Summary: There’s a fear that comes over you when you know you’ve done wrong. Guilt comes in. Then shame takes over. And pretty soon we are sorrowful and sad and we don’t know what to do.
Have you ever made a huge mistake? A mistake that really bit hard? And you fought with yourself about it, trying to justify what you did? But in the end you realize, I messed up really bad. Have you been there?
There’s a fear that comes over you when you know you’ve done wrong. Guilt comes in. Then shame takes over. And pretty soon we are sorrowful and sad and we don’t know what to do.
But God will sometimes send someone to us to help us to figure out what to do next.
That’s what we see here. In 2 Samuel 12:1-3: The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.”
Nathan is sort of a spoke’s person for God. Prophets still exist today too. I had a prophet contact me on messenger once, on Facebook, on the last day of a fast I was doing, and she gave me a word from the Lord, and I knew it was from God.
Similarly, God is working through Nathan here.
And here we see a story, Nathan is telling a story to illustrate a point to King David. A rich man with great wealth, and a poor man, with only one lamb.
It concludes like this in verse 4: “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
The rich man had thousands of sheep and goats and flocks and herds, but he steals the poor man’s one lamb and cooks it up.
Here’s how David responds in verses 5-6:
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
King David is shocked and disturbed by this story. At first he says he must die. But then he says well, actually he must pay for the lamb four times over.
Nathan says four words that wreck David, crush David, shock David, and suddenly, David understands just exactly what this is about..
Nathan says, “You. Are. The. Man.”
Then Nathan explains everything, verses 7-9:
7 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. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.”
Plainly enough, why did you despise your God? When we do what’s evil in God’s eyes, we show disdain for God. We show disregard for God.
And it continues, God’s judgment on David is this: 10-12 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ 11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
Our sins will have real world consequences. They affect our lives. The sins of our parents affected us. The sins of our grandparents affected our parents. That’s how sin is. Similarly, there are consequences for what David did. He’s going to face constant warfare now. And he’s going to face rebellion now within his own family.
David’s response is just as it’s supposed to be:
In verse 13: Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”