“You are the man!”







“Nathan then said to David, ‘You are the man! …’” (2 Samuel 12:7a).





                I often find myself realizing things belatedly when reflecting on my own actions.  Of course, one of those realizations is the grace of God.  Only after some time has passed do I come to realize God's guidance, assistance, and provision.  Another thing I tend to realize belatedly is that I have spoken beyond what was appropriate.  Especially after engaging in various conversations with someone, upon later reflection, I recognize that the content of the conversation applies to me as well, and I realize that I spoke as if I were discussing someone else.  For instance, not too long ago, after a church meeting, during dinner, I had a conversation with a few pastors.  Even in reviewing the content of that conversation, it holds true.  I confidently expressed my personal belief that when pastors join a new church, they should at least seek permission from the pastor of the previous church before bringing members from there to our church, as if they were presenting a letter of transfer.  Looking back, I only did this once, and yet, I spoke as if I had always done it that way.  Moreover, when I made such statements in front of several pastors, I realized they heard it as if I were saying, "You all should do the same, it's the right thing to do."  It was then that I regretted what I had said.  I was remorseful for speaking without properly reflecting on myself.  However, it seems like I've made such statements countless times.  When I do belatedly realize even a small portion of what I've said, I try to look back on myself a bit more and tell myself to be more careful with my words.  But unfortunately, I often find myself committing the same mistake again.


                Today's passage, 2 Samuel 12:7, is a well-known Scripture.  David, after committing adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of his loyal soldier Uriah (11:4), seemingly does not acknowledge this act as a sin.  Upon hearing the news of Bathsheba's pregnancy (v. 5), he devised a cunning plan to cover up the sin by shifting the blame onto Uriah, Bathsheba's husband (Park).  This cunning plan involved summoning Uriah from the battlefield to the palace, intending for him to go down to his house, rest, and even sending food to him (v. 8).  However, the loyal soldier Uriah did not go down to his house; instead, he slept at the palace gates with the king's servants (v. 9).  So, David devised a second cunning plan.  David called Uriah and encourages him to eat, drink, and be merry before sending him down to his house (v. 13).  Why did David twice try to send Uriah down to his house?  The reason was to make Uriah believe that Bathsheba's unborn child was a result of his union with her, not David's.  At that time, without DNA tests, how could one determine whether the child was David's or Uriah's?  However, as we know, Uriah did not go down to his house, but rather laid with the king's servants (v. 13).  Ultimately, David intentionally orchestrated Uriah's death in battle (vv. 14-25).  Later, when David heard through the messenger sent by Joab that Uriah had died in battle, he instructed the messenger to tell Joab, "Do not let this matter trouble you, for the sword devours one as well as another..." (v. 25).  How can one deliberately and strategically cause the death of a loyal soldier and then say, "the sword devours one as well as another"?  How can one say this after being responsible for their death?  Because David's conduct was evil in the eyes of God (v. 27), God sent the prophet Nathan to David.  Using a parable about a rich man and a poor man in the same city, Nathan exposed David's sin of taking Uriah's wife (12:1-4).  At that moment, David was greatly angered and, in the presence of Nathan, swore by the name of the Lord that the one who did this deserved to die (v. 5).  David attempted to cover up his sin so much that he even blinded his own conscience.  At that time, David did not realize that he himself was the one who deserved to die.  It must have been shocking for Nathan the prophet to directly accuse David, saying, "You are the man..." (v. 7).  How shocking of an accusation is this?  David surely did not think of himself as the one deserving of death, yet Nathan, the prophet, accused him directly.  Won't our consciences be shocked when the holy God exposes our deeds as sins, deeds we did not consider as such?  How ignorant can someone be about themselves, thinking that another person deserves to die when it is they themselves who deserve it?  In the midst of anger and ignorance, one might utter the statement, ‘The one who did this deserves to die.’  How do you feel about this?


                When May comes around, I preach about family. Once, when I preached about family in May, a member of the congregation said to me, "This is something my wife really needs to hear...."  Perhaps the focus of my message at that time was about wives being obedient to their husbands.  Often, even as I listen to God's word, I find myself thinking that I hope someone else hears this word, rather than recognizing it as God's voice speaking directly to me.  Especially when I preach the word that absolves sin, I should feel it pierce my heart like a sword of the Holy Spirit.  Instead, I sometimes think that the blade should be directed at others, not realizing that it should pierce me.  What is the problem?  It's the result of not diligently examining myself in the holy mirror of God's word.  When I neglect introspection and self-reflection, I end up hearing God's voice with an attitude that says, "It's their sin," rather than confessing, "It's my sin."  When I consider others as the sinners who committed the sins I have committed, how prideful a sin is that?  When I try to cover up the sin I have committed in this way, it seems that even the abundant grace God has poured out on me is buried in my heart, preventing me from hearing God's word of absolution, which He speaks to me in the midst of my pride.  When I try to cover up the sin I have committed in this way, it seems that even my conscience, grace, and ears are covered.  I shouldn't live like this....







Relying on the sword of the Spirit,





James Kim

(With a heart that earnestly seeks the grace to confess my sin, repent sincerely, and be truly delivered)