Sunday, June 2, 2019

Telling God’s Stories


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

The Lord sent Nathan to David. “This is what the Lord says…” (2 Samuel 12:1, 7).

Nathan had learned early not to trust his own words, but to instead listen to the Lord and deliver the words He gave in their entirety (see 2 Samuel 7:1-17). 

In 2 Samuel 12, we have the privilege of peering into his obedience as the trusted prophet of the king follows the Lord’s command, approaching David with words that would change the course of history. God-words, the kind that are sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating even to dividing soul and spirit, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Nathan was a storyteller, and the story he told came from the piercing mind of God. He offered it to King David and trusted the results to God.

David was smitten with the beautiful Bathsheba, wife of one of his most valiant and honorable warriors, Uriah the Hittite. One evening he sent messengers to bring Uriah’s wife to him secretly and she became pregnant. Driven to obsession and blinded by lust, David rashly commanded Uriah be sent to the front lines where the fighting was fiercest in the war against the Ammonites. Uriah was killed, and David brought Bathsheba to his palace and made her his wife.

Now Nathan comes with a story. In the parable he tells one who has much takes from one who has little. Hearing this, King David is incensed and demands justice for the poor victim.

With laser-sharp focus, Nathan looks into David’s eyes and declares, “You are the man” (12:7).

David’s moment of repentance comes quickly and without ceremony. “I have sinned against the Lord” (12:13).

We are told in the same verse that the Lord took away David’s sin. But the consequences would be far-reaching. His repentance did not prevent him from suffering the effects of his sin. Because of it, the son Bathsheba bore would die, evil would come upon David from within his own family, and his wives would be publicly shamed. 

However, in God’s mercy, another son would be born to him and Bathsheba, and that son would build the temple of God.

History tells us Nathan the prophet remained close to David during the unfolding of these predicted events and that later Nathan’s son Zabud became a trusted advisor to King Solomon.

God used a storyteller to lead David to repentance. David was the ancestor of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. David, called “a man after God’s own heart,” did not live unto himself; he did not sin unto himself. His actions were imperative to the course of God’s story among humanity. 

The obedience of a storyteller turned the imperfect man away from his sin and back to God.

Nathan does not get much acclaim today. He doesn’t need to; the fruit of his obedience, his work for God, has borne itself out through the generations again and again. 

His obedience shone as the restored and forgiven King David held his newborn son Solomon, worshiping the God who blots out sin (2 Samuel 12:24-25). The fruit of Nathan’s service hung sweet on the branches of Psalm 51, where David poured out his song of repentance and praise, penning the famous words of verse 7, “…wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Nathan’s private work burst forth in the public square as Israel bowed low to the ground, singing to the Lord in one accord, “He is good; his love endures forever,” on the day the temple was dedicated by King Solomon (2 Chronicles 7). 

The obedience of a storyteller culminated in a rugged stable in the little-known town of Bethlehem, at the birth of a baby who would rescue all humanity from its sin and shame.

We are storytellers, and where our stories originate make all the difference to the kingdom of God. There are no great storytellers in God’s house; rather, we are invited to be servants of the Greatest Storyteller, the One whose words are living and active, penetrating the hearts and minds of every person.

His are the stories we long to tell, and we need not know their outcome on this side of heaven. One day we will see the effect of our obedience on the kingdom of God as we kneel before the Word-Giver in worship and praise.

So stand tall today, storyteller. Rise, and go where the Lord is sending you. Tell His stories, and trust Him with the outcome.

TWEETABLE
Telling God's Stories with Our #Writing - @AudreyCFrank on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.

Her upcoming book, Covered Glory: The Face of Honor and Shame in the Muslim World, is an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, Covered Glory illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Available for pre-order now at https://www.amazon.com/author/audreycfrank

You can also find Audrey at www.audreyfrank.com, as well as on Twitter and Facebook

8 comments:

  1. Another example of how you live the term "Writers of Light" (aka 'Light Writers') as its originator Ms. Audrey. We must tell the stories God places on our hearts. Well said author! God's blessings on your newest book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and blessings to you today, J.D. An honor to be a storyteller with you.

      Delete
  2. Thank you Audrey. I always look forward to your posts. Your words are encouraging and well written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharlene, thank you for your encouragement. At my desk with just me, the Lord, and my laptop, the words seem lonely until you read and respond! Grace to you as you write today.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Kelly for taking this to heart and telling the stories God has given you. I trust He has many more for you to share. Blessings to you.

      Delete
  4. A beautifully inspiring post! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MaryAnn I'm thankful you were inspired by these words. God is so good to let us pass His encouragement on to each other. Keep storytelling. Grace to you as you write today!

      Delete