THE SETTING BETWEEN DAVID AND NATHAN
- Nathan the prophet was a gift to King David, giving him counsel on issues from architecture to music to succession and, most importantly, the heart of the king himself.
- David’s life was not right, and his heart was not right with God.
- Without Nathan, David would have continued his adulterous, murderous behavior, ultimately corrupting the Davidic line.
NATHAN, A WELCOME INTRUDER
As a trusted advisor, Nathan wasn’t a general nuisance to David
o Nathan could pop in unannounced to take the moral temperature of a particular moment, especially at the most inconvenient and disturbing time
o He had access because he already had a valued relationship with the King
o He had a standing invitation to drop by when the King’s script ‘needed a rewrite’
He wasn’t an executioner, but a trusted surgeon who heals the heart with a scalpel
o The cut hurts, but heals
o Nathan is able to wield “the spiritual sword that lays open the human heart.”
Nathan speaks the “truth in love”
o Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
The interesting work of Nathan:
- Some people want to catch you in sin. Nathan tells this story about sheep and injustice because Nathan wanted David to catch himself in his sin.
FROM ACCOUNTABILITY TO EDIT-ABILTY
The role of a Nathan kind of sounds like an accountability partner, but its different, the Nathan in your life is an editor of who you are.
Joe Myers, author of Organic Community, argues for “edit-ability” rather than accountability
- Accounting is a fiscal term, focusing onnumbers and not relationships
- Generally accounting is to find mistakes.
- The accountability mentality looks for offenses, monitoring others for sins and trespasses
- The problem with accountability is that it’s too easy to keep ‘double books’, one for your accountability team and another secret book for yourself
- Conversely, an editor is someone who is trying to help you get your ideas out as powerfully and as truthfully as you can
Writer Joe Myers uses his wife as an illustration of editing. She hands him back a draft she had edited for him and every page covered in red. He tried to find one pure white page and she said these words, “Joe this is fantastic! This is one of the best things I have ever read. This is going to change people’s lives.” “You`re kidding, you hate it, look at all of the red” Joe says. She responds, “Joe I love it. I just want you to get your ideas out as powerfully as you can. Every time you see red on the page you should hear me saying to you Joe, I love this, I love you, and I want the whole world to read this book.”
- An editor loves who you are, loves what you are trying to do but is able to speak truly from their heart to you to make you even better.
- When you lose your voice, an editor helps you hear it again, not telling you what to thinkbut reminding you what to think about
- Being edited isn’t fun – it’s very painful to have someone cut parts out of your ‘manuscript’
A NATHAN WILL…
1) GET UNDER YOUR SKIN
- The problem is never “out there”, the problem is always “in here”
- A Nathan helps you see inside yourself
- The same thing that stirs our basest motives also inspires our noblest acts
- The more you allow God to use you, the more you need a Nathan, to edit your emotions, your drive, and your heart condition.
2) ASK QUESTIONS
- It’s not a Nathan’s job to help you find a way out of your problem, but to ask intrusive questions about those ill-fitting parts of our personalities and problems that need fixing
- Questions are intrusive
o They Comfort (“Is there anything too hard for God?”)
o They Challenge (“Adam, where are you?”)
o They Convict (“Peter, do you love me?”)
3) TELL THE TRUTH
- A Nathan helps us see the truth about ourselves
- A Nathan finds ways to come and get us and make us own up to the truth
- Nathan’s editorial eye helps you see the very things you’re running from
- There may be kinder words that could be said to you, but not truer ones
- David named his son, Nathan, and that’s the line through which Jesus came (On Mary’s side)
- Who is your Nathan? Who has the authority to haul you before the tribunals of truth?
- Who can point his/her finger at you and say something is not right in your life right now:David “Thou are the man”
- The name Nathan means “gift”, this man Nathan was a gift to King David redirecting his life and rescuing him from the path of destruction that he was on.
- The real question isn’t “are you accountable?” but rather “are you edit-able?”
- Is there someone in your life who’s truthful perspective on you, is welcomed…
- TO SEE DAVID’S TRUE RESPONSE TO THIS ‘EDITOR’ READ PSALM 51
This series is loosely based off Leonard Sweet’s book by 11: Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without and the preaching notes of my friend, Shawn Stickler, Lead Pastor of The Pentecostals of Quinte in Belleville, ON. I have also personalized these outlines with my own thoughts and stories.
FRIENDS OF THE BIBLE SERIES
LESSON ONE: WHO’S YOUR JONATHAN? YOU NEED A TRUE FRIEND!
LESSON TWO: WHO’S YOUR NATHAN? YOU NEED AN EDITOR!
LESSON THREE: WHO’S YOUR JETHRO? YOU NEED A MOTIVATOR!
LESSON FOUR: WHO’S YOUR DEBORAH? YOU NEED A PROTECTOR!
LESSON FIVE: WHO’S YOUR BARNABAS? YOU NEED AN ENCOURAGER!
LESSON SIX: WHO’S YOUR RHODA? YOU NEED A LITTLE ONE!
LESSON SEVEN: WHO’S YOUR PAUL/PETER? YOU NEED A MENTOR!