Lesson Eight | Devotion #2: Nathan
Brett Eberle | Production Director
I have a confession to make, when I was given Nathan as a topic for these character studies I had no idea who he was. As I began studying and reading, I realized that he played a huge part in a couple of stories that I knew well, I just did not know his name. Nathan was a prophet who was very close to King David.
The first story that Nathan is involved in had to do with David’s desire to build the temple. In the story, David is struggling with the fact that he lives in a cedar palace while the presence of the Lord dwelt in a tent. David called for Nathan to find out if it was acceptable for him to build the temple and Nathan told him that the Lord is with him so he can build the temple. That night God comes to Nathan and tells him that David cannot be the one to build the temple. Now, this is not all that God told Nathan, but we should stop for a second and look at what just happened. Nathan, who just told King David, the most powerful person in Israel, that God is on his side and he can build the temple, now has to tell the king that somebody else will be the one to do it. There is a good chance that what Nathan had to tell the king could enrage David possibly costing Nathan his life. This is the first huge decision we see Nathan have to make, whether he was going to honor God and convey the message or save his own skin and let David build the temple. Nathan decides to tell David what God has said, and it results in David rejoicing in God’s decision because Nathan got to tell David the second part, that David’s offspring would be the one to build the temple.
The second story has to do with David and Bathsheba. After it seems like David has gotten away with his sin, God comes to Nathan and tells him that He is displeased with David. Nathan has the second huge decision to make, and unlike the first one, the news Nathan has to tell David has no upside. Nathan makes the hard choice to follow what God has told him to do. 2 Samuel 12:1-10 records the conversation.
If you keep reading, after David dies, his son Solomon, becomes the king and his high officials are listed. Among those listed, two were sons of the prophet Nathan, one of which is described as the king’s friend. Nathan had to make some very difficult decisions, but no matter how difficult they were, he always decided to follow the plans that God had given to him and it resulted in two of his sons being among some of the most important and influential people in Israel at the time. God has an incredible plan for your life, but that plan starts with you choosing to follow God no matter how hard the decisions are to make.