Today’s Scripture: And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man… 2 Samuel 12:5-7

The rich man had a dilemma. An old friend had just unexpectedly arrived for a visit. The rich man needed to prepare a late meal to feed his friend. However, he desperately wanted to protect his bottom line; he didn’t want to sacrifice any lambs from his own flock for dinner. His thoughts drifted to his neighbor, who had only one little lamb. The neighbor treated the lamb like one of his own family. It was a precious and valuable lamb, but it would sure make a good meal. The rich man put his plan into action.

As the prophet Nathan told this story, the anger inside King David rose steadily. When Nathan described the rich man taking the neighbor’s precious little lamb, David could no longer contain his rage and exclaimed, “This man must die, and the lamb must be restored four-fold!”

Nathan bravely declared, “Thou art the man.”

Not only had David’s wicked sin of murder and adultery been revealed, but his self-righteousness also had shown forth. Sometimes, we need someone to come to us and say, “You are the guilty one.” When that happens, how do we respond? Do we respond with denial or anger, or do we confess what we’ve done and admit that it is a problem? I truly believe the only reason that God continued to use David was because of his response to Nathan. He admitted, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

No cover up, no excuses, just “I did it.” While David is still called a man after God’s own heart, he had to pay some serious consequences. If we think that we can live any way that we want and still have God’s blessing in our lives, then we are very mistaken.

The bottom line is the seriousness of self-righteousness. David could not have had God’s forgiveness if he had not admitted his sin and guilt. Believer, do like David did, and ask God to search your heart and see if there is any wicked way in you. Ask God to deliver you from the sin of self-righteousness.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.