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. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 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.
“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.”
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
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. 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. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for[a] the Lord, the son born to you will die.”
After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill.
— 2 Samuel 12:1–15
2 Samuel 12:1–15 tells the story of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the subsequent confrontation by the prophet Nathan.
If you have ever been confronted for something you were wrong about, you probably can understand what David was feeling in that moment. That sinking feeling you get in your gut, the guilt, the shame, and the undeniable temptation to defend yourself.
What you do next in that moment determines everything that happens after that. You see, the accuser is always going to come. He is going to use people to say, “You have hurt me! This is all your fault.” He’s going to make you feel terrible about your struggle, and the temptation will be to defend yourself. That’s the battleground. Will you, in that moment, acknowledge that you are not perfect and fully lean into the grace of God or will you pull yourself from the protection of God’s grace and try and fix it yourself?
Despite his sin, David, a man after God’s own heart, demonstrates his anointing by being responsive and repentant when confronted with his wrongdoing. He recognized his sin, acknowledged it, and took responsibility for it. This contrasts with Saul, David’s predecessor, who, upon being confronted with his own sin, instead of repenting, moved deeper into sin and insecurity, and God removed his grace from Saul because of it. (1 Samuel 16:14)
Being anointed does not mean we are perfect. However, it’s important that we are responsive and repentant when we do fall. If we don’t respond or refuse to acknowledge and take responsibility for our sin, we risk losing the platform, calling, or blessings that God has given us.
Dear Lord, we thank you for the reminder in 2 Samuel 12 that being anointed does not mean we are perfect. Help us to be responsive and repentant when we fall, acknowledging our wrongdoing and taking responsibility for it. Give us the humility and honesty to admit our wrongs, ask for forgiveness and make amends. We pray that you will guide us in maintaining our anointing and our relationship with you. In Jesus’ name, amen.