Be watchful, power corrupts
PONDERING OVER THE VERSES OF PSALM 51 sends us back to look into the life of David from the time he was a mere shepherd to be chosen as Israel’s king. It makes us realise how true that power does corrupt.
King David was indeed blessed by God. He was given the position, power and together with it every blessing that God bestowed on him.
However, power corrupted David and led him to commit the sins of adultery and murder. For a moment he must have thought he was above all rules and the law. He had forgotten the holy God whom he worshipped. He had forgotten how from a shepherd boy he had been raised to the throne.
Prophet Nathan’s illustrative story is so powerful. It brought out the righteous anger of David. “He burned with anger” and called for punishment on the rich man who had bullied the poor peasant whose one and only ewe lamb he had robbed to feed his guest. But David’s anger turned to shame and sorrow when he faced the reality of the situation.
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes?”
If not for Prophet Nathan’s reminder of God’s presence, I wonder whether David would have sunk deeper into sin. Risking his life Nathan took courage to tell King David of his sin against God. Nathan’s courage saved the king from going farther away from his God and his plan for the Kingdom.
Do we identify ourselves in this story? Do we identify the attributes of King David or Prophet Nathan or the mean-spirited rich man within us? Then perhaps we could ponder over these questions.
Perhaps these thoughts will help us as we enter the season of Lent. It is important that we employ the disciplines of reflection and contemplation. Together with fasting, praying and almsgiving, let us take time to retreat and reflect on our lives. We need to contemplate and respond obediently to God’s Word.
The Church has lost many of these practices that were put in place to help us slow down in a fast-paced world. Let God’s voice be heard during this Lent season; come before Him, and repent and respond that God’s favour may rest upon us as it did with King David!
The Rev James Nagulan is the President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference.
“Risking his life Nathan took courage to tell King David of his sin against God. Nathan’s courage saved the king from going farther away from his God and his plan for the Kingdom.”