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Everyone Needs a Nathan

David is the king of Israel. He has everything he could ever imagine. He’s described as a “man after God’s own heart.” But in II Samuel 11, David commits adultery with Bathsheba—a sin that kick-starts a series of tragic events that includes the death of two innocent people. In David’s darkest hour, God sends a prophet, Nathan, to tell David what he needed to hear (II Samuel 12). David needed to be confronted about the sins he could hide from men, but not from God. Whether David knew it, he desperately needed Nathan. And to his credit, he listened to Nathan.

How do we know this? David confessed his sin (Psalm 51). He accepted responsibility for his sin, and he didn’t try to pass the blame or dodge his responsibility. He had godly sorrow, which led to repentance (II Cor. 7:10). And David learned from his mistakes. He improved and became Israel’s best king (Acts 13:22). But he couldn’t have done it without Nathan, who exhibited:

Love in speaking the truth (Eph. 4:15): David—a shepherd in his youth—could relate to the parable Nathan told him.

Boldness and courage: What Nathan did was risky. There were no guarantees that David would accept what Nathan had to say.

Lack of favoritism: Nathan was straight-up with David. He told him exactly what he needed to hear. But Nathan already had a relationship with David. Nathan knew David, and David knew Nathan.

Knowledge of the word of the Lord: Nathan knew David was a man after God’s own heart. Yet, David rejected the word, sinned and disobeyed. That’s why Nathan appeals to him through the scriptures.

Loyalty to David: He didn’t give up on David. Following the death of David’s son, Nathan is still there in the life of David.

Nathan could have made excuses for not wanting to go and talk to David. But he was a friend to David. That’s why he told him exactly what he needed to hear. Nathan wanted the best for David.

Do you have a Nathan in your life? We all need someone in our life who will hold us accountable. Where would we be without our Nathan? If you don’t have a Nathan, then you need a Nathan. Allow someone to be your Nathan. And choose wisely.

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