The prophet Nathan received a difficult mission from God, which demanded a great deal of courage. Nathan was told to confront King David and make him realise the gravity of his sins of adultery and murder and call him to repentance. Prudently, and with a great deal of ingenuity, Nathan prepared the king by telling him the parable of the selfish rich man. David fell into the trap and by condemning the rich man he condemned himself. Imagine the shock when he heard the word of God through Nathan say: “You are the man!”
These words were more than a condemnation, for they contained within them the grace needed for repentance, to which David quickly responded by admitting: “I have sinned against the Lord.” That was all God wanted to hear and he immediately forgave David. David had no excuse for his sin, for when his greed led to adultery and murder it was understandable that God would call him to account.
What this episode tells us is that while God doesn’t ignore sin, he is always eager to grant forgiveness. He condemns sin only so that the sinner may repent, no matter how bad the sin may be. The sinner is one who is sinking in the dark waters of his own selfishness. Does it matter to God that a sinner is about to drown? Of course it does. As surely as Our Lord brought peace to the troubled waters, so will the Father, through his Son, bring peace to the troubled heart of the sinner who repents.