“Every greatness needs Nathan to survive. Without my Nathans, my journey would end on Delilah’s laps.”– The Rockdweller
Photo Credit: Samfalsafi
October seems to be my favourite month so far. She was loaded with so many good things and amazing experiences. The zenith of it was the extraordinary opportunity to spend time with a covenant friend, and partner in destiny. Daniel is a friend who has stuck closer than a brother for a decade now. Like many golden moments, having to see him hardly occurs except the gods permit it. When I am with Daniel, I go naked, yet unashamed: for better is one night in Daniel’s house than thousands elsewhere. Selah. On this phenomenal visit, while updating Daniel of some of my recent escapades, he jokingly hit me with this punchline “You be King Solomon without a Nathan na.” It got me like David’s sling on Goliath’s forehead. I paused for a moment then I popped out my question: “But why Solomon no get Nathan?”
“Who instructs and gives counsel to the wisest and greatest man on Earth?” Daniel asked.
Daniel is not just deep but he can also answer your question with another question yet, you will be satisfied. We laughed over it but it kept ringing in the tunnel of my soul. This thought kept haunting me like a wandering ghost so I decided to share after light study and deep meditations. I am aware it is quite a controversial topic which can be easily misunderstood and attract some attacks and argument, however, I will count it all joy if one soul is edified by this piece.
Who is a Nathan?
King David invited Prophet Nathan over to his palace a few times for counsel and consultation before taking serious decisions. Nathan walked into the palace most of the time without any formal invitation to speak to David about his dealings. He wasn’t invited during Bathsheba’s scandal but he appeared anyway and he exhumed the issue David thought he had buried. He cared less if the king’s ox is gored nor did he mind if the King was in the mood to discuss it or not. It was a very rude visit, intruding into the king’s privacy but that is how Nathans roll and you have to always keep the doors to your heart open to fully enjoy the treasures they carry. Without humility, it is impossible to keep your Nathans active. Sometimes, depression, frustration and endless silent cry is a sign that your Nathans are not functional. The absence of a Nathan in one’s life can cause loss of one’s sense of clarity and direction; when you silent your Nathan, your desperation becomes louder.
Photo credit: Nc_fit
I have traced the failure of many great men to the absence of Nathans in their lives. King Saul, for example, began to sink into depression, lost his direction by consulting what is popularly called Babalawo in local parlance when his Nathan (Samuel) decided not to visit again. When these angels leave your life, you will be pushed to the wall.
“Samuel (Nathan) never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned constantly for him. And the Lord was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel. 1 Samuel 15:35 NLT”
Solomon became derailed and eventually, embraced failure because he could not recognize his Nathan. David, on the other hand, did not lose any battle. Despite him being a huge bag of flaws and imperfections, God still tagged him ‘a man after his own heart.’ I strongly believe David could not have occupied such a special place in God’s mind if he had treated his Nathan like others did theirs.
Nathans are not necessarily your mentors, pastors or parents. However, they are authority figures in our lives. For those Church folks, Nathans are the prophetic department of your destiny. They are planted to cut down your excesses and ensure we always live within the code of honour. Like a gardener, they cut the branches that want to grow beyond the wall of probity. Nathans tell the oceans of your life they can only go this far, they draw boundaries around your life. They are not in your life to ensure you do what you like but what is right. They often understand their role in your life and the scariest part of it is that they can leave your life anytime if you don’t create enough room for them.
“And the Lord sent Nathan unto David.” 2 Samuel 12:1 KJV
Sometimes, Nathans are inconsiderate: they do not respect your privacy when they have to act. As much as they support you to win battles, they are the first to let you know when your victory clouds your judgment. I know what it means to have Nathans in my life (Daniel is one of them), I equally know how it feels to fill Nathan’s role in the life of a few. Nathan named Solomon at birth and he played a vital role in Solomon’s enthronement, but he was not part of his reign. Solomon had an encounter with the Lord and became the wisest and the most powerful man on the planet so he stopped seeing the need for Prophet Nathan… How sad!
Nothing can replace the ministry of a Nathan in the life of any great man; not getting married to the right woman, nor an encounter with God, nor impartation from men of God or even the volume of books one has read. From my personal experiences and general observations, men usually act below their wisdom gauge sometimes. I have found myself in some shit that I had to beat myself up like ‘Boy you sure know better than this!’. I am convinced that I am not the product of my own wisdom; the results in my life have more to do with the Nathans around me than my peanut-sized brain.
Eventually, Solomon became confused, clueless and depressed. In fact, he drank to stupor and fed himself to constipation. He wrote the entire Ecclesiastes in his depressed state. Nobody describes King Solomon better than one of my favourite authors, Mark Atterbery who called Solomon the ‘wisest fool’ of all times.
His encounter with God didn’t deter him from being one of the most wicked leaders in history. The economy of Israel crashed under his leadership because of his selfishness and an unquenchable appetite for possessions. He afflicted his people with tax, silenced his Nathans and exported their resources, living larger than life at the expense of his people. He is the Biblical role model of most African leaders.
“When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt, for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. Your father was a hard master, they said. Lighten the harsh labour demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.” 1 Kings 12:2-4 NLT
Under his leadership, renowned men such as Jeroboam who ought to be his Nathan fled to Egypt on exile. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 strippers, thousands of exotic whips and toys nevertheless, his people wallowed in deprivation. He was a harsh master and wicked leader. He had a great father who had worked with God, he had an encounter with God, he was impacted with wisdom by God himself yet he lived like monster amongst men. He swam in foolishness because his Nathan was on exile.
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