On Brock and Dan Turner, Judge Persky, and the need for a prophet.

In CS Lewis’ Space Trilogy Lewis constantly says that sin is like being “bent.” It’s not that we are broken, for if we were completely broken we would be useless and beyond hope. But, we are constantly and completely “bent.”

The last week has been one of those seasons which proves just how bent the world really is. The news that broke the other day about Brock Turner and his very light six month prison sentence was one more piece of evidence for  just how messed up and sad the world can be. 

So, as I was trying to sort through all my feelings, I found myself at my usual bible study and we read the first lesson that is appointed for this Sunday, 2nd Samuel 11:16-12:10:

When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.

But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “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.”

Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “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.”

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.

Thinking about all that has happened, I realized that our world is in desperate need of a Nathan. We are in desperate need of a person who can speak truth and get people to realize what David realized; “he had no pity.”

Judge Persky needs a Nathan. Not so that Nathan can support the recall vote or write a brilliant op-ed that details his failings. No, Judge Persky needs a prophet that can get him to realize “he had not pity.”

Brock Turner needs a Nathan. He needs a prophet, someone that can speak truth to him and get him to realize that he was given so much and yet still he “despised the word of the Lord” and has done evil in God’s sight.

Dan Turner needs a Nathan. He needs a prophet that can speak truth to get him to realize that he also “had no pity.”

Men, in this country and in others, need a Nathan. We need someone who can look us in the eye and say “we have all been given so much and yet we still try and take more and more.” That taking  and desire for more and more kills people. It’s impossible to read the victim’s statement and not realize that even though there was no physical death a death still happened.

We need a Nathan. A prophet who can get us to see truth and realize the truth. A prophet who not just speaks the truth, but also gets Judge Persky, Brock, Dan, and our culture to admit what we have done. As the story says later:

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

That is why we need a Nathan. We need a prophet who can speak the truth so convincingly that we cannot help but be convicted.

We need a prophet.

Later in the story Nathan will respond to David this way:

Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.”

The Bible is hard sometimes. And, because the people of God have usually believed it is better to attribute something to God rather than to chance, some very hard things get attributed to God. The point is this though: God may put away our sin, but the death that comes from sin doesn’t go away. David will spend much of the rest of his reign fighting. Fighting his own sons. Death will happen because sin happens.

Yet, God remains faithful to David. Jesus will come from David. Resurrection will come from Jesus and God’s faithfulness to David.

As CS Lewis said, our world is very bent. So bent it seems beyond repair. Yet, God remains faithful. To our bent, and seemingly broken world, God remains faithful.

We need a prophet; a Nathan. Someone who not just speaks the truth, but makes us see the truth and realize the truth. Someone who makes us realize that what has happened is evil in God’s sight.

And, someone who tells us that what has happened and is happening is killing people.

And, someone who reminds us that God remains faithful.

One comment

  1. I love the words you speak Pastor Dave. Such a great thinker and believer and an inspiration to your flock.

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