Friday, August 4, 2023

Nathan confronts David, David repents

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.”

David confesses his sin. He knows he has sinned. He has done evil. He feels guilty. He feels miserable.

Nevertheless, God forgives David.

In verses 13-14: Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

God says because you’ve done such great evil, your son, the one you had when you slept with another man’s wife, is going to die.

In verse 15 it says, “15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill.”

David is forgiven, but he must face the consequences of what he’s done. He’s a leader. He’s going to be held accountable by God. He’s going to lose his child. Devastating situation. Just devastating. What can David do?

In verses 16-17: 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.”

David fasts and prays for the child.

Next, in verses 18-23:

18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

What happens to babies who are still born? Or babies who die when they’re very young? What about babies that are aborted? Do they go to heaven or hell?

Well, the answer is right here in verse 23, David says, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

David knows as he dies, he will see his child again, because the baby is indeed in heaven.

Every aborted baby, there are about 1 billion worldwide, 60 million in the USA, will be in heaven.

That’s an important thing to remember when we get upset about evil that happens in the world, and people who die, is that if they knew Christ, they will be with us in heaven. So we should keep the eternal perspective.

Next, we see God replace a curse with a blessing in verses 24-25: “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; 25 and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.”

In Hebrew Jedidiah means “beloved of the Lord.” Solomon is born here in this moment, one of the most important people in the Bible. Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and the Song of Solomon.

Even if you mess up, even if you commit grievous sin, even if your life turns into a disaster, if you get right with God, accept his savior Jesus Christ, and commit yourself to God’s ways, you’ll find many, many blessings in your walk with Christ. Praise the Lord!

Lastly, in verses 26-31, we see David repenting, changing his ways in his actions. If you remember, this whole situation came about because David got complacent. He should’ve been out leading the army, working his job as leader of the army, instead of sitting back at the palace. So David goes out to lead the armies once again, showing his commitment to change his ways, and be the leader he’s called to be.

Verses 26-31: “Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. 27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. 28 Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.”

29 So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. 30 David took the crown from their king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city 31 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.”

When we sin. We feel grief about it. Then we pray to God and ask for God’s forgiveness. God forgives our sin by the blood of Jesus, and we repent. We turn away from the sin, and we turn toward God. And then, as we live day by day, we make sure our actions show our repentance. We begin to live a different way, that reflects a lifestyle of victory over sin.

The one who sins must die. That is the cost of sin. So, are your sins forgiven? If not, today is the day of salvation. It’s time to give your life to Christ, and ask for his forgiveness. Do so right now. Pray and ask Jesus Christ to be your savior. Tell him your sins one by one, and ask for His forgiveness. Ask Him to be your Lord and savior. Ask Him to grant you the Holy Spirit, and to be born again. Call out to Jesus before your time is up. Today is the day. God bless you. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you today. Amen.