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How to Confront Sinners

When David sinned with Bathsheba, he broke all of the Ten Commandments. He coveted his neighbor’s wife, lived a lie, stole her, committed adultery, murdered her husband, dishonored his parents, and thus broke the remaining four Commandments by dishonoring God. Therefore, the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to reprove him (2 Samuel 12:1–14).

There is great significance in the order in which the reproof came. Nathan gave David (the shepherd of Israel) a parable about something that David could understand— sheep. He began with the natural realm, rather than immediately exposing the king’s sin. He told a story about a rich man who, instead of taking a sheep from his own flock, killed a poor man’s pet lamb to feed a stranger. David was indignant, and sat up on his high throne of self-righteousness. He revealed his knowledge of the Law by declaring that the guilty party must restore fourfold and must die for his crime. Nathan then exposed the king’s sin of taking another man’s "lamb," saying, "You are the man...Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?" When David cried, "I have sinned against the Lord," the prophet then gave him grace and said, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."

Imagine if Nathan, fearful of rejection, changed things around a little, and instead told David, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. However, there is something that is keeping you from enjoying this wonderful plan; it is called ‘sin.’" Imagine if he had glossed over the personal nature of David’s sin, with a general reference to all men having sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. David’s reaction may have been, "What sin are you talking about?" rather than to admit his terrible transgression. Think of it — why should he cry, "I have sinned against the Lord" at the sound of that message? Instead, he may have, in a sincere desire to experience this "wonderful plan," admitted that he, like all men, had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

If David had not been made to tremble under the wrath of the Law, the prophet would have removed the very means of producing godly sorrow, which was so necessary for David’s repentance. It is "godly sorrow" that produces repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). It was the weight of David’s guilt that caused him to cry out, "I have sinned against the Lord." The Law caused him to labor and become heavy laden; it made him hunger and thirst for righteousness. It enlightened him as to the serious nature of sin as far as God was concerned.

All the material in this section of our website comes directly from the pages of The Evidence Bible. This KJV bible has been commended by Josh McDowell, Dr. D. James Kennedy, and Franklin Graham.
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