“So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man and he said to Nathan: ‘ As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!”  2 Samuel 12:5

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged……”  Matthew 7:1

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” so the old saying goes.  If I’m willing to take my own medicine, am I not justified in forcing that medicine onto another I judge to be diseased or evil?  Let’s take a moment to look at this in a real life.

As we have read earlier, David is a king.  Great in victories, great in wealth, great in wisdom, great in popularity; loving of and loved by God.  He has it all; well…………..not exactly.  What he does not have is Bathsheba who he sees bathing next door.  He takes her, sleeps with her, impregnates her and to cover all that up, has her husband, in every respect a good and decent man, killed.

So now David should be feeling really terrible about himself.  David should have judged himself unworthy; confessed his crime which would have surely meant giving up the throne and most probably being stoned to death.  David, I’m sure you will judge rightly and do the honorable thing.  Hmmm, David?  Hello David? This not exactly what David does.

Scripture tells us that after Bathsheba’s husband is killed in battle (murdered, set up secretly by David), she goes through the mourning period and then David brings her into his palace to be his queen; seemingly as if nothing nefarious had happened.  But remember, God sees what others don’t.  God sees the heart.  God will not let this sin go.  There is a prophet in Israel named Nathan.  God sends Nathan to David.  Nathan has a plan.  Nathan does not come directly out and confront King David with his evil deeds.  No, Nathan wants King David himself to see and understand the disgusting treachery which he has committed against an innocent man.

Here’s where the judgement, and the danger of judging others comes into play.  For Nathan tells King David a story of two of his subjects.  One is meek, poor, innocent but a good man.  The other is a rich, vile, greedy, powerful man.  What’s interesting in the story is that the rich man did not kill the poor man.  But the rich man, who had flocks and flocks of wonderful sheep, takes the one lamb that the poor man has and kills and eats it instead of taking one from his own flock.  King David is outraged at the rich man’s greed, insensitivity and arrogant behavior against the poor man.  He pronounces the judgement, even invoking the Lord’s name within it:  This man shall die!

Nathan then springs the trap.  “David, you are that rich man!” Nathan tells him.  You are the one with riches and many lambs; in this case wives.  You saw a wife of another, a good man who had only one but who loved her dearly and you took her.  If that was not bad enough, you killed the husband to have her.  At least we can say this about David; when the veil is removed and it is shown to him, how evil he has acted, David does not try to bluff, bargain or excuse his way out of it.  David’s response?  “I have sinned against the Lord!”

Here’s the lesson for you and I, dear brothers and sisters.  David was so willing to judge the story of the two men.  He was so quickly ready to rein down devastation in righteous indignation to the rich man who had abused the poor man.  King David, who had many wives himself, but saw no real problem in killing to get just one more, who was not overwhelmed by guilt but continued on in his kingship, this same King David felt completely righteous in condemning another to the ultimate penalty for an offense lessor than his own.

David was far removed from being able to apply the same judgement to himself, that he would easily apply to others.  Wise was Jesus in talking about the planks of wood in our own eyes, versus the splinters in other people’s eyes. Wise was Our Savior in extolling us to first look to ourselves and leave the judging to the Only One who is perfect, who has nothing blocking His Vision in judgement.

Perhaps a final question you might ask is:  Are you saying that I should at least be judging myself?  Should I not be pronouncing a sentence of condemnation upon my own head for my own deeds?  Having sinned, should I not go through life under a cloud of judgement?  The devil might tell us to.  Yet Paul, through the Holy Spirit, answers us totally different.  We, who by the Grace of God, believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, are saved from condemnation and death by the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  If I am not and have no right to judge others; then I also have no right to judge even myself.  God has the right.  Our Heavenly Father has seen fit to be merciful as on He can.  Saving us from judgement to life ever lasting. Amen

So let it be that in response; we live a life in the spirit; attempting with all of our being not to sin.  Yet understand we are imperfect flesh and imperfect spirit and we will sin.  Others will sin.  Let us truly repent and urge others to do likewise.  Yet let us refrain from pronouncing any sort of judgement on others or ourselves.  Let love be our guide.  Let the Love, Mercy and Forgiveness, Our Heavenly Father shows to us daily, be the example we strive to live to each other.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have seen fit to respond to our sins’; our evil thoughts, words and deeds with mercy and forgiveness instead of the Judgement we deserve.  Thank you for the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ, that we may come blameless into Your Presence.  Give us the strength to avoid the temptation of judging whether it be others or ourselves.  That each day, by Your Example, we may live a life closer to sinless perfection.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen