May 27 – You Are That Man!

Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!
You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”
(2 Samuel 12:7,12)

Read: 2 Samuel 12:1-31, John 16:1-33, Psalm 119:65-80, Proverbs 16:4-5

Relate: Nathan the prophet comes to David to tell him a story. He shares how there were two neighbors: one was rich and the other poor. The rich man had many animals but the poor man only one sheep that he treated as his own family. Someone came over to visit the rich man and instead of slaughtering one of his own animals to use as a feast for the distinguished guest, he takes his poor neighbors only sheep by force and uses that instead.

When he hears this story, David is outraged. That rich man deserves to die! Really, David? Really? Don’t you think you are overreacting a bit? Has anyone else ever thought that when reading this story? I mean, seriously, Make the rich guy give the poor man his best sheep and cow and also a few chickens. Force him to offer a formal public apology at the town’s gates. Give the man one of his fields or at least the profit from it for a year. There are lots of things you can do to make restitution. But kill the man? Doesn’t that seem a bit too harsh?

React:  This overreaction tells me that David was already dealing with a guilty conscience. Nathan immediately pointed his finger at David and said, “You are that man!” David, in spite of his many wives, had committed adultery with the wife of a faithful friend. When she told him he had gotten her pregnant, he tried to cover it up. Then when that failed he ordered the assassination of the man he had wronged. That is a pretty heinous list of crimes and I have no doubt that it was eating David up inside. He was a man after God’s heart and he knew exactly how wrong this chain of sins had been.

If David was anything like you and me, then he would have been very quick to outwardly condemn in others the same sins he is inwardly struggling with. When God is dealing with an issue in my life, I will be quick to spot and condemn the same struggle in others. If I find myself falling deeper into a web of lies, I will be quick to spot the dishonesty of others. If I am struggling with jealousy, I will be the one loudest in telling others they need to be content. That is why I need people like Nathan in my life. I need people who can turn and point to me and say “You are that man!” As desperately as I might try to cover up my sin, there is nothing more beautiful than experiencing the embarrassing humility that leads to repentance and reconciliation.

What about you? As I am writing this, is there an issue that God is pointing to in your life and saying, “You are that man!” Is there an aspect of your life that needs to step out of the shadows and into the light? Don’t wait. Don’t leave this page before you have gotten on your knees before God and then communicated with someone you need to reconcile with, or with someone who can hold you accountable.

Respond: 

Dear God,
I am so grateful that You do not allow me to wallow in my sin. I am thankful that You do not beat me when I am down but rather find ways to draw me back to Yourself. God, I pray that You might expose each area of my life that I might see Your amazing grace and flee from the shadows of guilt and self-condemnation. I am that man. So create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.
Amen

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19 thoughts on “May 27 – You Are That Man!

    • For someone who does not believe in heaven, I can see how this could be viewed as a horrible evil. We in the West tend to look at death as the worst thing that could possibly happen to someone. A Biblical worldview holds a very different picture. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116) We don’t know what that child’s life would have been like had he lived (but considering David’s family, probably not great). We do know that scripture supports the idea that babies and infants will go to heaven. So the baby’s death would have been horrible for the parents, but not so for the infant itself.
      I know from a Western materialist worldview this is unconscionable that I would defend such a view. But it is what it is. This material world is not the be all and end all of existence.

    • There is a higher Law in God’s economy that superceeds the “Shalts and Shalt nots”, it is called God’s grace. God is touched by the prayer of the repent sinner, which David obviously whole-heartily sought. As such, the incident shines rays of hope for all of us.

        • Not to deflect your question, but you will have to ask God to answer that one.

          How would you want God to respond to you if you were ever in that situation? You just might hope the same way.

        • On the flip side, you are reading more into this causality than is called for. 2 Samuel 2:14 says, “Because of your sin, this child will die.” It does not say as you are trying to imply, “Because of your sin, I am going to kill this child.”
          There are spiritual and natural consequences to everything we do. It is commonly known that stress in a pregnant mother can cause harmful effects on the child. That baby might very well have had some natural defects that God is saying he will not heal. For all we know Bathsheba might have tried and failed some ancient abortive procedure to cover up their sin. I know many, many families that have lost babies in infancy. Two in my immediate family. Saying, this child will die because of your sin is a far cry from saying “I will slaughter this child so that you might live.”

        • The passage saysspecificaly that God struck the child and it died because of the sickness . Also God himself, thru the Topher pronounced that it would die to protect David’s kingdom. You are not being honest or you are the one reading the passage incorrectly, not me.

        • Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord by doing this, your child will die.” (NLT)

          Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” (NIV)

          David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” (ESV)

          David responded to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Then Nathan replied to David, “The Lord has taken away your sin; you will not die. However, because you treated the Lord with such contempt in this matter, the son born to you will die.” (HCSB)

          Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” (NASB)

          The passage says specifically that God struck the child? No.
          God said through the prophet that it would die to protect David’s Kingdom? No.

        • Oh yeah.. you nicely edited out something very important.. I’ll give you the whole passage:
          And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord . And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?
          2 Samuel 12:13‭-‬18 KJV
          https://bible.com/bible/1/2sa.12.13-18.KJV
          Try not to be dishonest. I think God said something about bearing false witness too.

        • You’re right and I apologize. I hadn’t even noticed verse 15. So I concede the first point, but not the second. Please excuse me now while I go eat some crow.

        • Forget the crow, I’d be happy if you considered the implications of the passage. God killed the innocent newborn rather than punish the murdering adulterer, just to save his reputation and David’s kingdom. It wasn’t mercy for David, but to avoid the embarrassment and ridicule from the nations around them. God killed the innocent child. Please think of that beyond your ‘drop the Mic’ game of trying win points in some kind of apologetics game on a blog.

  1. It’s so necessary for me that I come before God daily with these words of David:
    Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
    Psalm 139:23-24

  2. Sarah, Thank you for this piercing article. Sobering and necessary to humbly remember our low position before the work of the cross. I love that you quoted Psalm 139:23-24. I often find myself praying those words. “Please, Lord, point out anything in me that displeases you.” And then I add, “Please give me grace to look at what you show me.”

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