Touching the shepherd’s heart

22nd July 2016 | Nicholas


What makes good learning?

I’m going to start by saying that good learning is local, really local.

I read 2 Samuel 12 this morning. You know the story. King David has murdered one of his elite soldiers in order to cover up his one-night stand with Uriah’s wife, who became pregnant by David. In chapter 12, Nathan the prophet is sent by the Lord to David. Nathan tells David a story.

And what is that story about? Appropriately, it is about a sheep. Remember what David did for a living before changing his profession to king? Yep, shepherd. As Nathan’s story unfolds, David’s heart is reminded of his shepherding days. David can intimately relate to the love that the poor man had for his lamb.

Talk about localizing learning! Here is a king abusing his power to cover an affair, involving his most trusted general, Joab, which results in murder. And Nathan is talking about a lamb? Why?

I propose that it is because to make learning transformational, it must be localized. A great book by a modern theologian on the ten commandments was not really going to get at David’s heart. Nope, but a story about a sheep did!

This is not me postulating; this is how God chose to make Nathan’s teaching transformational. We should strive to do the same.


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