Day 13: You Are the Man!

Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die..."

Nathan said to David, "You are the man."

II Samuel 12: 5-6, RSV 


The setting for this event is that David has just committed adultery with Bathsheba and got her pregnant. To complicate the sin, David then tried to make Bathsheba's husband Uriah think that the child was his. When that didn't work, David had Uriah killed and then had Bathsheba move in with him.


There is an old saying that states, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." This is apparently what had happened to David. After all, he was king and he must have reasoned that he could do anything he wanted. So he took another man's wife and then had that man killed. And Uriah was not just any man, but a valiant hero whom had served David faithfully. But David apparently had no remorse for what he had done.


So God sent Nathan the prophet to tell David a story. It was about a rich man and a poor man. The rich man had great herds and flocks, while the poor man had just one little ewe lamb. The poor man loved that lamb. He fed it, cared for it, held it in his arms, and treated it like it was one of his own children. Then the rich man had a visitor one day who was hungry. Instead of taking an animal from his own vast herds, he took the poor man's ewe, killed it, cooked it, and ate it.


That's where we come in with the passage above - "David's anger was greatly kindled." Everyone is a sucker for a sad pet story and David thought that the rich man deserved to die... then Nathan brought David the message from God: "You are the man!" 


Don't you know that David's blood ran cold when he heard that phrase. No doubt, he had felt bad about Uriah, but he was king and kings did what they wanted. Uriah, in David's mind, was simply collateral damage... but that was not so! David was guilty, and now he knew that God held him accountable. And David was in trouble.


Have you ever done anything like that? No, not having someone killed, but you know what I mean. Perhaps you sinned some horrible sin, but then in some twisted way you justified it in your own mind to where it didn't seem quite so bad - until one day when it hit you like a ton of bricks: You are the man!


What can you do in such a circumstance? Well, in David's case, David owned up to his sin, repented, and asked for forgiveness. And even though he indeed was the man, God forgave him.


God will do the same for you and me, but if we want this forgiveness we will have to seek it on God's terms. The question is are we willing to accept His terms... or will we die in our sins and wait for that terrible moment at the Judgment when the sentence is proclaimed, "You are the man"?


The choice is ours, but we can have forgiveness for even the worst of sins if we will seek it on God's terms, and then be free of that guilt forever.


This is why we study!


David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sins; you shall not die."

II Samuel 12:13, RSV 


Today is day 13 of the 30 day challenge to read through the books of the champions and the kings, with II Samuel 9-16 being the reading for today. May God richly bless your efforts as you seek to know His will!