What David Did: God’s Fiction

“David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.’ ” (2 Samuel 12:5-6)

God is my favorite fiction writer. Careful: I’m not saying Scripture is fiction. But in Scripture, God sometimes uses the power of fiction to help people see the truth. Jesus was a master storyteller who revealed the deep things of God with simple parables.

whatdavid_350Here, an angry God sends his prophet to David with the story of a rich guy thoughtlessly stealing a poor man’s beloved family pet to feed some guests. You can read David’s fury at this injustice in today’s verse above. He was ready to kill the guy.

God used the story to get David to convict himself. We’re not told if David felt any guilt at all about his adultery and murder before this moment. He did what we all do with stories; he identified with the underdog, with the hero. Then Nathan said, “You are the man!” And David knew he was, in reality, the villain.

Think: Has a fictional book or movie or story ever helped you understand truth more deeply? Why do you think we respond so powerfully to stories about heroes and villains? Why do you think we so naturally root for justice?

Pray: We live in a world crammed with fictional stories on TV, in movies, in video games, and in books. Ask God to lead you to worthwhile stories that will help you see His truth more clearly.

Do: Tune in tomorrow for God’s surprising verdict on David’s sin.