You Are the Man
Do you have people in your life who can tell you the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable? Thank God for them now.
Read 2 SAMUEL 12:1-25
 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.  The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,  but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.  “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”  David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die!  He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”  Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.  I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.  Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.  Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’  “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.  You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.'”  Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.  But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”  After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill.  David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground.  The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.  On the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”  David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”  Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.  His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”  He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’  But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”  Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him;  and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did David react to Nathan's denunciation and God's punishment?
Nathan had a story to tell. His parable may have appealed to David’s past, taken him back emotionally to his youth when his family constantly overlooked him (1 Sam. 16), or when Saul stalked him for years. David was outraged. How easily we point out someone else’s sin and justify our own! Maybe David thought he’d gotten away with it all and that because time had passed, it didn’t matter. As the twist at the end of the story revealed, it did matter. David–you are the man!
Nathan’s challenging words reach beyond David straight to our hearts and lives today. Despise (9) is a strong word, but we need to face it and face him. When we ignore God’s words, are we treating them with contempt? When we know something is wrong–cheating, lying, drunkenness, sexual immorality, violence, gossip–but do it anyway, have we rationalized our sin and despised him and his Word? Do our actions say to God, It’s not that big a deal people mess up all the time it just happened.? We need to face these difficult questions because, as we see in David’s life, we simply cannot hide from God.
How do you keep aware of sin in your life? Is there any sin you may have rationalized away? If so, confess it now.
Father, forgive me for the times when I despise Your words, take You for granted and cheapen Christ’s work for me.
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