At the risk of his own life, Nathan confronted David about his hypocrisy in raping Bathsheba and murdering her husband. Many kings (and many dictators in the 20th and 21st Centuries) would have killed Nathan for his arrogant effrontery. Fortunately for Nathan, David sought mercy from God instead of wreaking vengeance on Nathan.
David is famous for killing Goliath.
Nathan is famous for “killing” the hypocrisy of David (2 Samuel 11:1-12:14).
Long story short:
Bathsheba was very beautiful. Her husband, Uriah, wasn’t at home. He was with the army fighting for Israel.
An aging David wasn’t with the army. He stayed home, enjoying the comfort and luxury of his palace.
David sent for Bathsheba. Bathsheba became pregnant.
David ordered that her husband, Uriah, be sent into dangerous combat to die. David married Bathsheba. Their baby was born.
It looked as if David had literally gotten away with rape and murder.
The Bible picks up the tale at this point with the foreboding comment: “But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.” (2 Samuel 11:27).
At the risk of his own life, Nathan confronted David about his hypocrisy.
Many kings (and many dictators in the 20th and 21st Centuries) would have killed Nathan for his arrogant effrontery.
Fortunately for Nathan, David sought mercy from God instead of wreaking vengeance on Nathan.
As David wrote in Psalm 51:
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from sin.
David asked God to wipe the hypocrisy from his life, starting by wiping the hypocrisy from his heart.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”
In the same way, if someone confronts you about your hypocrisy, do not seek vengeance.
Do not deflect attention from the “plank in your eye” by complaining about the “speck in their eye”. (Matthew 7:3-5).
Instead, be like David.
Admit your hypocrisy.
Ask for mercy.
Ask for a pure heart.
Ask for renewal of a steadfast spirit within you.
Ask for restoration of the joy of your salvation!
For more of my thoughts about hypocrisy, please read my blog “Hypocrisy: Specks and Planks”.
For more of my thoughts about Nathan, David, Bathsheba, and Uriah, please read the chapters “David Fights with His Wife”, “David Cannot Build the Temple”, and “David Commits Adultery and Murder”, in my book Healing the Promised Land, at pages 67-123.
Traditionally, David’s sin with Bathsheba was labeled “adultery”. However, I have come to believe that David’s sin with Bathsheba should be labeled “rape”. There was nothing consensual on her part. What woman had the power to disobey the command of the king, especially when her husband was absent? I refuse to excuse any man for raping a woman because he claims “she tempted me”.