Filed under: Bible study
As part of our study in repentance, started by our study in Mark of the words of the Savior,” The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”, we studied Psalm 51 and the events that lead up to it. It was a great chance to talk about one of my favorite Old Testament stories, the conviction of David by the words of Nathan.
Let me tell you a bit about Judo. Part of Judo is throwing techniques. There is an art here . It is not about using brute strength to pick someone up and bodily hurl them, it is about manipulating the opponents balance, placing yourself in the proper position, and following through. Balance ,position, and follow through, like Golf. In Judo we say break the opponents balance, fit- in, throw. Just like Nathan.
Nathan was charged by God to be David’s pastor. What a job! As King of Israel, David had incredible power, but unlike a pagan king, he did not have absolute power, David still needed to answer to God. Most of us know the story, Bathsheba, Uriah, adultery, lies, murder. David seems to have been alright with his sinner self for over a year. He needed someone to give him a wake-up call, someone to show him just how far off the mark he had fallen. I can’t imagine there would be many volunteers. “Go tell the King that he is a murderer and a liar and an adulterer, I will wait here, tell me how that went, will you?” It was God that sent Nathan. Now the Judo part.
If Nathan had walked in to the Kings chambers thumping a scroll, or telling David he was hell bound, or saying, “You know, David, I personally am not a murderous adulterer”, David would have had a chance for self defense, excuse making, or to summon the guards to shut Nathan up, for good. Nathan used good Judo. He told a story of cruelty to a poor man by a rich man. He painted a picture of an innocent loved pet, plucked from the loving arms of a poor man by a mean rich man. David was furious! The king would bring justice and punish the wretch who would do such a thing. His balance was broken, and then the fit- in, Nathan set the positions up perfectly, “That man is You”. Davids heart provided the motion for the follow through, and David went down, or at least his vanity and pride did, causing the writing of Psalm 51, the Hymn of repentance.
Isn’t this a model of Evangelism? I know somebody will post,’I was saved by a Chick Tract” , but as we are charged to do the work of an evangelist can we not emulate Nathan. First- engage people in a dialogue that does not cause rebellion but thought, secondly – show them how they, personally, fit into God’s plan for redemption, follow through by providing loving discipleship.
Isn’t this a great model for exhorting a brother or sister who can’t see the mote in their eye? Can this not be used to get the attention of a Pastor who is in error? Nathan did not condemn, he let David’s own conscience make the throw.
Holyer than thou, legalistic, bible banging rhetoric did not work with David, why do we still employ it in the church?
Have you ever had a moment when a friend, a preacher , the Holy Spirit himself played Nathan to your David? Was there ever a time in your christian walk where the Lord brought your sin before your eyes in a dramatic moment? No one ever promised you that the ongoing work of sanctification would be painless.
Have you had the opportunity to play Nathan’s role, used as a tool in convicting some one of their sin against God? How did it work out? Part of the community of Christ is that we can help each other by lovingly pointing out issues that must be addressed. Does your church encourage you to participate in each others life in such a fashion? I am sure God gives such encouragement.
God, help us to speak like Nathan, to hear like David, help us to correct with Love, and be corrected without resentment, all for the Kingdom of Jesus the risen Christ.
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