“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13)
The Bible tells of a time when David committed some terrible sins. Many of you know that his sin began as lust and ended as murder. Afterwards God sent Nathan to talk with David.
2 Samuel 12:1 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. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 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. 4 “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.” 5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
Nathan did not begin with a sermon. Instead he began with a story. Why did Nathan tell David the story about the two men and their sheep?
Nathan’s parable did at least two important things:
1) It rekindled the feeling of love in David’s heart
David himself had once been a shepherd; therefore, he understood how a man could come to love his sheep. The story Nathan told touched David’s heart very deeply.
2) It emphasized the terribleness of David’s sin
2 Samuel 12:7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.”
David was the rich man who stole his neighbor’s sheep. He was the one, who although he had been greatly blessed by God, had forgotten his blessings and lusted for more. Later David confessed that he not only sinned against Uriah; he had also sinned against God. (see Psalm 51:4)
It is never an easy thing to confront a wayward brother or sister in Christ with their sin. Often their heart is hard and stubborn and it takes the power of God to break Satan’s grip and set them free. As Nathan spoke to David on the outside, the Holy Spirit spoke to him on the inside and together the Lord used them to help David see his sin and turn back to God.