David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!”
Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!” (2 Samuel 12:5,7)
Read: 2 Samuel 12:1-31, John 16:1-33, Psalm 119:65-80, Proverbs 16:4-5
Relate: When I think about David’s response to Nathan’s story all I can think is, “What a self righteous jerk!” David looks at a woman with lust (pornography). Then he sends for her and sleeps with her (adultery). She finds out she’s pregnant so he brings her soldier husband home for a few days so he would think it was his kid (cover up). The soldier in a foolish attempt to display his devotion to duty (or perhaps he knew what was really going on) did not sleep with his wife. So David has him killed (murder). Now Nathan tells a story about stealing sheep and David is so mad at the thief he wants the guy killed. Seriously!?!
I think we are looking at a clear case of guilt displacement here. The chain reaction of progressively worse events must have been eating David up inside. The guilt and the fear of being found out must have been eating him raw and when something touched close to that hidden, festering wound, he went off.
React: Until confronted by another, David was trying to hide. I think that is a natural reaction for most of us. We are descendants of Adam and Eve and we are still unsuccessfully trying to hide from God and others our sin, our guilt, our failures. When I sin my immediate reaction should be to repent before God. Instead I feel that I can’t pray. I need to try and do better for a time and then come to God. Problem is, by not spending time with God, it is easier for me to sin again… and again. That just makes me feel worse and the desire to hide from His presence grows. Like David, I find myself caught in a downward spiral. My sins might not seem as bad as his only because I am not in a position of power to think I can get away with it. If I were a king, I would probably be a murderer.
Not only do I hide from God, but I also hide from others. The worse things get, the harder (yet more desperately) I try to hide. More and more of my time is spent thinking about what I’ve done and how to cover it up. More and more of my relationships seem strained and shallow. Because I am thinking about what I’ve done more and more rather than thinking on what is good, right, noble, etc. I am more likely to succumb again and simply make the downward spiral worse. But sooner or later it will all come crashing down. The Devil wants to expose and discredit me. God wants to bring it to the light that I might be reconciled. What chance do I stand against the Devil and God both? That is why I am so desperate to have men like Nathan in my life. I need men who can keep me accountable, who can speak with love to me in my shame and say, “You are the man!”
God, let my first response be to run to You. Don’t let me hide. Don’t let me run. Don’t let my try to cut myself off from You and Your people. Bring people into my life that can speak life and accountability to me. Help me to better be that same person in other’s lives. Help me to have an openness and a vulnerability that will give sin no place to hide. Keep my from sin. But if I sin, keep me from hiding my shame.