“So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.” David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!… – 2 Samuel 12:1-7.
Have you ever done something so premeditated and wrong that you could get what you wanted? I mean you planned to the “T “ how you were going to get away with it and everything. I think if we all go back to our past we could possibly think of one instance where we wanted something, did something, and maybe even hurt somebody for our own selfish gain. David did that very thing. Yes, the same David the Bible calls “a man after God’s own heart.” ( 1 Samuel 13:14)
David thought he had gotten away with murder. After all, he was the king and able to cover his tracks well. But no one can escape the eye of God. The Lord sent His prophet Nathan with a message. Nathan did not confront David directly. Instead, he told the story of a rich man with lots of sheep and cattle and a poor man who owned one precious lamb. The wealthy man took the lamb from the poor man and cooked it for his guest. On hearing the story, David was furious and said, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die.” In one of the most famous verses in Scripture, Nathan turned the story on David and proclaimed, “You are tthat man!” Nathan’s parable had gotten under David’s defenses and allowed him to see his actions from God’s perspective. Convicted by the guilt of what he had done, David repented. He confessed, “I have sinned against the LORD” (v. 13).
The reality is that we cannot hide our sins from God. We may hide it from our neighbor, our spouse, or our children; but we will never hide it from God. It does not take many sins to leave an eternal mark on a life, a family, a community, or a nation. David learned this harsh lesson. While sin always carries a great price tag, it does not have to be as bad as it could be.
We often act as though God is shocked to discover that we make mistakes. God has a big eraser. He uses it to keep our records clean and clear.
If you are thinking about something you ought not to do, pray about it. We all need a Nathan in our life who will confront us when we are doing wrong. Can you be a Nathan to someone else? We as Christians should be able to go to each other in love so that we can bring ourselves and others back to where God wants us.
- Have you ever felt like “you are the man?” If so, what did you do about it?
- What can we do this week to keep from falling into sin’s trap?