Read 2 Samuel 12:1-15
Confronting sin is often awkward and embarrassing. Confronting the sin of a powerful person can be intimidating and at times dangerous. The prophet Nathan was tasked with exposing the sin of the king who had just murdered a man by putting him on the front lines of a battle. The king who had executed the giant Goliath. The king who killed the Amalekite who took credit for Saul’s death.
Wouldn’t you be nervous in such a situation? The Scriptures, however, do not reveal any hesitation or avoidance on Nathan’s part. “Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him” (2 Samuel 12:1). Moses offered excuses when God called him; Jonah tried to run away! But Nathan simply did what God told him to do.
He began with a parable about a rich man who took advantage of a poor man. When the king heard the story, his “anger was greatly aroused against the man” (2 Samuel 12:5). David became so angry, in fact, that he said, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this thing shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity” (2 Samuel 12:5-6).
David’s indignation was justified. It was righteous. How dare this rich man mistreat his neighbor? Who ever heard of such despicable behavior? Nathan took hold of the opportunity before him and answered the king, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7). A bold proclamation but a true one, and the very reason he was sent to the king.
David, though he was a godly man who feared the Almighty, had been overtaken by sin. He was tempted, and he gave in to that temptation. We are all responsible for our actions. We must answer for our decisions, and we cannot shift the blame to others—not even to Satan! He may be powerful (1 Peter 5:8), but he does not have the power to control us.
Nathan had a daunting task and he stepped up to the plate. May we all develop the spirit of Nathan in our dealings with sin! “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Are you among those “who are spiritual” and fulfilling your duty?