Reading: Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. Psalm 37:24
A saint may wander far off from God and be overtaken by sin, but he will never be lost. Notice how God’s recovery of David after his grievous sin magnifies His grace.
God took the initiative in David’s recovery. “And the LORD sent Nathan unto David” (2 Samuel 12:1). It was the same with Moses when he was a fugitive in Midian, with Elijah when he was fleeing from Jezebel, with Jonah in the deep, and with Peter after the denial. How often has this been true in my life?
God graciously awakened David to his sin. The verse says, “And the LORD sent Nathan.” He could have sent the enemy or terrors to take hold upon him as he did with Saul. God would have been just in dispatching the messenger of death. But instead He sends one of His faithful prophets.
God sent a faithful man. Paul exhorts the Ephesians to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). This is what Nathan was commanded to do to David. The prophet’s task was not an enviable one: to meet the guilty king face to face with his sin. As yet, David had shown no sign of repentance, although he had remorse. On a previous occasion Nathan was sent to David to speak a message of promise and comfort (7:4–5). Now he was ordered to charge the king with crimes. Nathan discharged his duty faithfully with a tenderness becoming of the Lord he served.
Has God sent a Nathan recently to speak to you? Has the Lord put you under the ministry of a faithful man as His instrument in your life to cause you to see what otherwise you would not see? Instead of being troubled by the rebuke of a Nathan, would we not be better responding as David eventually did: “I have sinned against the Lord”? In Psalm 51 we read another prayer: “Restore unto me.”
Grace does not pluck up by the roots and wholly destroy the natural passions of the mind, because they are distempered by sin. That were an extreme remedy, to cure by killing, and to heal by cutting off. No, it corrects the distemper in them. —Robert Leighton