Summary: This sermon is about the Justice of God.
When people talk about the attributes of God you are almost certain to hear about God's Love, God's Mercy, and God's Grace. I guess you could call these the "popular" attributes of God. There are also some that are not so popular. I would call them the forgotten attributes of God. These would include God's Wrath and God's Justice. Of these two the most unpopular is God's Justice because many would find the very thought of a punishing God to be distasteful. Why? The late Dr. Boice had some interesting thoughts as to why God's justice is offensive.
In human affairs we rightly value justice and the "wrath" of the judicial system, for they protect us. If by chance we ourselves run afoul of the law, there is always the chance that we can cop a plea, escape on a technicality or plead guilty to some lesser offense and be excused for it. But we cannot do that with God. With him we deal not with the imperfections of human justice but with the perfections of divine justice. We deal with the one to whom not only actions but also thoughts and intentions are visible. Who can escape such justice? Who can stand before such an unwielding judge? No one. Sensing this truth we therefore resent God's justice and deny its reality in every way we can.
Chapter 11 in the Second book of Samuel tells in sordid details of David's double sin of adultery and murder. The chapter reads like a journalist's account of the events until you get to the 27th verse where the chapter ends with these solemn words, "But the thing David had done displeased the LORD." The injustice, the sin, the iniquity and the transgression that David had committed displeased the LORD. Proving no one is exempt from divine justice.
Chapter 12 opens with these words "The LORD sent Nathan to David". The Good News this afternoon is that the LORD SENT. (If you have only one AMEN you should use it now) because while we are contrary, hardhearted, hardheaded, disobedient, and sinful The LORD Sends. It is the LORD, who makes the first move; it is the LORD that takes the initiative, the LORD that instigates an encounter with David.
Twelve times in the last chapter the author employs the word "sent". A number of these instances refer to David "sending" someone or "sending" for someone. This word indicates that David is a man of power and authority, and so he can "send" for whatever and whoever he wants, including the death of Uriah. Now, it is the LORD who does the "sending" illustrating the LORD's power and authority over David. In response to David's action, the LORD does not send lighting bolts to strike David down. Nor does the LORD send a plague upon David's head, rather the LORD sent the prophet Nathan to David.
The text says, "The LORD sent Nathan to David." David, the giant slayer. David, the poster boy of God gone bad. David, the man after God's own heart. David, the one who God makes an everlasting covenant. David, the one who countless statues have been carved in his honor. The Greatest King of Israel. The LORD sent Nathan to David, after David's great sin.
Now this move of Nathan to go to David is no easy task. For David was King. And the King was the highest office in the land a position which could easily justify his actions. Furthermore, there was no higher court of appeals, the king's ruling was the final ruling, and at this point, no one knows what David is capable of doing. As King, David represented the government of the people. He was the executive, legislative, and the judicial branch of the government. He was the Senator, Representative and the President of the people. He had all of the power and authority over the lives of the people.
David was not only Nathan's King, but he was also his friend. Together they had planned for the building of the temple. Together they had drawn the order of the temple services. Together they discussed the revelation of a Messiah King. After the death of David's best friend, Jonathan, Nathan becomes David's closest friend, the one who David shares his secrets, hopes, and dreams.
One of the most difficult tasks of any believer is to reprove a love-one, to break the news of sin. For their sins are the ones we want to justify. We need courage to tell our friends when they have acted unjust. We are all familiar with the slogan Friends don't let friends drive drunk, the message is simple; you should do whatever is in your power to stop them, if they are your friends. David had become drunk on power and position and Nathan is sent in order to stop him.