Nathan didn’t come on his own; he was sent by God: “Then the LORD sent Nathan to David.” I think the most important word in that sentence is the first one, “then.” God’s timing is absolutely incredible.
When was he sent? Right after the act of adultery? No. Right after Bathsheba said, “I am pregnant”? No. Right after he murdered Uriah? No. Right after he married Uriah’s pregnant widow? No. Right after the birth of the baby? No. It’s believed by some Old Testament scholars that there was at least a twelve-month interval that passed before Nathan paid the visit. God waited until just the right time. He let the grinding wheels of sin do their full work, and then He stepped in.
To be totally honest with you, there are times when I really question the timing of God. Times when I just don’t know why He’s so slow to carry out what I think He ought to do. But every time I have looked back in retrospect, I have seen how beautifully He worked out His plan, how perfectly it had come to pass. God not only does the right thing; He does the right thing at the right time.
In confronting someone in his sin, the timing is as important as the wording. Most importantly, you need to be sure that you’re sent by God. Nathan was.
In his sin, David had despised the God he served. Now, as a result of that sin, in days and years to come, David would experience grief within his own household.
Thus says the LORD, “Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.” (2 Samuel 12:11–12)
Whew! Talk about the consequences of sin. David sits there with his mouth still open, leaning back, perhaps staring at the ceiling, listening to the voice of God from Nathan.
David, realizing he was absolutely guilty, admitted without hesitation, “I have sinned. I’ve sinned against the Lord.” With that admission, restoration began.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.