2 Samuel 11:27, 12:1-13
David and Nathan
Have you ever had to give someone bad news or news they did not want to hear? I heard a man one time when the pastor asked him if he was wrong tell the truth no matter how much it hurt. He told, the pastor that he was wrong in what he did and his ministry at the church was over. The Pastor did not take it well, but the reason this man told him these things was because of the Pastor’s infidelity. He only wanted the truth if the truth was what he wanted to hear. As Christians, we should strive to tell the truth, no matter what.
Today we will look at the harder part of serving God’s servants and that is holding them accountable. Being a servant to someone is not always rainbows and ice cream. Sometimes to be a servant to God’s servants we have to be just as willing to give bad news as we are to give good news. When God shows us something his servants are doing wrong, we are to be loving but firm in telling them what they did wrong.
David and Bathsheba’s affair was almost hidden perfectly. David had Uriah killed and as soon as her time of mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, married her and she bare him a son. But the Lord sent the Prophet Nathan to David and he told the King a parable of a rich man who had many herds and flocks of sheep. There was also a poor man who had only one ewe lamb which he had raised and brought up with his children. The lamb ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay along side the man, almost like his own daughter. One day a traveler came and visited the rich man. Instead of taking a lamb from his massive herds and slaughtering it to feed his friend, the rich man took the lamb of the poor man and killed it and prepared it as a meal for his friend. David’s became so angry against this man that he said to Nathan, “as the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die. Nathan said to David, “thou art the man. The Lord God of Israel made you king over Israel and delivered thee out of the hand of Saul. He gave thee your masters house and gave thee the house of Judah and Israel and if that had been too little, he would have given thee whatever you would have asked for. But you have despised the commandments of the Lord to do evil in his sight. You have killed Uriah the Hittite and have taken his wife to be thy wife. Therefore, the sword shall never depart from thine house because you have despised God and done this thing.
David’s sins have been chronicled many times over throughout history. He looked down from his palace and saw Bathsheba taking a bath. He lusted after her and had an affair with her. The secret would have been safe, but she got pregnant when she shouldn’t have been able to get pregnant, so David had to do something. After bringing Uriah home from the battlefront and Uriah refusing to go and sleep with his wife, David gave orders to allow Uriah to be killed in battle. When he received word that Uriah was dead, he quickly took Bathsheba and made her his wife to cover up the affair and the subsequent pregnancy. Everyone was fooled except God. He sent the prophet Nathan to tell David of his sins and the punishment that would follow. David confessed his sins, but his life was full of the consequences of his actions.
Though God was the one who gave Nathan the word to give to David, it had to be hard for him to go and tell his friend the king this thing. There was a chance that David would go crazy and kill Nathan to keep his secret safe. He had already killed one man, why not another. But Nathan was not going on his own strength, he was going to David in the strength of the Lord. When we see one of God’s servants involved in sin, whether it be physical or spiritual, we must first make sure that what we see is sin. We must then pray and make sure that we are the ones who needs to confront this person. Many times we get ourselves into hot water that is not necessary because we see something wrong and go to that person. However, we don’t go in love or God’s power but in pride and our own power. I can tell you from personal experience that if you are not led by God, the situation will blow up in your face. Yes we are to help hold God’s servants accountable. Yes if God gives us a word to give to someone, it is not optional for us to do it our way. But we have to make sure we are working and acting in God’s power. When we do that, most of the time the reaction of the person is just like David’s. They will accept what you are telling them and repent, not to you, but to God. However, there might be times that the person will not take being admonished well. They may get mad and we may lose a friend or mentor over something that we have to say to them. That is okay because our job is not to convict or even chastise, but to help that person back to a real relationship with the Lord. Either way, we can not allow our leaders to continue in sin if we are able to let them know they are not fooling anyone. The most important thing to do is make sure we go to them in God’s power not our own. But just for the record, this is the hardest of services to ever have to do for one of God’s servants.