Jump Start #3312
Jump Start # 3312
2 Samuel 12:7 “Nathan then said to David, ‘You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul.’”
Our verse today is that difficult and courageous conversation that the prophet had with the king. Nathan and David. Most know the story. Rather than being off in battle as usual, David was at home. Standing upon his rooftop he sees a beautiful neighbor bathing. She is married. She is married to a Hittite, who happened to be one of David’s mighty men. The very fact that a foreigner lived nearby the palace shows the confidence and trust the king in this man. David’s lust takes hold of him. He sends for the woman. They have sexual relations. In time, word reaches David that she is carrying his child. Scandal rather than shame and coverup rather than guilt fills David’s thoughts. He calls the warrior home from the battlefront. He sends him home, but he won’t go home. He gets him drunk, but he won’t leave the king. Time is ticking and David is running out of options. He sends the unsuspecting husband back to the front lines, carrying a note that will bring about his death. In the heat of the battle, Israel is to withdraw. They’ve never done that under David’s command. Uriah is killed. David now marries the widow and the coverup seems to have worked.
Time passes. God is patient. David does nothing. The baby is born. Then comes our verse. God sends the prophet Nathan with a critical message, David has sinned. “Thou art the man,” is the revelation that the prophet knew, God knew and David’s secret was demanding repentance.
Great lessons for us here:
First, great men of God stumble. Leaders make mistakes. Preachers fumble. We all sin. We don’t like it when our heroes have feet of clay. We want our parents to be perfect and our congregation to be flawless. Well, that’s not the way it is. Sometimes we are quick to toss leaders that sin. Maybe some patience, grace and help is what they really need. David sinned, but God wasn’t finished with him.
Second, there are times when we need a spiritual backbone and the courage to say what needs to be said. People can intimidate us and bully us to the extent that we give them a pass for the wrong that was done. Nathan had God on his side and David had the power of the kingdom on his side. Nathan did not know how David would receive these words. Would he lock the prophet up, like what happened to Jeremiah later on? Would he kill him, like what a ruler did to John the baptist? Fearing the consequences can keep our lips silent. But with truth and the Lord on your side, one must take the chance and say what needs to be said. Far too many places the guilty is defended, excused and justified, while others sit back in silence shaking their heads. Why won’t someone speak up? Why won’t someone speak as the Lord has shown us?
Correcting is to be done with gentleness and patience. But correcting will never bring about godly changes if one waters down the message so much that it stands for nothing. David was guilty. David had sinned. David needed to repent. Yes, preachers have been fired by ungodly shepherds who were more interested in their power than following the Lord. Yes, congregations have split over right and wrong, because some were unwilling to sell out to the popular notions of some. Oh, to have a Nathan among us in these times. Someone who will stand for the Lord. Someone who cares enough that he risks all to save a soul.
Third, there comes a time when action must take place. Jezebel, in Revelation, was given time to repent but she did not want to repent. Some are too quick on things and need conversations first. Others are much too slow, even to the point of doing nothing. God let David alone for several months. Nothing was happening. It looked like David had gotten away with multiple sins. Then God sent the prophet.
When no positive actions are taking place and no apologies or repentance is seen, there comes a time to put on the boots and get over to the person’s house and have a conversation. Take your Bible. Show Scriptures. Stand your ground. If change takes place, rejoice and start the process of reconciliation. If the person remains unmoved, then it’s time for some discipline from the church.
God sent Nathan. Nathan spoke. David listened. A soul was restored and saved.
It is impressing that Nathan obeyed the Lord. Nathan didn’t tell others. Nathan didn’t gossip. He did as the Lord wanted him to do. Nathan used a story to get David to see himself. Nathan was plain and pointed, “You are the man.” You are that wicked man in the story who stole his neighbor’s one pet lamb. You are the man what has given no thought to others. You are the man who violated the law of God. You are the man who ruined a home. You are the man.
Courage. Conviction. Truth. Good things happen when those all run together in our hearts.