The Lord sent Nathan to David
Nathan tells the story of the rich man who takes a poor man's only lamb to provide for a traveler. David is enraged by the lack of compassion and points out that the rich man deserves to die, demanding four-fold restitution.
The wording seems purposeful. Deserves to die. David did deserve to die. He did horrible things. We all deserve to die. We've done horrible things in rebellion of the everlasting Lord.
Also of interest in this opening section is that the mere parable made David's "anger burn greatly". However, his actual actions didn't shock his conscience. There is something about our sin that makes us blind, even the biggest sin we can rationalize or just put out of mind. But the smallest sin of others we can see so clearly. I judge the moral character of a driver who dose some thoughtless driving mistake; but excuse myself for much worse sin because...well, because of whatever rationalization I have in the moment. But God sees it clearly and in proportion. Whenever I am able to consciously catch myself judging another, I try to see if I have a parallel weakness. Unsurprisingly, when I examine myself, I always find it. Just another sinner dependent on grace and mercy that I don't deserve.
"You are the man!"
Nathan brings the words of the Lord to David, and doesn't start with David's sin; but instead, David's God.
God starts with Himself and who He is. Which is what sinners forget when they sin. It's not about us. Sin is about God. If you are sinning, you're telling God you're not happy with the provision He has provided. And that's the exact message the Lord brings: (verses 7-8)
- I made you King.
- I spared you from Saul
- I gave you your house and all that you have
- I gave you the entire nation of Israel and Judah
- If this hadn't been enough; I would have happily given you more
Then the Lord focuses on David (verse 9)
- You despised the word of the Lord
- by doing evil in His sight
When we sin, we are despising His Word. I hadn't really meditated on what that really means. God had the Lord written down, and as King, David was required to know it and even had his own copy. This wasn't some obscure passage of text, this was murder and adultery and probably many more in the process. Even though he may not have consciously despised God's law when he sinned; he had the law in his head and disregarded it-trusting his own lusts over God's Word.
I do that every time I sin as well. It's even more egregious when I do it because I have the blessing of the Holy Spirit living inside me. I'm denying God directly, not just the written version of His Word. (Just as an aside, David had the Spirit, but I don't know the theology of how that experience compare to the New testament believer.)
Also in this verse, our sin is always in His sight. It's never hidden. It's never unknown. We are despising His word IN HIS SIGHT. We don't think of that way, so we're never dealing with how offensive it is to Him. So blatant and disrespectful.
Then, and only then, after God lists His provision and then explains how David sinned against Him, personally, does God actually list the sin themselves. I used to say that it hurt me most when someone I loved used a weakness against me, not just because of the weakness, but because of the choice to use it against me. The sin was bad enough; but buried under the layers of David's personal betrayal to God.
I feel so convicted right now.