|"David and Nathan" - Matthias Scheits|
TO CHEW ON: "Behold You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom." Psalm 51:6
David prayed this prayer after the uncanny experience of having Nathan the prophet come to him and expose his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12).
Had Nathan caught him in the act?
No. It was God who revealed David's sin to Nathan—the God who:
- spotted Noah as righteous - Genesis 7:1.
- whispered the secrets of Saul to Samuel - 1 Samuel 9:19.
- alerted Elisha to Gehazi's sin of lying to Naaman - 2 Kings 5:26.
- kept Jesus in-the-know about the thoughts and attitudes of those around Him - Matthew 22:18; Mark 2:8; Luke 6:8; 11:17.
- gave the disciples confidence to offer the gospel to the Gentiles - Acts 15:8.
But David was a Spirit-filled man, wasn't he? Why did God need to send someone else to tell him how displeasing his sin was?
Perhaps because his involvement in that sin had opened him up to deception. Whenever his sin bothered him, which it no doubt did, he silenced the pangs of conscience or the voice of God with, 'It's no big deal' or, 'I had no other option,' or any number of other excuses we too give for committing sin. Then it took someone else, someone who heard God's voice clearly, to bring him to his senses. It was only after Nathan confronted him that he confessed to his sin (2 Samuel 12: 7,13).
God wants us to be just as scrupulously honest with ourselves—to live in truth at the deepest level. He can show us the state of our hearts. I love another David psalm where he prays: "Search me O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting" - Psalm 139:23,24.
But if we insist on living in deception, God can also send someone—our own Nathan—to tell us the truth about ourselves. The question is, will we be as receptive to such an exposé as David was? However it happens may we be as quick to acknowledge our sin and repent.
PRAYER: Dear God, please alert me to self deception. I want to have a life of truth and wisdom. Amen.
"Repentance always brings a man to this point: I have sinned. The surest sign that God is at work is when a man says that and means it. Anything less than this is a remorse for having made blunders, the reflex action of disgust at himself.
The entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man's respectable goodness; then the Holy God, who produces these agonies, begins the formation of the Son of God in the life. The new life will manifest itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way about" - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, October 7 reading.
Today (Ash Wednesday) is the beginning of Lent.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.