You are the man!

DT preached Sunday evening on Psalm 51. It was a good sermon, dealing with King David’s response to the Lord’s chastening.

In 2 Samuel 12, we read:

Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. 3 But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. 4 And a traveller came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! 6 And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!”

David had committed adultery with Bathsheba, arranging to have Uriah, her husband, killed to cover his tracks. Nathan sought to expose him, not to condemn, but to restore. David, angry at another’s sin, had failed to realise that the wicked man in the tale was he himself.

How often do we look at other' specks and ignore our own blindness? How frequently we judge others for their shortcomings and fail to see our own.

In scripture, we read of previous generations and their dealings with God and each other. Often though, we hear the Holy Spirit’s gentle cry: You are the man! When Elijah is feeling sorry for himself in the cave instead of trusting God…YOU are the man! When the prodigal squanders his wealth in the stews of the city, preferring the pigsty to his home, we’re inclined to consider him a reckless fool. And so he was, and yet the Lord says ‘you are the man!’ When we consider Ananias and Sapphira dishonest charlatans, the Lord whispers ‘you are the man’.

In fact, when we read of anyone who falls, and a smug veneer of self-righteousness clouds our hearts, Nathan the prophet’s words all too often ring in our ears.

Psalm 145: 14 says

The Lord upholds all who fall,

And raises up all who are bowed down.