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He was supposed
to be at war …
but, instead, he sent Joab to lead the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites.
Night falls, and the king cannot sleep. So, he goes to the roof of the palace, where he sees a beautiful woman bathing. Instead of looking away, his gaze lingers, and lust sets in his heart. David then calls for Bathsheba, the wife of one of his faithful soldiers. He sleeps with her, and she conceives a child.
In a twist and turn of events that rivals the plot of any best-selling novel, David invites Uriah, the betrayed husband, into the palace, eats and drinks with him, and eventually orders the army’s general to send the poor guy to the frontline and withdraw all help, so that the man could be easily killed in battle. Thus, a merciless, cunning, evil plot stained the beautiful life story of the king that God called “a man after my own heart.”
For thousands of years, David’s life has been one of the most highlighted stories in Scriptures: The lion-killing, giant-slaying young boy, appointed king because of the purity of his heart and faithfulness to his God. The mighty, conquering king, who slipped and fell into a spiraling wave of sins — from adultery to lies to murder. The repentant man, who cried out to God in anguish, seeking his forgiveness and redemption. The forgiven king, who realized his mistakes, turned his life around and got back on track, following God’s plan until the end of his days.
When we come to this part of David’s story, there is no doubt: The king was heading in the wrong direction. He could certainly have avoided the first sin by looking away, and yet, he gave in. That was his first misstep. Instead of stopping there, he used his kingly authority to lie with a married woman — the second step on the wrong road. He could have stopped there. But he went on. Lying. Killing.
All along, David knew better. Deep down, he knew he was wrong. But he dismissed the signs: the lack of peace and anxiety that flooded his heart … God’s commandments that had been broken. Indeed, he was blinded by lust and pride, determined to get his way. That’s when God, in his mercy and grace, sent David one last chance: Nathan, the prophet.
Nathan was not a stranger to the king. He was the one who announced the covenant God made with David, to build an eternal dynasty for his house, wherein Messiah would come. Nathan was involved in the music of the temple, one of David’s passions. Nathan knew David. And, as good friends (and prophets) do, he did not withhold the truth. Nathan told it like it was.
An old Jewish proverb says: “A friend is one who warns you.”
I could not agree more.
I look back and reminisce …
the times I was heading in the wrong direction, either missing or ignoring signs, when someone close to me was used as a lighthouse, shedding light on the path I had chosen. Their wise insights opened my eyes to see dangers, rebuked sin, or answered my prayers. Those situations have made me sensitive and humble to listen to the voice of wise friends, and inspired me to become that same voice in the lives of the people I love.
Conversely, we do have to be careful, because many times people will give us wrong and unwise advice. There are undoubtedly those so-called friends who “tell it like it is” out of jealousy or unkindness. We can easily identify those. However, when a kind, wise and godly person points out that something we are doing is either unwise or simply wrong, as uncomfortable and unsettling as it may be, it is wise to leave our pride aside and listen carefully.
Just as it happened to King David, they may just be a tool God is using to bring us back to our senses, turn us around, and save us from a lifetime of headache and loss.
Before dismissing them as nosy, let us think again. They may be our last warning sign.
Blog Series: Six Signs You Are Heading in the Wrong Direction
How is God encouraging you today?