriah did not want to act like he was better than all the other soldiers so he did not go home and have a relaxing time with his wife. He wanted to wait till the battle was over to relax. David’s plan to get Uriah and Bathsheba back together did not work.
- Tonight have “Who am I?” night with this account. Go around the room asking these riddles and see who can get the most right. (A prize is a great interest incentive, at young ages…at any age really.)
I walked on the roof. Who am I?
I took a bath. Who am I?
I am the king of Israel. Who am I?
We went to fetch Bathsheba for the King? Who are we?
I told Uriah to go home to Jerusalem. Who am I?
I am Bathsheba’s husband. Who am I?
I took Bathsheba into my palace. Who am I?
I was disobeyed by David. Who am I?
I would not go home and sleep with my wife. Who am I?
I asked how Joab was doing. Who am I?
I have a door where Uriah slept. Who am I?
I pretended to want to know about the battle. Who am I?
I was afraid people would find out about my sin with Bathsheba. Who am I?
We committed adultery. Who are we?
I am the One who gives people the power to get riches. Who am I?
Have your kids repeat God’s Ideal for Marriage: “One man and one woman for life.”
Have them say the Life Rule or the Kidsing Rule: “Do the right thing.”
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.