I know a lot of things. It comes with the territory. God speaks to me. He reveals His truths to me. And He puts me in positions to hear and to learn of things. He then calls me to act.
And right now, He has graciously given me the assignment of watching over our king.
My name is Nathan. And I serve in the royal court of David, the King of Israel. Our majesty has a good heart. He truly does. Like all of us, sometimes he is selfish, and his pride gets in the way of God’s best.
Such is the case of the shepherd boy turned monarch and his major lack of judgement. I honestly had trouble believing it when Bathsheba confided in me. Certainly I could understand how any man would be swayed by her beauty. But first it was one thing, then another and another… and as she unveiled each new plot twist of the story my heart broke for both of them.
By now the whole kingdom knows what kind of man our sovereign is… He is a voyeuristic, lustful, conniving, wife-stealing, adulterer, who committed murder to cover up his wretched ways. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? And, indeed, it is. Who wants a ruler like that? Aren’t those in power supposed to be above the fray of life’s messes? Or, do we, just maybe, prefer someone in a seat of power whose day-to-day family life is as chaotic as ours? Could it be that it shows how human and ordinary they are?
Time elapsed and worry increased. Fear of being caught began to enter the scene. When confronted with his sin, David had two choices… more coverups, more lies, more asserting his standing and power, more murders, perhaps? Indeed, as I spoke to him in quiet whispers that cool day in his chambers, I wondered if my own life might be at stake… Or, the other choice: David could open his heart and concede to his disgraceful acts. When the Lord revealed David’s muddled mess to me and I challenged the king about it, our ruler did the right thing. The gravity of his actions began to make his heart race and his lips quiver. He uttered six words: “I have sinned against the Lord.” And he began to sob uncontrollably. He fell to his knees and grabbed my tunic.
As his mentor and friend, can I say I’m proud of him? Lessor men, like his predecessor Saul, are full of excuses. Certainly David could have suggested it was a combination of Bathsheba’s and her husband Uriah’s doing. David might have blamed it on his wife Michal and her coolness to the way he worshipped before God. David could have invoked some sort of royal privilege, I suppose. No. Our king confessed.
He later showed me how he wrestled with Yahweh about this terrible sin. You know, David really connects with God through worship. So, the musician wrote a song that began with this plea: “Have mercy on me, oh God, according to your unfailing love…”
David knows that God and only God can blot out man’s transgressions. Only God can wash away our iniquities. Only God can restore to us the joy of His salvation.
God’s judgement against David and Bathsheba was to take the life of their son. Again, that is horrible. But God’s grace is new today, and every day. The royal couple will have another son soon. And God has assured me that His hand will be on this heir, in ways that reflect God’s steadfast spirit and astute wisdom. They will call this child “Solomon.”
Some of the words, actions and thoughts, perhaps, of Nathan the Prophet and David the King from 2 Samuel 11 and 12 and Psalm 51.