In 2 Samuel, chapter 12, God sent the prophet Nathan to King David with a rebuke. Every time I read this chapter, or hear someone speak on it, I am reminded of the time God sent my “Nathan” to me.
Before I get into my story, though, I want to speak a little bit on David’s first.
The story of David and Bathsheba is a well-known one (2 Samuel 11). We know that David, who remained in Jerusalem versus going out to war with his men as he should have, spotted Bathsheba bathing, from his rooftop view. He didn’t know her at the time, but thought she was very beautiful and sent someone to find out about her. The man he sent returned to him and said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite” (verse 3). On hearing that Bathsheba was a married woman, David wasn’t deterred. Instead, he sent messengers to get her; she came to him, and he slept with her.
From their encounter, Bathsheba became pregnant. Learning that he’d gotten himself into a difficult predicament, David tried to cover it up by sending for Uriah (who was out to war. He was a part of David’s army). David had hoped that Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba during his time at home (which would lead him to think the baby was his), but, Uriah was far too dedicated to his duty for that. When David was told that Uriah did not go home to his wife, but slept at the entrance of the palace, he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?” (verse 10). Uriah responded, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” (verse 11).
Even with Uriah’s heart-warming sentiments, however, David would not give up. The following day, David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. But still, Uriah would not go home; he slept on his mat with David’s servants.
Seeing he could not win with Plan A, as Uriah was a faithful servant, David took a more drastic measure—he decided to have Uriah killed to cover up his infidelity. “Put Uriah out in the front where the fighting is fiercest,” he told Joab in a letter, a letter carried to Joab by Uriah himself. “Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die” (verse 15).
After hearing of Uriah’s death, David, post Bathsheba’s time of mourning, brought her to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. “But the thing David had done displeased the LORD” (verse 27).
So we see here David going on with his life, as if nothing has ever happened…as if no crime has been committed at his insistence. He wasn’t in mourning, and he never confessed and repented. So, God sent Nathan, the prophet, to him with a word of conviction, a word that would cause David to realize his fault, humble himself, and repent (read 2 Samuel 12 to see it all play out).
The same happened with me when my “Nathan” came (this was about 11 years ago, during a time when I was not wholeheartedly dedicated to God).
Just the day before she arrived, I’d had an argument and fight with my sister (I was something back then, y’all) about her status: as a homosexual. Sisters, I could not stand the fact that I had a gay sister; the thought alone caused me to cringe. For some reason, I thought me being straight and dealing (fornicating) with men only made me better than her. That is, until the day God sent “Nathan” to check me.
During that time, I worked at a payday loan company, which also did check cashing services. On the day she came, my shift was nearly over, and I was hoping no one else would come in, so I could do my closing duties and leave a few minutes earlier than usual. Welp, that hope was dashed when I saw a lady coming through the door about a minute before I was to hit the lock button to shut the store down.
Anyway, I put my game face on, greeted her, and started the process of cashing her check. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, she started speaking on my life. She said (to my remembrance): “You know, people are always talking about homosexuals and putting down on them, but they’re sleeping around with men. One is no better than the other [as it is all sin].” (She went on more about it, but, being 11 years ago, I can’t remember everything word for word.) I mean, she just started saying that at random, out of the clear, blue sky. And in that moment, I knew it wasn’t her, because there was no way she knew anything about me, or my life, or my sister…and I was convicted. I saw my fault and humbled myself. And from that day forward, I decided to let God be God in that situation. Of course, after I wholeheartedly came to God, I told my sister, on more than one occasion, about her sin. However, I no longer told it to her out of a sense of “I’m better,” but out of the sheer desire for her to turn her life over to God before it’s too late.
Sisters, it’s easy to get caught up in the self-righteous act, the “my sin is better than yours act,” or the all around measuring others against ourselves act, but none of those are actions God calls us to. And if we were to honestly sit down and think things through, Scripturally, our self-righteous actions would dissipate when remember that we all, like sheep, have turned to our own way (Isaiah 53:6), that none of us are anything in the eyes of God, save the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 40:17, 2 Corinthians 5:21), and that all our actions, apart from Him and His righteousness, are as filthy rags in His sight (Isaiah 64:6). Even the things we do for Him ,or in His name, are as nothing, if we do them without love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
With that being said, let us make a wholehearted decision to treat others as God treats us. Because, sisters, there were many times before we responded to His call, that He should have walked away from us; and there’s been a-many times during this walk that He should have dropped us, turned His back on us, and declared us unfit for His Kingdom as well; yet, He has not, and according to His Word, He will not, because we are His children, He loves us, and He is true to His Word.
So in closing, if you see someone in sin, or know someone personally who is living in sin, make it a point to pray for them. It’s also okay to tell them about their error, as Scripture permits that; but endeavor to never do it from a place of self-righteousness, but from a place of love, and a genuine want to see them submit their lives to Christ and be changed, as you have been.