You are the Man, 2 Samuel 12:1-7a (8-9, parts)
But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb four fold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” (Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel…I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom…and if that had been too little, I would have added much more..You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife.)
Indeed, how easy it is to see that speck in the eye of others and miss the 2×4 in my own eye. But how brilliant is Nathan! If he had made the parable too obvious he would undoubtedly have risked the king’s ire or at least raised his defensiveness or generated excuses or denials. But Nathan nailed him! No wiggle room here – “You are the man!” Those prophets were a pain, generally going around telling people what they didn’t want to hear – the truth.
And so I pause to look inside and ask: Am I fortunate enough to have a prophet in my life? Am I open to hearing about my 2×4 or am I too busy finding fault in others? Lent is a good time for me to face honestly what is going on in my life. Not just to beat myself up but to open myself up, be vulnerable, accept the forgiveness I need and move on to Resurrection Day. Anybody care to join me?
Offered by Bill Albritton, companion and sojourner on the road to Jerusalem.