What is now an emphatic term of praise, “you da man!”, was once the very voice of disappointment from the mouth piece of God Almighty. As I wrote about yesterday, David’s actions toward Bathsheba and Uriah were looked upon by God with disdain. In order to teach David, God sent Nathan to tell him a story.
“There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.”
Rightly and instinctively, David finds the behavior of the rich man unconscionable, shouting, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” To which Nathan responds,
“You are the man!”
The funny thing about sin is that deep down, we know that we’ve done wrong. Sin is that which we use to separate ourselves from God. Sin destroys relationships between people and between us and God. The consequences of sin can be immediate and rather obvious, or they can take generations to rear their ugly head, but either way, we who were created in the image of a relational God can feel it deep in our bones when relationships are out of whack. We are that man! Or, that woman! We seek after our own self interests, leaving all sorts of collateral damage in our wake. The Good News, however, is that God doesn’t leave us standing atop a heap of broken, smoldering relationships. God offers us forgiveness, restoration, renewal. God’s offers us grace, sufficient of all our faults. Forgive the cheesiness of this last line, God want to turn the accusation, “You are the man!” into praise, “You da man!” through the grace of his Son and the power of the Holy Spirit.