There are untouchables. People and people groups that are above reproach. No matter what happens, we can never call these groups to account for what they have done.
The Jewish people have often been persecuted. The holocaust and genocide are concepts linked in the minds of the people of earth. The holocaust was a genocide. Genocides are like the holocaust. Most people accept that the holocaust happened, and the majority of people would say that it was a bad thing in the history of the world.
The Jewish people were persecuted and murdered by the Roman Empire around the first century. They were taken captive by the Babylonians. They became a nation as slaves in Egypt. Somehow, they have managed to survive 4+ millenia of persecution and found themselves once again facing destruction at the hands of yet another empire during the 30’s and 40’s.
In a sense, the Jewish people have become untouchable. They are above reproach. I know that I was taught to believe that the Jews were God’s chosen people and as such they must be revered and protected. They must have a homeland, they’ve been blessed by God and to position yourself against the actions of Israel is to position yourself against God and his works.
The older I grow, the more willing I am to admit that I am a person who is full of contradictions. I am a person who has changed my mind, and will likely continue to change my mind. You could argue that I am a rudderless ship, or a blind person stumbling in the darkness.
Do I believe that the Jewish people were chosen by God and exist today because of his protection? Yes.
Do I believe that the favor of God means you are above reproach? No.
The Bible speaks of David the son of Jesse as being a man after God’s own heart. David. The little shepherd who was left behind when his brothers went to war. David. Who slew the giant Goliath when all others feared to even try. David. The musician who’s skilled playing calmed the king of Israel during fits of rage. David. The boy who married the daughter of the king of Israel for a bloody price. David. The same boy who grew up to become the future king’s best friend. David. Who mourned the death of the king that had called for his death, and the death of his son. David. Who became the 2nd king of Israel.
David lead the people of Israel successfully for many years. He encouraged them to worship God. His heart’s desire was to see a home built for his people, and for his God. He bemoaned living in a palace while his God was still in the tent built for him as they crossed the wilderness into the promised land. David the king was still a man after God’s own heart. David the king clearly had the favor of God, and was loved by many.
King David was so loved, that the strong men of Israel, instead of setting themselves against him and his efforts to be king, instead fell under his will, and were known as David’s mighty men. Those men who could have been squabbling or battling to take their place as leader of the kingdom instead humbled themselves to be servants of the king.
King David was a man who had it all, and had the blessing of God on his life. He had wives, children, money, property, and faithful servants. Who could deny him what he wanted? A king is untouchable. His rule is law. Anything goes and don’t you dare stand in the king’s way or you will feel the weight of the kingdom brought against you.
The day came when all that David had was not enough. He was not satisfied. He took the wife of one of his mighty men, slept with her, and then murdered her husband, Uriah. Uriah died on the battlefield, fighting for his king as the king’s commanders withdrew the men supporting Uriah.
The king was untouchable. What could anyone do?
Nathan was a prophet who listened to the voice of God. God told him that David had done wrong, and that David needed to repent. Everything in the life of David seemed to indicate that he had God’s favor. He was still a man after God’s own heart in the eyes of his people. Nathan found himself speaking against the king, alone. Nathan likely fully believed he would be killed for his message, but he knew that when he heard the voice of God, he had no choice but to speak the truth.
The message Nathan had for David was thus.
“And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought.
And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
David was furious at the rich man who, while having plenty, instead took from the poor man. When Nathan revealed that David himself was the rich man stealing from the poor man, David’s heart broke. He was caught. He was in the wrong. He sought God’s forgiveness.
The world needs Nathan’s. The world needs people who listen to God’s voice and who are not afraid to tell even God’s chosen that they are doing wrong.
I pray that we understand that no one is untouchable. I pray that we understand that a past filled with righteous deeds does not negate present sin. I pray that we open our hearts to the poor man whose children are dying, and that we stand up for them in whatever ways we can.