The Lord sent Nathan to David… 2 Samuel 12:1
God sends Nathan, a prophet, to speak the Word of God, and Nathan tells David a story of a great injustice.
There were two men in a certain city—one rich, the other poor. The poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which ate his food, drank from his cup, and lay in his arms. The poor man loved the little ewe lamb. When a traveler arrived at the house of the rich man, the rich man welcomed him and wanted to put on a feast. But he did not want to use one of his own flock, so he stole the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for his feast.
David hears this case and he is absolutely furious! He says to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing” (12:5-6). That was more than the law demanded. The law called for a four-fold restoration for theft of an animal (Ex. 22:1), but not the death penalty.
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” What a moment! “David, this is a picture of what you’ve done.” Finally, after more than nine months of silence, David confesses, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Sam. 12:13). This confession was the beginning of repentance in David’s life, which he expressed in Psalm 51. David repented and he was restored.
Time did not bring David to repentance, and neither did conscience or misery. The Word of God broke through in David’s life when nothing else could. Never underestimate the power of God’s Word to change a person’s life: “My word… shall not return to me empty, but it… shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it (Isa. 55:11).
Thank God for his Word, which has the power to bring you to repentance.