King David’s Lament

I slowly dipped the pen into the ink as I was considering the words that would become my alibi.

A drop of ink fell to the ground as if it were a drip of blood from my broken heart.

Uriah – one of  my very own mighty men of valor – his life has been on the line for the best in me, and he was about to die for the worst in me.

My eyes fell from the parchment to the floor upon which he slept.  I tried to get him to go home.  I tried to make this easy for both of us.  

I saw him as quiet as a sabbath morning, resting, preparing for his next battle.

That was his last night in a king’s palace.  It was his last opportunity to embrace his bride.

“My Lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I…”  Those words became his crowning glory.

She was beautiful.  As I stood on that roof looking down, I thought it would be worth whatever it cost.  Just one night. Just one. Just…

How could I know the brokenness wrapped up in this one hasty decision to call her in?

How could I know that a man would die at the altar of my selfish appetite?  Not just any man – Uriah.

She resisted.  I couldn’t.  That part of me that materialized from the pit of Sheol the day another glorious woman took the fruit in the Garden seemed too much to resist.

It felt like the blood of a thousand spotless lambs couldn’t cover the shame of the words that spilled out from the tip of that writing tool that day.

But I couldn’t stop myself.  Those words seemed to be my only hope to save my pride… my dignity… my honor.

“Joab,”

My hands were shaking. I could hardly get the words to fall on the parchment.

“…put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest.”

How could I?  I was a man after God’s own heart.  How could I?

“Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and…”

Had I lost my mind?  Was I mad?

“…and die.”

I watched her eyes as the horse galloped through the city gates.  She had no idea that he was coming to announce that her beloved was dead.  As the pages of this tragedy were slowly opened, she fell to her knees and screamed.  Her tears flooded my soul with pain.  Those screams rang in my ears deafeningly proclaiming my guilt.  

King Davids Lament
“King David Playing the Harp” by Gerard van Honhorst – 1622

I considered taking my own life in payment for his.  One for one… an eye for an eye.  That notion was never stronger than the day my faithful prophet leaned over and whispered in my ear, 

“The man is you.”

Exposed.  Ripped open for all to see.  I can’t imagine how I made it through the following days.  Months later he was born.  Seven days and death snatched up the son of that sin.  The window of hope that allowed me to peer into a future worth living was framed by Nathan’s words, 

“The Lord has taken away your sin.”

How could He?  And if so, how could I ever acquit myself?

It took time to learn to stand on the truth that it is not what we do or do not do that merits His love, but in our identity as His beloved.  Brokenness followed us in the years to come.  I had to force myself to believe the scandalous proclamation of innocence he pronounced over me.  

It will take you some time too.  

When the antagonist looks you straight in the eye and says that you are used up and good for nothing, you’ve got to fall to your knees, throw your arms tightly around the feet of Abba and believe with every ounce of energy in you that it’s not what others say about you or even what you think about yourself.  Just as he flung his Word at the speed of light straight from Heaven and thundered, 

“Let there be light!”  He speaks over you.

The light of a million torches flamed into existence and lit up a void of darkness that we cannot comprehend.

That same voice, with that same magnitude, declares with an assurance that cannot be matched by a thousand noble men,

“Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

“It is finished.”

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