Guilty as Sin
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.'"
2 Samuel 12:
When news of Uriah’s death reached David, he deceived himself into thinking he was beyond the reach of God’s judgment and the people’s disgust. So he took Bathsheba as his wife. He acted as if everything was okay when it was not.
Chapter 12 opens with God taking the initiative to correct the situation. He sent Nathan to confront King David. Nathan had helped David before, but this time his assignment would be more challenging.
The harsh reality is that sin damns us if we do not trust God’s grace for forgiveness. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). To realize his guilt, David had to be confronted by Nathan. Nathan’s access to the king did not protect him from the king’s vengeful wrath. David could have had Nathan killed.
Nathan used a parable so the king would let down his defenses. As Nathan told the story of a rich man who had “taken a poor man’s beloved lamb” and used the lamb as banquet food for a traveler, “David burned with anger.” David condemned the man who was rich in money but impoverished in mercy. David concluded the rich man deserved to die but mercifully David would reduce the punishment so the offender would pay for the ewe lamb four times over. (Zacchaeus applied this restitution principle in Luke 19:8). Once the king gave judgment, Nathan took the opening to deliver his punch line, “You are the man” (2 Sam. 12:7). The parable began as a window through which David clearly saw injustice; then the parable became a mirror by which David starkly saw himself as the sinful man. David, the shepherd king, had become a ravenous predator, and only God’s mercy could save him.
God knows our life story, and he knows that in order for us to be people who overcome, people who move from tragedy to triumph, we must be people who can also recover from sin. Therefore, God connects us with a love that on his part will not let go. In Hebrew this love is called “hessed.” In the New Testament it is called “grace.” This love is built inside our souls and tethers us. This love motivates our conscience after we have sinned to feel remorse, to repent, and to be renewed.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Is God trying to correct areas of your life? Is someone trying to give you a message on God’s behalf? Are you repenting so you can be renewed?
PRAYER: Lord, this is a conversation I have not wanted to have with you. I have been afraid to tell you the wrongs that I have done. Because if I did, I knew that I would need to change. I know that you know this, but saying it to you brings it out into the open. Forgive me. I am sorry. Thanks for lifting this burden from my soul. Through your grace, I will live differently and try to make things right with others. Amen.
A Note from Mark Roberts: This week's reflections have been written by my friend and fellow pastor, Dr. Leslie Hollon, Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. Leslie (known also by the nickname Les) is a noted preacher, pastor, professor, and author. He is a gifted biblical teacher who connects the deep truths of Scripture to the realities of daily life. Every time I hear Leslie preach, I am encouraged to consider in new ways how the Word of God speaks to me. I know you will find Leslie's reflections on temptation to be challenging and encouraging.
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