Study information for Theocratic Ministry School ReviewThe following questions will be considered at the Theocratic Ministry School during the week beginning June 29, 2015. The date when each point is scheduled for discussion is included so that research can be done when preparing for the school each week.
1. What was wrong with the way that Michal spoke to David, and what lesson should married couples take to heart from this account? (2 Sam. 6:20-23) [May 11, w11 8/1 p. 12 par. 1]
(2 Sam. 6:20-23) When David returned to bless his own household, Saul’s daughter Miʹchal came out to meet him. She said: “How glorious the king of Israel made himself when he uncovered himself today before the eyes of the slave girls of his servants, just as an empty-headed man openly uncovers himself!” 21 At this David said to Miʹchal: “My celebration was before Jehovah, who chose me rather than your father and all his household and who appointed me as leader over Jehovah’s people, Israel. Therefore, I will celebrate before Jehovah, 22 and I will humble myself even more than this and become low even in my own eyes. But by the slave girls whom you mentioned, I will be glorified.” 23 So Saul’s daughter Miʹchal had no children down to the day of her death.
***w11 8/1 p. 12 Treating Your Mate With Respect***
Even when you are alone with your mate, resist the urge to use sarcasm and name-calling. In ancient Israel, Michal got angry with her husband, King David. She spoke sarcastically and said that he acted “just as one of the empty-headed men.” Her words offended David, but they also displeased God. (2 Samuel 6:20-23) The lesson? When you speak with your mate, choose your words carefully. (Colossians 4:6; footnote) Phil, married for eight years, admits that he and his wife still have disagreements. He has noticed that, at times, what he says makes the situation worse. “I have come to realize that ‘winning’ an argument is actually a loss. I find that it is much more satisfying and beneficial to build up our relationship.”
2. How did the prophet Nathan react when Jehovah corrected him for telling David to go ahead and build a temple for Jehovah? (2 Sam. 7:2, 3) [May 11, w12 2/15 p. 24 pars. 6-7]
(2 Sam. 7:2, 3) the king said to Nathan the prophet: “Here I am living in a house of cedars while the Ark of the true God sits in the midst of tent cloths.” 3 Nathan replied to the king: “Go and do whatever is in your heart, for Jehovah is with you.”
***w12 2/15 pp. 24-25 Nathan—Loyal Advocate of Pure Worship***
As a faithful worshipper of Jehovah, Nathan enthusiastically endorsed David’s plan to construct the first permanent center of pure worship on earth. On that occasion, however, Nathan apparently expressed his own feelings instead of speaking in Jehovah’s name. That night, God instructed his prophet to take a different message to the king: David would not build Jehovah’s temple. The person to do so would be one of David’s sons. But Nathan announced that God was making a covenant with David to the effect that his throne would become “firmly established to time indefinite.”—2 Sam. 7:4-16.
God’s will did not harmonize with Nathan’s judgment with respect to temple construction. Without murmuring, however, this humble prophet acquiesced to Jehovah’s purpose and cooperated with it. What a fine example to follow if God should correct us in some way! Nathan’s subsequent acts as a prophet show that he did not lose God’s favor. In fact, it appears that Jehovah inspired Nathan, together with Gad the visionary, to direct David in organizing 4,000 musicians in temple service.—1 Chron. 23:1-5; 2 Chron. 29:25.
3. Why did Nathan relate the parable recorded at 2 Samuel 12:1-7 instead of just telling David directly that he was guilty of serious sin? How can this account help us to be better teachers? [May 18, w12 2/15 p. 24 pars. 2-3]
(2 Sam. 12:1-7) So Jehovah sent Nathan to David. He came in to him and said: “There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many sheep and cattle;3 but the poor man had nothing but one small female lamb, which he had bought. He cared for it, and it grew up together with him and his sons. It would eat from the little food he had and drink from his cup and sleep in his arms. It became as a daughter to him. 4 Later a visitor came to the rich man, but he would not take any of his own sheep and cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 At this David grew very angry against the man, and he said to Nathan: “As surely as Jehovah is living, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 And he should pay for the lamb four times over, because he did this and showed no compassion.” 7 Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man! This is what Jehovah the God of Israel says: ‘I myself anointed you as king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul.
***w12 2/15 p. 24 Nathan—Loyal Advocate of Pure Worship***
Consider why Nathan addressed the problem as he did. It is not easy for a person who has become emotionally entangled with someone to view his situation objectively. All of us tend to make excuses in an attempt to justify ourselves if our actions are questionable. But Nathan’s illustration moved David unwittingly to condemn his own actions. The king saw clearly that the conduct Nathan described was deplorable. Only after David himself had condemned it, however, did Nathan reveal that the illustration applied to the king. Then David could see the magnitude of his sin. This put him in the right frame of mind to accept reproof. He acknowledged that he had indeed “despised” Jehovah by his conduct in connection with Bath-sheba, and he accepted the deserved reproof.—2 Sam. 12:9-14; Ps. 51, superscription.
What can we learn from this? A Bible teacher’s objective is to help his listeners arrive at the right conclusion. Nathan respected David and therefore approached him tactfully. Nathan knew that at heart David loved righteousness and justice. With his illustration, the prophet appealed to these godly qualities. We too can help sincere individuals to understand Jehovah’s point of view. How? By appealing to their sense of what is right, doing so without assuming any air of moral or spiritual superiority. The Bible, not our personal opinion, is our authority regarding what is right and what is wrong.
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