THOU ART THE MAN Andy Hollifield 2-24-18
Matthew 18:12-13 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? (13) And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel,…
Most of us know the story of David and his lust and adultery with Bathsheba found in 2 Samuel 11. We also probably know how that in 2 Samuel the Lord sent the prophet Nathan unto David to, more or less, call him out for his sin. This wasn’t a sin that destroyed God’s love for David but it did temporarily destroy David’s fellowship with God. Isn’t it good to know that God loves us unconditionally? My dad was not always proud of some of the things that I did growing up but regardless of those moments of shame and sometimes downright embarrassment, he always loved me regardless of what I had done. There was a time when I put him in a position to where he had to decide between his love for me and his love for and the safety of the rest of the family. Needless to say, just as any good father would, he chose his entire family over the rebellious son. I left him no choice but even in that moment I knew he didn’t love me any less. I am thankful that is exactly how God is with us. We don’t always please him and certainly aren’t always obedient but I am always his son. David had, to quote an old saying, “gotten too big for his britches.” David had stayed home from battle when he should have been with his men, and by so doing wound up in the position he did on the rooftop. We never know what seemingly little, insignificant, decision we make is going to set in motion a life changing event. This was the case with David. I am sure that had he known all that was going to take place he would have never stayed home and if he had of, he would have never went up on the roof. It don’t always have to be a big thing that breaks our fellowship with God. James 1:14 says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” To be “drawn away” means to leave the place you are in. When we are drawn away by lust the result is that we leave the close place we are with God. He don’t leave us or disown us or anything like that but he loves us just as much as he always did but he can’t enjoy fellowship with us because of our sin. He didn’t love Adam and Eve any less after they sinned in the garden, but I am sure he was disappointed although he knew it was coming. That is the same way it is with us. When we fail to be obedient or to draw up close to the Lord, we are breaking that fellowship that we have with the Lord.
I guess by now that you are wondering why I even included the scripture in Matthew along with the title. The fact of the matter is that when we break that fellowship God does exactly the same thing as in Matthew 18. He comes searching for us because our fellowship has been broken and we are precious to him. He knows the dangers we subject ourselves to when we get away from him and his will. Those times when we go up on the housetop when we should be fighting the good fight of faith. David suffered the rest of his life because of the decisions he made in a matter of a few seconds of one evening. The evening when he was drawn away of his own lust and enticed because he had failed to do his duty before God and be where he should have been. He lost the child that was born to Bathsheba, he lost his own family due to the sins of rape, murder, incest, and jealousy. He saw some of his children die because of his sin. The child that died was at least nine months old and probably more because it was already born when God pronounced that it would die. Keep in mind that David was a man after God’s own heart. If God would judge him that harshly, then we know that because he is no respecter of persons, we will be judged with the same judgment. There is always a price to pay that is far higher than we can afford when God has to send word to us saying, “Thou art the man.”
I know this may not have been very encouraging so far but this is where it starts getting good. Look back up at the scripture in Matthew 18. Have you ever stopped to realize just exactly what God had to do to come to you when you have wandered off. He had to leave the ninety and nine. I know that God is all-knowing and all-seeing and is always present everywhere but to keep with the parable, he had to put all of the sheep at risk just to go find the one that had messed up and left the flock drawn away by sin. He left them because you were just as important as any of the 99 that were left in the fold. He wasn’t willing to let one perish even though you and I are not worthy of the least of his blessings and deserved the consequences of our actions. Although David got forgiveness when he repented, those consequences of his actions still had to be paid and so do mine and yours.
Getting back to talking about the effort God puts forth to rescue the lost sheep. Do you realize that at some point someone had to pray and study and wait for God’s timing before they even came and told you “Thou art the man.” That person had to get to the point that it didn’t matter whether you received them or not but they had a message that they were required by God to deliver to you. He put the flock on hold to take care of you and send the Holy Ghost to deal with your heart. Like the Squire Parson’s song says, “He came to me, he came to me, when I could not come to where he was he came to me.”
What about you? Is God trying to tell you “Thou art the man?” Do you need to repent and get back in the sweet fellowship with God that you once had? We were the very ones that put Christ on that cross. He had no sins of his own but he took on the sins of the whole world. Mine and your sins were what put him there but it was his love that held him there. You and I were one breath away from being lost without hope forever. “There were ninety and nine, but he left the fold to find, one little lost lamb and here I am.” When he comes for you, don’t hide but run into his arms and repent; to the loving embrace that you have so longed for and he has longed to be able to give you. He left the fold for you because “thou art the man/woman.” He thinks that much of you and loves you that much. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!