The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! 2 Samuel 12:1-7
The story of Nathan confronting King David is one of the more powerful and profound moments in the Old Testament. In speaking on the text, J. Vernon McGee said, “In my judgment, Nathan is the bravest man in the Bible. I know of no one who can be compared to him.” When you consider what was asked of him and what was at stake, I would most certainly agree with McGee. Just how much courage does it take to confront a brother in sin? Even more, just how much courage does it take to confront the King who is in sin and has to power to extinguish your life? This is what Nathan faced when God called him to go to David.
Now it is important to note from Scripture that we are all called as followers of Christ to spur one another along towards love and good deeds. Galatians 6:1-2 reminds us we all need people in our lives who are willing to hold us accountable to following Christ and walking in holiness. Simply stated, we all need people in our lives who care whether or not we are living in righteousness or in sin — and they are willing to speak up and into our lives to encourage us in the pursuit of Christ. We need both accountability and editability.
Here is the simple reality — holiness matters. And to walk in holiness requires accountability. It requires having someone who is willing to speak into your life to spur you on to faithfulness. And should we stumble, we need someone to speak up so that we don’t believe the lies we are employing to justify our position. Not only do we need such people in our lives, we must be such a person for others. Secret sin can never be our friend. I think this is why Spurgeon once said, “You say that you can handle your secret sins, that there is no one hurt by them. But you may as well ask the lion to let you put your head into his mouth. You cannot regulate his jaws; neither can you regulate sin. Once done, you cannot tell when you will be destroyed. You may put your head in and out a great many times; but one of these days it will be a costly venture.” Costly indeed. And also bloody,embarrassing, and devastating.
We all need a Nathan in our life. And we all need to become a Nathan to others for their well-being too. We need people who will love us enough that they will have the courage and calling to confront us when we need them — and we need to have the courage and calling to help our brother who is in need. IT Matters!