"Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, 'As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.'" (2 Samuel 12:5, 6)
A parable is a literary device, a teaching picture, used to teach spiritual truth. We find parables all throughout Scripture. Biblical scholars who have studied the various genre in scripture state parables have several purposes. One use was the element of surprise. Nathan approached David with a parabolic witness. He was able to speak to David’s situation and to his heart before David could build up any defense mechanism. When the truth of the parable was revealed it was too late for David to rationalize his actions or seek a defense. He had already pronounced judgment.
We in our contemporary western culture don’t use parables and proverbial sayings as some cultures do, but we at times may need an element of surprise about our own sin. Because it is easy to overlook our own failings or to rationalize a defense, we need a vehicle that will disarm and leave us naked before the truth.
While a parable may not be the instrument used by the Lord, He still has an arsenal of means for rebuke – the scriptures, preaching, the unexpected confronting of a friend, or even convicting words from a lost person.
Lord, disarm our defenses that we can see our sinfulness and come before you for forgiveness and cleansing.
--E.C. Malone 08/27/15