“You’re the MAN!” “You’re the ONE!” “You are IT!” How excited do we get when we are the focal point of one of these exclamations? Generally these expressions are associated with something positive and exciting. However, on one occasion, when King David heard these words, it was the last possible thing he wanted to hear. Nathan, a prophet of God, came to David and told him a story about a rich man:
1 Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2 “The rich [man] had exceedingly many flocks and herds. 3 “But the poor [man] had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. 4 “And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” [2 Samuel 12:1-4 NKJV]
As one might expect, David, being a man “after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), was enraged. How dare the rich man conduct himself this way. David demanded justice!
5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “[As] the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! 6 “And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.” [2 Samuel 12:5-6 NKJV]
Now it was time for David to hear the words he did NOT want to hear: “YOU are the man!”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You [are] the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 ‘I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if [that had been] too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 ‘Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife [to be] your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. [2 Samuel 12:7-9 NKJV]
David had committed adultery with Bathsheeba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:2-4). But, he hadn’t stopped there. When it was discovered that Bathsheeba was pregnant, he first tried to cover his sin by bring Uriah home from battle, even getting him drunk, trying to get him to go in to Bathsheeba (2 Samuel 11: 6-13). But, that didn’t work and so David had Uriah killed in battle (2 Samuel 11:14-25). So, what can we learn from David being “the man?”
- First and foremost, sin can be forgiven. When David was confronted by Nathan, he acknowledged his sin and Nathan told David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” [2 Samuel 12:13 NKJV] Once we recognize our sin, we have the choice of ignoring it, becoming overwhelmed by it, or acknowledging it and seeking forgiveness as David did.
- However, just because he was forgiven did not mean there were no consequences. He was told, “the sword shall never depart from your house” [2 Samuel 12:10 NKJV] and, “the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” [2 Samuel 12:14 NKJV] All of this came to pass. Just read the rest of 2 Samuel to see the problems David faced the rest of his life. Being forgiven does not eliminate all consequences.
- Families and friendships can be destroyed adultery, anger, or hatred. Forgiveness may come, but the relationships may never be the same again.
- Lives can be lost or forever changed by sinful acts. Disease from sexual immorality. Taking another life while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Forgiveness can come but the consequences may never be reversed.
- Churches can be divided and destroyed because of sinful attitudes.
- Finally, sin that is not corrected can lead to far worse. We not only see this in David as he moves from adultery on up to murder. It’s also evident in Cain, whose jealously about his brother Abel turned into murder. And, in King Saul who failed to honor God and then began taking it out on David who was chosen to replace him. Eventually, he had priests killed and even attempted to kill his own son. Do not let sin take root. When discovered, repent and purge it from your life before it is everlastingly too late.
Just remember, at some point, we are all “the man.” “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [Romans 3:23 NKJV] What will you do when confronted with your sin? Dan Fontenot
(Note: Verse references are clickable links that will open the verses in context in BlueLetterBible.org)