May 4, 2022
Thank you for praying each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival.
As God continues to honor the faith of ancient believers in Hebrews 11, he adds a group called “the prophets” (Hebrews 11:32). It would be difficult to highlight all the ancient prophets, so I have selected a few that we will discuss over the next few weeks.
Nathan was a prophet who lived during the reign of King David. He saw in him the good, the bad, and the ugly! Through it all, he spoke into the king's life appropriate and faithful words.
“Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket” (Proverbs 25:11). The metals are valuable and the setting is beautiful. So are the words spoken at a suitable time.
Nathan, the prophet, was consistent in giving timely advice.
First, He was faithful to explain God’s plan to David. You can read the full story in 2 Samuel 7. David was living in a large palace and God’s ark was in a small tent. David wanted to build God a beautiful house. It sounded like a great idea, but God had different plans.
David was a man of war, but God wanted His house to be marked by peace. God’s plan was for David’s son Solomon to build the temple. It was Nathan who spoke words of wisdom into this situation. God wasn’t angry, upset, or disappointed in David, He just had a special purpose for him and it didn’t include building the temple.
The Proverb says it well, “Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences” (Proverbs 18:20-21).
Speaking the truth to one another is one of the key factors in our maturing process. We all need faithful people looking out for God’s best in our lives. Maybe you can be that faithful person to someone today!
When Nathan spoke God’s truth to David, David humbly forfeited what he wanted and submitted to God’s desires. This is such a good outcome.
Second, Nathan was faithful to rebuke David’s sin of adultery. This sad story can be read in 2 Samuel 11 and 12, where David lusted, committed adultery, lied, and killed to feed his own sinful passions. It was a delicate situation for Nathan as he needed to be cautious with David, yet remain true to God.
Nathan used a parable to show David clearly that he was the man who had sinned. The story involved a rich man who had many flocks and a poor man who had just one ewe lamb. The little animal became precious to the poor man and his family. When the rich man needed a meal to feed a traveler he took the poor man's lamb. David’s anger was roused and declared that the rich man should die for his actions. Then Nathan pointed his finger at David and said, “You are the man” (2 Samuel 12:7).
The Proverbs say, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:5-6). Again, Nathan was seeking God’s best for David and it came in the form of rebuke.
Speaking the truth into each other's lives when it hurts is a demonstration of true love and reveals true friendship. The wounding words of a friend are not meant to harm, but to heal. They are designed to lovingly bring a wayward friend to realization, repentance, and ultimate restoration.
The last account of Nathan reminds us that he was faithful to endure right to the end with David. You can read the story in 1 Kings 1.
David was an old man and he had failed to anoint and announce God’s intended successor to the throne, Solomon. Secretly, Adonijah decided he should be king and gathered a supporting team around him (1 Kings 1:5).
Nathan took a proactive approach, and went directly to David’s wife Bathsheba with the alarming information. Together they went to David and reminded him of God’s purposes. David responded by giving the command for Solomon to be anointed and announced as Israel’s new king.
The Proverbs say, “Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend” (Proverbs 22:11). Nathan had a pure heart and he spoke graciously to David. He had the privilege of having the king as his friend, and that friendship was reciprocated.
Nathan was committed to David right to the very end. It may have looked appealing to join with Adonijah, but that’s not what true faithfulness looks like. True friends stick together through thick and thin and confirm loyalty regardless of the cost. Nathan’s timely advice throughout David’s life showed what a faithful friend he was.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel