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are you too busy being king

King David of Old Testament fame was a complex man.  King and shepherd, warrior and poet.  He could lead an army and an orchestra.  At one point, he is referred to as a “man after God’s own heart.”  In the same Bible, the story is told of his adultery and how he plotted the murder of a faithful soldier (who happened to be his mistress’ husband).

The immediate fallout of David’s adultery seems minimal.  His plan works, his mistress becomes his wife, and life returns to normal for the King.

That is, until the prophet Nathan shows up and takes the King for a walk.  Along the way, Nathan tells King David a parable about a rich man oppressing a poor man — steals his sheep, for heaven’s sake!  Only David doesn’t know it’s a parable.  His anger flares and he demands that the rich man be held accountable, punished for his injustice.

In a moment that must have required tremendous amounts of supernatural courage, Nathan says to the King, “You are the man.”  “You took another man’s wife and then you took his life, too.”

King David breaks down, goes into a period of mourning and repentance, and is restored to leadership.  But not without bearing the consequences of his actions.

But why did it take so long for King David to have a change of heart?

In his commentary on this passage, Jim Wilson says: “David was too busy being king to notice that he was a sinner.”[1]

Ouch, that hits a little too close to home.

How often are we too busy being king … boss … right … first … important … successful … to notice that we are sinners, too.

May God grant each of us a Nathan, someone who will summon the courage necessary to tell the king (or queen) that not all is well.


[1] Wilson, Jim L. Fresh Sermons. Fresno, CA: Willow City Press, 2009. Print.