Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes?This is one of those passages that has always intrigued me. The courage of Nathan to say to the king that he was wrong. The willingness of David to see the truth in what Nathan was saying. There are times that I have seen the need to be a Nathan in someone's life, and chickened out. And there have been times when a Nathan has showed up in my life, and I was less than gracious in accepting that. I'm not Nathan, and I'm not David.
2 Samuel 12:7-9
Last night at house group the question was raised to choose characteristics of David that made him a good leader. One of the responses was "he was close enough to God that he was able to accept the rebuke." I love that thought. David was close enough to God that he was able to hear rebuke from others because he knew that God's acceptance of him was based on God's character not on his own. He was able to hold up the rebuke and see if it measured up to what God was saying. When it did, he was close enough to God to confess, knowing that God would hear the confession.
I know that the confidence in the relationship can make all the difference in how I hear a rebuke. I am much more willing to hear from German or from a few friends who have been granted access to inner sanctum of my life because I know that their rebuke is not the end of the relationship--it is because of the relationship. My confidence in the sureness of relationship means I can hear correction. I trust it. On the other hand, the random person who chooses to give me their mind on my life without any reference of true relationship will not be heard. I'm not close enough to them to accept it.
That is what I loved so much about the statement made about David being "close enough to God to hear the rebuke." I want to be so sure in my relationship with God, that I am able to hear the rebuke when it is needed. I want to be drawn back to where I need to be without fear. I want the relationship to be so close that I hear the love in the rebuke.
Does that make sense to anyone else? Do you find that the closer you are to God the easier it is to hear convicting advice? Are you able to accept the rebuke?
Father, help me to walk in sureness of my relationship with you. When correction and rebuke is needed, help me to accept that as coming from a loving father who only wants my best. Help me be willing to change when you call me to make those changes. Amen.