Monday, 14 May 2012
King David had slept with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his most faithful soldiers. Uriah, on learning that she is pregnant, tries to cover it up. After several failed attempts to get Uriah to come home to his wife, David tells his commander Joab to facilitate Uriah's death in the battle field. Uriah is killed in battle, and David then takes his widow as a wife. The nation of Israel sees David as a noble king who took under his wing the wife of fallen hero.
About a year goes by, the child is born. One day God sends the prophet Nathan who begins to tell David a story. Kings often acted as Judges, and people would bring their cases to them. Nathan tells him this story.
A very rich man had many flocks and herds, but there was also a poor man who had nothing except one little lamb which he nourished; it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
A traveler came to visit the rich man, but instead of sacrificing one of his own many herds, the rich man takes the little lamb from the poor man, and prepared it for the feast he made for the traveler.
David is filled with anger on hearing this and he tells Nathan, “ As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb…”
Nathan said to David, "You are that man."
We know from the scripture that Uriah was a faithful servant and valiant soldier, and, from this passage we know he treated Bathsheba with the most love; he knew he did not deserve a woman like her. He loved her with all his heart, and she was everything to him. David had many wives, and he just took Bathsheba. David judges the rich man without knowing he was the rich man.
David’s love for God was never put into question. We know that David loved the Lord with all his heart. The question is – how far are you David?
I know that, for myself, there were times that I grew distant from God. I never stopped believing, I never stopped loving, but I did stop walking. I just got farther and farther. Every day, farther apart, my heart would try to find His joy in everything else. It took me a while to realize that my heart missed the Lord. It’s hard to hear God when you’re far from Him. The farther we find ourselves, the less we act like His children.
When David fools everyone into believing he is a ‘good noble king’, he also fools himself. Yet his heart was still troubled. During that year he wrote Psalm 32: “When I kept silent, my bones grew old, Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me…” We sometimes think that if stay quiet and if God is quiet, it means we fooled Him.
God might be silent, but His hand of conviction weighs the same as the distance we find ourselves from Him. The farther we get from Him, the heavier His hand becomes. The time from the moment we sinned to the moment we confess is true solitude. As believers, we should have broken hearts, and a broken heart will miss His relationship. Sin hardens the heart, but conviction call us to forgiveness. Now if God’s hand of conviction won’t break us, He will.
One year -- that’s how much time God gave David to confess and ask for forgiveness. He sends Nathan, and David sees the sin that rich ‘man’ had done and God gets David to pass judgment on himself. He condemns himself.
The sins I see that I’m most impatient with in other people are probably the ones I fail to see in myself. The truth is our sin looks terrible on other people.
How Nathan confronts David is an example for us. He holds mirror in front of David, with no malice, no judgment, no ‘I have more facebook friends than you’ attitude. Most of the times when we speak of others, even without knowing we are judging them, there is malice, there is judgment and hardly ever are our words heartbroken for them. We criticize without love. I’m sure it broke Nathan’s heart to have to confront David. I doubt he had a smile on his face or had the 'I finally got you!' type of attitude. So often we see the sin and not God’s love for the sinner. Nathan corrects David in love, and in that we find an example for us.
Broken is the way our hearts should be, and broken is the way David’s heart became when he heard the words “you are that man”. David realizes his errors, asks for forgiveness and begins to walk again with the Lord.
Have you ever heard of the sin of someone else and judged them, only to realize later you also have the same sin in your life? How does it feel to recognize your own faults in someone else? What can we learn from David's example?