David grew very angry with that man and said to Nathan: “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves death!”
Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!”
II Samuel 12:5,7
Is there a sin in your life that you have been hiding or trying to justify? Has something happened in your past that seems beyond the power of forgiveness? Bring those things to God. Ask for forgiveness and for the strength to forgive—both yourself and others.
Read II Samuel 12:1-10,13.
As I made my way through the Old Testament during my college years, I remember my frustration bordering on despair as I read that one person after another who was entrusted with the care of God’s people, messed up royally. Then I reached the story of David, who trusted God enough to conquer the giant, Goliath; who wrote great psalms of praise to Yahweh; and from whose lineage the savior of the world, Jesus, would arise. It looked like I had finally found a king who would remain faithful to God and shepherd God’s people well.
And then David happened to notice Bathsheba bathing, and it was all over. David coveted Uriah’s wife, committed adultery, and then murdered Uriah to try to cover it up. He violated three of the top ten in one fell swoop.
Here’s the thing, though. It wasn’t all over. David had committed grave sin, but he had not completely gone over to the dark side. When the wise prophet, Nathan, confronted him, David recognized his sin and repented of it.
There are three important things that we can learn from this part of King David’s life. 1) All of us, including the great King David, have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). 2) Nathan shows us an approach we can use when we feel called to confront a friend about the choices they’ve made. Instead of attacking David’s sin head-on, which would likely have caused David to become defensive, Nathan tells a story that helps David to understand the gravity of what he’s done. It’s David, then, who declares the sentence he deserves. But we also learn that, 3) though sin does have consequences, there is no sin so great that it can’t be forgiven. No matter what you’ve done in the past, if you are truly sorry, God will forgive you.
If Nathan came to your door, what story would he tell you? Are you ready to accept the truth, and to turn away from your sin?