“Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die. . .Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man!'” (ESV – Read the chapter)
One of the easiest things to do is recognize sin and injustice in someone else or a situation other than ours. Our vision of right and wrong is never so clear as when we are looking outside of ourselves. One of the hardest realizations we will ever face is when our own sin is firmly set before us. David was sitting confident and proud in his judgment on this other man, blissfully unaware that he had just pointed a finger firmly in his own face.
The way God, through Nathan, called David to account for his grievous sin, was to hold up a rhetorical mirror in front of him without first telling him it was a mirror. With his unwitting ability to be totally objective about his own situation, he correctly diagnosed both his crime and his appropriate punishment. He had committed a grave injustice—twice—and he deserved to be punished severely for it.
In our culture today, we often fall into the same trap as David of thinking we can get away with sin and injustice. Worse, we are losing the ability to correctly diagnosis sin as sin in the first place. Or, even if we recognize sin as such, we pull out our list of sins and find a way to locate whatever we have done on the “not so bad” end of the sliding scale. Then, we look on the sin of the people around us, see it more clearly for what it really is, and correctly put it much further down the list.
While it is certainly not terribly pleasant to have our own sin set before us, it is a mercy of God to create such opportunities. If we don’t get this straight, there is a great chance we will continue in our sin and live as if we aren’t off track. That path only ends in the death David correctly prescribed as the just end of the man in Nathan’s story.
This needs to regularly be our honest prayer to God: Father, let me see my sin the way you do. Until we see it like He does, we’ll never think of it and approach it like He does. If we don’t do that, we’ll likely stay in it. Life comes with light. Seek to be honest about sin so you can get rid of it.