The year is somewhere between 1010-970 BC. An Israel king did the unimaginable. It was during springtime, a time when kings went out to war. The king sent his army to battle against the Ammonites but he remained behind.
One late afternoon, David arose from the couch and was walking on the roof of his house when he saw a beautiful woman bathing beneath. Witty David went ahead to do some inquiries about her, then sent messengers to bring her in. He lay with her and she conceived.
When Bathsheba sent to David telling him that she had conceived, David had to think on his feet. He asked his commander Joab to send back Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. When Uriah came in David pretentiously asked how the war had been commencing, how their commander Joab and the people were doing. Then he asked him to go down to his house and wash his feet, with the hope that he’d become comfortable and lie with his wife.
Uriah could not bring himself to sleeping in his house with the knowledge that the other soldiers were out in battle. The ark, Israel, and Judah dwelt in booths. Joab and the other servants were camping in the open fields. For this reason, he could not dare go to his house, eat, drink and lie with his wife! He instead slept at the door of the king’s house with his servants. Indeed, he was a devoted man.
David asked him to remain in Jerusalem for the next two days. Each day he’d dine with the king. David would intoxicate him with wine but every time he’d lie on the couch with David’s servants and would not go to his house.
David’s first plot for cover-up failed terribly and he had to devise another plan. He sent Uriah back to the battle carrying his death sentence. In the letter, David had asked Joab to place Uriah at the forefront of the hardest fighting then draw back from him that he may be struck down and die. This time, the plan worked perfectly.
David took Bathsheba to be his wife after she had finished mourning the death of her husband. She bore him a son. But David’s sin had displeased the Lord.
God sent Nathan to David with a parable. There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had many flocks and herds but the poor one only had a lamb that he had bought. One day there came a traveler to the rich man. Despite owning flocks and herds, he took the poor man’s only lamb to feed the traveler.
By the time Nathan finished telling David this story, David was so angry and even pronounced a judgment befitting this form of injustice. The rich man deserved to die!
Nathan bust David’s bubble. He said to him, “You are the man”! God had anointed David king, delivered him from Saul’s hand, given him his master’s house and wives, and the nation of Israel and Judah. Yet he despised God’s word by striking Uriah with the sword and taking his wife.
Like David, many times we give in to the passions of the flesh, sin, and move on without repenting. We simply ignore our offenses against God and others. This is our very nature. Sometimes we are too proud to confess and ask for forgiveness.
Nathan was used by God to remind David that sins are not just swept under the carpet. He had offended God and used his power as a king to take advantage of his subjects Bathsheba and Uriah. He had committed adultery and then murdered.
Like Nathan, we are to call out sins in one another’s lives and remind each other of a just King in whose presence no sin will go unpunished. Sin is deceptive and it is easy to be walking on the straight and narrow on one day and in the next, we bite the bait of the enemy’s temptations.
Sin deceives us that we are beyond redemption and that since we already sinned, we can walk the whole path and continue in sin. Sin will also deceive us that we can hide from the omnipresent God. We sweep sins under the carpet like David, thinking we will not be brought to account.
We have a role in each other’s journey to eternity. Our responsibility is to keep each other on the check that the enemy may not deceive us. This post is about us learning from the example of Nathan. We ought to possess courage like that of Nathan and tell those who err, “You are the man.”
Contrary to the popular belief that each person should mind their business, Christians are to stick their noses into each other’s business to make sure that we are walking in the straight and narrow.