7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:1-14)

This parable isn’t really about a rich man taking a poor man’s sheep; it’s about David taking another man’s wife and then killing him. Why the pretense? It appears that the Lord was letting David dictate his own punishment. Matthew 7:2 says, For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you..” This is what happened to David. He received what he gave.

David demanded the death penalty and much more. This man not only had to pay with his life but was made to make a fourfold restitution. This is what happened to David. His son had to die, and the sword of war would never stop pursuing him. More than that, evil arose in David’s own family and greatly afflicted him. David’s wives were taken from him, as he had taken Uriah’s wife, by his own son! And although David committed his sin privately, God executed His judgment publicly.

Praise the Lord for our superior covenant. God will not judge us the way He judged David. Jesus bore that judgment for us. However, there is still the principle of reaping what we sow. People treat us the way we treat them. If we’re harsh and unforgiving, then people will treat us that way. Those who show mercy receive mercy. (James 2:13)

You don’t have to learn everything the hard way; you can learn from other people’s mistakes and especially from the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16). In the meantime, it is always a good idea to show mercy and grace to those who fall short. Then, when you are the one who needs mercy and grace, someone will be there to give it to you.