Lessons from Nathan

In II Samuel 12 Nathan the prophet confronts King David with his sins. How did Nathan rebuke the King of Israel?

  • Sent by God: God will not appear to us, but He does "talk" to us through His word. He will not give us a specific name, but He urges us to be aware of sinful behavior of our brothers and sisters (Galatians 6:1).
  • Told a story: Like Jesus used parables, Nathan told a story to help David see wrong. It is not wise to hit someone over the head with their sin. Nathan told the story of injustice he knew David would recognize. Jesus used stories and questions with the Pharisees to make His point (Luke 18). Then Nathan …
  • Called out the sin: He did not apologize or try to sugar-coat it yet spoke the truth according to God's word. Nathan did not say, "I think …," or give his opinion. The only truth we should be concerned with is God's (Psalms 119:160).
  • Pointed out God's blessings: Nathan reminded David of all the blessings God have bestowed on the King. God loves all, has mercy on all, and shows justice to all. His gifts are not reserved for a select few. Before we can appreciate God's forgiveness, we need to recognize His blessings (Philippians 4:19).
  • Offered reassurance of God's forgiveness: We don't have to doubt God's total and everlasting forgiveness (I John 1:9) however …
  • Warned of sin's consequences: David would still suffer consequences that sin brings. Some consequences are immediate and short-lived while others can be life-long and life-altering. Once we have confessed and received God's forgiveness, we should find good in our consequences. Nathan did not minimize the results of David's sin. (Galatians 6:7).
  • Nathan left: After David repented Nathan did not "hang around" to take joy in David's suffering or remind him of his poor choices (Psalms 51:10).

God instructs us to, "reprove and rebuke," (II Timothy 4:2). It is not something we enjoy and may even run from because of our discomfort. However, a precious soul is involved, and it is our responsibility. But how? Look to Nathan and how he rebuked David the King (II Samuel 14).

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