7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” [simple_tooltip content=’1 Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor.

2 The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds.

3 But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him.

4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!

6 And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.

8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!

9 Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.

10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’

11 Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.

12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ”

13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”’](2 Samuel 12:1-14)[/simple_tooltip]

This parable isn’t really about a rich man taking a poor man’s sheep; it’s about David taking another man’s wife and then killing him. Why the pretense? It appears that the Lord was letting David dictate his own punishment. Matthew 7:2 says, For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you..” This is what happened to David. He received what he gave.

David demanded the death penalty and much more. This man not only had to pay with his life but was made to make a fourfold restitution. This is what happened to David. His son had to die, and the sword of war would never stop pursuing him. More than that, evil arose in David’s own family and greatly afflicted him. David’s wives were taken from him, as he had taken Uriah’s wife, by his own son! And although David committed his sin privately, God executed His judgment publicly.

Praise the Lord for our superior covenant. God will not judge us the way He judged David. Jesus bore that judgment for us. However, there is still the principle of reaping what we sow. People treat us the way we treat them. If we’re harsh and unforgiving, then people will treat us that way. Those who show mercy receive mercy. [simple_tooltip content=’For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.’](James 2:13)[/simple_tooltip]

You don’t have to learn everything the hard way; you can learn from other people’s mistakes and especially from the Word of God [simple_tooltip content=’All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,’](2 Tim. 3:16)[/simple_tooltip]. In the meantime, it is always a good idea to show mercy and grace to those who fall short. Then, when you are the one who needs mercy and grace, someone will be there to give it to you.