Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"The Ministry of Nathan"

After his illicit relationship with Bathsheba and the consigning of her husband Uriah to his death, David, the man declared by God to be "after Mine own heart," required the prophet Nathan to bring him to his senses regarding the horror of his sinful actions.

"Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon" (II Samuel 12:9).

One might suppose that godly David would have been sensitive to the Holy Spirit's conviction, as based on his relationship with God and knowledge of the law. He was not, and necessity required that the Lord send Nathan to open the eyes and heart of His servant.

"When a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).

The necessity has not changed in the many centuries since David. Sometimes God's most dedicated sons and daughters require a human voice to expose what seemingly should be obvious. How did David fail to see the grievousness of his sin? Lest we be tempted by even the slightest notion of righteous indignation toward our brother of old, let us remember those times when we failed to see the obvious regarding our own sins and failures. "How did I fail to see the grievousness of my sin?" This is the question that the Scriptural account of David must raise in our minds. Our own particular "Bathshebas" and "Uriahs," in whatever form, must sometimes be exposed by "Nathans" sent to us as God's light to illuminate our darkness.

For those called to serve as such a voice, much prayerful humbling of heart and mind must precede the ministry of correction. A sense of fear and trembling must accompany the awareness that a fallen brother may require our loving willingness to speak the truth in love. Even more, we must remember our own susceptibility to temptation and the times we have required a fellow believer to open our own eyes. Only the Spirit of the Lord Jesus can rightly lead and enable us in attitude, word and deed for such ministry to each other, and may we seek Him with much diligence whenever the ministry of Nathan lies before us as our ministry.

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend."
(Proverbs 27:6)

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