You Are The Man
In our current culture, the expression, "You are the man!" is often used as an exclamation of praise--as a compliment. In the Bible, the expression is found only once, but it was not used as a compliment; rather, it was used as an exclamation of rebuke.

In II Samuel 12 we find the prophet Nathan being sent to David to confront him regarding his multiple sins linked to his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. In verses 1 through 4 we read: "Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: 'There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.'"

Hearing of this grievous injustice, "David's anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, 'As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.'" (II Sam. 12:5,6).

In response to David's anger and call for vengeance, Nathan declared, "You are the man!" and explained to David the depth and consequences of his transgressions before the Lord (II Sam. 12:7). David was undone. The truth hit David squarely in the face. David, who had been quick to anger and pass sentence on a man who took that which was not his, was the rich man of whom Nathan spoke.

Friends, how easy it is for us to be the same way. How easy it is for us to find fault with others or see their actions that are less than righteous. How easy it is to forget our own faults and turn a blind eye to our own sins, viewing them as trivial or not so bad. Jesus had this to say about the matter: "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matt. 7:3-5).

Dear listeners, we would do well to learn from David's mistake. We should never become so preoccupied with the deeds of others that we neglect to address our own sins before the Lord. We are responsible for our own salvation, and, when we stand before the Lord on the last day, we will answer for our deeds--not the deeds of others. Let us always make it a point to look inward at our own life more than we look outward at the lives of others.