June 18: Accountability that is Preventative and Corrective

Read 2 Samuel 11:1-12:14

If you know even a bit about King David of the Old Testament, you may know two things:

  1. His model monarchy.  He is described as a man after God’s heart (1 Sam. 13:14), and he is assured that the Messiah would come through his lineage and reign on his throne (2 Sam. 7:16 cf. Lk. 1:32,33).
  2. His “Bathsheba blemish.”  What was likely intended to be a one night stand turned into one long nightmare that displeased God (11:27).

Thankfully, David had a caring friend named Nathan who was willing to potentially risk the relationship in order to call the king to accountability.  God used Nathan in bringing David to the point of repentance for his sin.  Thankfully, God forgave and continued to use this man!

But, while that kind of “call to repentance,” “confess your sins to one another” type of accountability is an important thing to have built into life, so is “preventative” accountability.  This kind of accountability sees a danger sign and addresses it before it gives rise to sin.  It may be part of a relationship that is agreed upon in advance, or it may also be the kind of concern that a person expresses for a fellow brother or sister in Christ just because he/she cares.

For example, what if…

  • Joab had asked David why he wasn’t also going to war?  After all, kings normally did that in the spring (11:1).
  • The messengers David wanted to send to get Bathsheba said, “This doesn’t look like a good idea!”?  I suppose they could have lost their jobs, but they likely knew what his intentions were.
  • Joab had sought clarification on why David was singling Uriah out to be killed in the line of duty?  I suppose I am underestimating the kind of unquestioned submission that should be offered to a king at that time, but Joab must have known that something was up.

David’s fall leads us to three important questions:

  1. Have I built preventative accountability into my life?
  2. Am I willing to speak up when I see danger signs in the lives of others?
  3. Can I humbly receive the expressions of concern that others might bring to me?

sbk