Day 130: Nathan Condemns David
2 Samuel 12:1-19 Lesser sins, left unchecked, readily lead to deeper and more serious sins. David’s sins began with looking at Uriah’s wife with lust and consequently coveting her. By failing to practice custody of the eyes, he ended up committing adultery. Attempting to cover up his sin, he arranged for Uriah’s likely death on the battlefield. Nathan’s parable illustrated David’s sin for him by pointing out plainly the gravity of his actions and his culpability for the sin involved. David to his credit, repented sincerely. Nevertheless, since justice must be accomplished, the Lord told David that violence would continue to plague his family, his wives would be taken from him, and his son born of Bathsheba would die. His sin is comparable to Adam’s sin since he, like Adam, represented the first in a line of descendants, and, through his actions, he brought the consequence of sin to his progeny. Nathan, like the Church today, had the role of acting as the moral conscience for those in authority. (CCC 1435, 1736, 2246, 2538)
Ch 12:13 The Lord also has put away your sin: No matter what the sin, God will forgive a truly contrite heart. Throughout salvation history, God’s love is so great that he never stops forgiving people’s sins and giving them another chance for repentance. The prayer of absolution in the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance in the Byzantine Rite quotes Nathan’s words of forgiveness directed to David. (CCC 218, 1481)
Ch 12:20-31 Although his son would die, David spent the day praying and fasting in the hope of obtaining a reprieve from the Lord. Another son was born of Bathsheba but within the bounds of her marriage to David. His name was Solomon, but Nathan called him Jebediah, meaning “beloved of the Lord”-a hint that Solomon would succeed David to the throne. (CCC 1434)
1 Chronicles 16:4 The Levites, as ministers of the Ark of the Covenant, fulfilled the principal purpose of liturgy: “To invoke, to thank, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel.” Christian worship today has the same end, honoring God the Father for his gifts through adoration, praise, and thanksgiving through Jesus Christ. (CCC 1083)
Ch 16:10 Every person has a natural desire for happiness that can be fulfilled only through union with God. (CCC 1718)
Ch 16:34 God’s love is constant and never-changing; his “steadfast love” is frequently extolled throughout Scripture, especially in the Psalms and songs of his people. (CCC 231)
Ch 16:36 The response of the people, “Amen,” is a Hebrew word rooted in the verb “to believe.” It remains a common refrain by which the people affirm their firm agreement with the prayer that precedes it. (CCC 1062)
Psalm 51 This psalm, traditionally called “Miserere,” gives a moving teaching on the destructive effects of sin and the requirement of a worthy repentance. According to Jewish tradition, King David expressed through this celebrated psalm his contrite sorrow and repentance on account of his adultery with Bathsheba and the indirect murder of her husband, Uraiah, whom he sent to the most dangerous section of the battle front to cover up Bathsheba’s pregnancy. Sin prevents a person from achieving the proper moral objectives; it is a rebellion against God through the violation of His Law. Even for the most serious of sins, God stands ready to forgive the contrite heart. The message conveyed is that David’s self-accusation is more than a mere factual statement but rather an acceptance of responsibility for his sin and a firm resolution not to sin again. The threefold mention of “spirit” led St. Ambrose to conclude that this psalm was referring to the Holy Spirit and his crucial role in effecting conversion and repentance. Among the many benefits the Holy Spirit lavishes on the soul, this psalm clearly shows how the Holy Spirit is the agent of interior renewal in the sinner who repents and is restored to God’s favor. This beautiful penitential prayer ends on a note of great hope: God has shown his mercy upon us, and we cannot help but bear witness to the joy of our reconciliation with God. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audiences, October 24, 2001; May 8, 2002; December 4, 2002; and July 30, 2003)
The strong emphasis on humility and contrition makes this psalm especially moving. The psalmist sought God’s mercy, freely admitting his sin and guilt without excusing his culpability. The heavy weight of his sins prompted him to seek God’s spiritual and physical healing. This psalm serves as a wonderful catechesis on the harm perpetrated by sin and the affliction it leaves in its wake. Moreover, it reveals that God is glorified by forgiving a humble and contrite heart.
Against you...in your sight: Fundamentally, every sin is an offense against God; in fact, that is the very definition of sin. Sin is always a rejection of God’s love. Because it is an offense against God, only God can forgive sin.
Behold, I was brought forth...conceive me: Due to the sin of Adam and Eve, original Sin is passed down to all of their descendants together with its ill effects on the passions. We are born in this sin, and Baptism is required to remit it.
Wash me thoroughly...from my sin: This verse is prayed quietly by the celebrant at Mass as he washes his hands near the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, just after the Offertory.
Create in me a clean heart...within me: This describes the very essence of conversion. We seek not only forgiveness but also an interior renewal that sets us on a path of holiness. This renewal that sets us on a path of holiness. This grace of conversion strengthens our resolve to live virtuously and overcomes temptation to sin.
O Lord, open my lips...your praise: This brief petition is prayed every day at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church.
The sacrifice acceptable...spirit: For external sacrifice to give glory to God, it must express a humble and contrite heart. Conversion is not the work or need of a moment but a continuous process by which the person not only becomes more faithful to moral law but also replicates the sentiments and deeds of Christ. (CCC 298, 431, 1428, 1850, 2100) (*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
While David’s sin escapes public judgement, it does not escape the eyes of God.
God sends Nathan the prophet to the king and convicts him with a parable.
He tells David of a rich man “who had very many flocks and herds.”
This man robbed his poor neighbor of the single “little ewe lamb” whom he cherished “like a daughter” (bat in Hebrew-the first part of Bathsheba’s name).
David passes an unambiguous verdict on the rich man, and the prophet declares, “You are the man!” (No, Nathan does not mean “YOU DA MAN!!”🤪)
When Nathan unmasks him, David readily confesses from the depths of his heart: “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Sam 12:13).
David, even in grave sin, is still a man after God’s own heart, a fact that stands in stark contrast to Saul’s denial and evasion of his sin (1 Sam 15:10-16).
Psalm 51 expresses well David’s heartfelt contrition:
“Have mercy on my, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” (Ps 51:1-2)
Notably, David uses the same words to describe his sin as God used for Israel’s apostasy with the golden calf (Ex 34:7): “inituity” (avon), “sin” (hatta), and “transgression” (pesha).
David pleads for the same mercy that God revealed to Moses:
“And the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with Moses there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful [rachum] and gracious [hannun], slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love [hesed]...forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.’” (Ex 34:5-7)
And for his own sin, David seeks the same mercy God had bestowed on Israel after their sin.
However, unlike Moses, who had offered himself to be blotted out for Israel’s sin (Ex 32:22), David asks God to “blot out” his transgression (Ps 51:1).
He cannot appeal to his own righteousness.
Rather, David’s only hope is in the Lord’s mercy and faithfulness.
The Lord forgives David.
Nevertheless, Nathan announces that the child born from the affair will die.
Despite David’s intense fasting and prayer for his son’s survival, the king is forced to learn something about the consequences of his sin.
The Baby dies as prophesied, but Bathsheba gives birth to another son, Solomon, who will take center stage after his father’s death.
(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
Oh man oh man 😉
Fr. Mike really loves David
David is a FLAWED HERO
We are going to see a very clear vision of David, the BROKEN MAN
David THE SINNER
Maybe that’s one of the reasons Fr. Mike is a fan of David
He is not a fan of David’s CHOICES
But because we see ourselves in these characters in Scripture (HOPEFULLY!!!)
King Saul was so preoccupied what other people thought of him
Hopefully we saw ourselves in that
In the times that VANITY can creep in and can LEAD US AWAY from being the people God has called us to be and lead us away from GOD HIMSELF
Here is David LIVING OFF MISSION
Having a DUAL IDENTITY
Having ONE LIFE HERE
Having ONE LIFE THERE
Here is David choosing to SIN IN THE DARK
God needed to SAVE DAVID by BRINGING THAT SIN INTO THE LIGHT
That’s why we love David
NOT because he is FULLY HEROIC
But he is an image of God’s ability to SAVE
God’s DESIRE to SAVE
Even if God saves PAINFULLY
That’s the thing for us
GOD LOVES YOU
There are times when in God’s LOVE where he has to UNCOVER WHAT HAS BEEN COVERED
God has to bring into the LIGHT what has been done in the DARK
God doesn’t do this because HE HATES YOU
God doesn’t do this because HE JUST WANTS TO PUNISH YOU
God does this because HE LOVES YOU
Sometimes the only thing that stops a SLIDE is a BREAK
Here is God who sends Nathan the Prophet to David to stop the slide and break him
Nathan said very clearly to David that God forgives him
But there are CONSEQUENCES to his decision
The sword will not depart from David’s house
Tomorrow in Ch 13 we will read one of the first signs of David’s family CRUMBLING
David’s family FALLING APART
David FAILING AS A FATHER
David might be super successful AS A KING
But David FAILS AS A FATHER
1 Chronicles 16: we are kind of going back and forth in time like in Deuteronomy and Numbers
So David is just establishing the Ark in the tent
Remember 1 Chronicles is directed at highlighting two things
THE ROYAL KINGDOM
Ezra the Scribe knows that God wants this kingdom to be a kingdom that goes throughout the ENTIRE WORLD
It will be RE-ESTABLISHED somehow (THROUGH JESUS)
Ezra also highlights that God has called this people to worship him in this PARTICULAR WAY
So we have David’s SONG OF THANKSGIVING
We have David’s regular worship maintained
We have the Ark of the Covenant placed in a tent
1 Chronicles 16:4 “Moreover [David] appointed certain of the Levites as ministers before the Ark of the Lord, to INVOKE, to THANK, and to PRAISE the Lord, the God of Israel.”
That is SO IMPORTANT
If OUR PRAYERS consisted of those three things:
To INVOKE: petitions, we call upon the Lord for ourselves and other people
To THANK: thank God for all the things He has done in our lives
To PRAISE GOD: praise God for who he is
That would be SO GOOD if our prayer lives LOOKED LIKE THAT
We also have a fourth element that David reveals in Psalm 51
Turn AWAY from EVIL
Turn TOWARDS the LORD
So remember these FOUR ELEMENTS
INVOKING: asking God for help for ourselves and others
TURNING BACK TO GOD through REPENTANCE
If our prayer lives look like this, our prayer lives will be pretty healthy
We are continuing this journey together
You all are doing SO INCREDIBLY WELL
Being PART OF THIS COMMUNITY
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we thank you. We thank you for your calling us to repent. We thank you for reminding us of our sin. Thank you for reminding us of our sin and our need for mercy. And also thank you for offering your gift of mercy. Lord God, we find ourselves so often sliding like David did yesterday, in yesterday’s reading. Sliding away from where you are calling us on mission to live off mission. Sliding from where you anointed us to be from belonging to you to rejecting you. And we find ourselves so often as David does today, where Nathan said, ‘You thought this was done in the dark. But the Lord God is going to bring this into the light.’ And Lord God, to save us, you oftentimes reveal our wounds. To save us, you oftentimes reveal our sins. To save us, you oftentimes bring what needs to be brought into the light, INTO THE LIGHT. And so God we say yes to that. We say, ‘Ok go ahead, Lord. Whatever you need to do in my life so that I may not be lost. Whatever you need to do in my life so that I can be yours again. You have my permission. So be it. Amen’ Help us to say this, Lord God. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”