“You are the man!” The words reverberated through the unoccupied hall. Only King David and the Prophet Nathan stood face to face in the hollow room. Echo. Echo. It seemed to repeat itself over and over again. You, David are the man….
Five moments before, David sat on his well cushioned throne entertaining the Prophet Nathan in a private conference. He leaned forward, engrossed in the tale of a rich man who seemed to feel he had the right to take a poor man’s only favored little ewe for a dinner party. David’s anger was incited and brewing busily within as he stood to his feet and begin to pace the throne room floor. His eyes darted about the hall as he considered his judgment of such a rebellious wrong-doing.
“THIS MAN WILL PAY!” he bellowed, fist thrown outward towards Nathan. “I will not allow this sort of evil to pervade our city or this nation!” He fixed his gaze on Nathan’s teared filled eyes. David’s expression softened into slight bewilderment. Nathan lowered his eyes to the floor, inhaled a slow breath and squinted at the red swirl pattern in the marble. How was he going to say this? David froze in a regal stance feeling an uneasy knot in his gut. He straightened abruptly and forced himself into a kingly trot across the marble floor. “Death,” he judged authoritatively, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity,” 2 Samuel 12:5-6. A life for a life. Final verdict. He lowered himself on the throne, slowly wrapping his hands over its stately arms.
Nathan’s gaze continued to follow the red swirls, perhaps searching for a way out of exposing his royal friend’s foolishness. Today, he did not want to be a prophet. Nathan waited the silence. He trembled. He meditated on his loyalty to a God whose mercy reached high and low and covered vast sins. He could abandon the heart of Divinity even less than he could let David feel the weight of his sins. He waited the silence some more. It was time…. .One breath. A quick raising of the head. Steady eyes. Love. “You, David, are the man!” his voice rose to an even strong tone.
David’s throat went entirely dry as Nathan detailed the happenings of an adulterous, murderous sin. Subjective, self-seeking desires filled the hall in steady words that broke David’s judgmental position. Adulterer. Murderer. You, David, are the man!