Muted sunlight filters through an open window in the north corridor. The rays cast an eerie shadow on the mosaic floor. Ornate carvings and golden fixtures indicate a fine display of wealth and prosperity, but tangible grief seems to linger in the air. The echo of children's laughter ceased long ago. Now, the only evidence of life is a soft rustling sound from behind a latched door at the end of the hallway.
David spends most of his days alone in his room; a recluse with no desire for company. Today, he seeks solace as he examines his sheet music. He thumbs through thick stacks of papyrus, intermittently jotting down notes...
~ For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David... Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.1
~ For the director of music. For flutes. A psalm of David... Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my sighing.2
~ For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David... O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.3
Suddenly, the king pauses. A lone tear cascades down his cheek. Painful memories flood his conflicted soul. He ponders the cost of sin. He remembers all too well the day the Prophet confronted him with a cryptic message, "You are the man!"
David admitted his sinful behavior. He fully confessed his act of adultery and premeditated murder. Then, the word of the Lord pierced his heart... “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”
David felt as if someone punched him in the stomach. For seven long days he appealed for God's mercy. He fasted and prayed, willing to take full responsibility for his sin. The zeal of his supplication frightened his servants so much that nobody wanted to deliver the news of his son's death. Stirred by their whispers David asked if the boy was gone. Afterwards, he accepted God's judgment. He arose from his grief, bathed and worshiped the Lord.
After the baby died, David realized his sinful behavior seriously impacted his beloved sons—Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah—all of them stumbling head first into debilitating sin. Amnon raped his sister, Absalom vengefully murdered Amnon, and Adonijah suffered the consequences of unchecked pride. Each son's tragic death further crushed David's fragile heart.
David drew a sharp breath. Sorrowful memories are not his forte. He abandons his music for a moment, battling the anguish within. He frantically paces the floor, crying out to the Lord for refuge from the storm.
Jolted back to the present, David wipes tears from his eyes and returns to his music. He scrutinizes the lyrics and the melody. David believes deep within his heart that God's grace covers a multitude of sin, and as he scribbles a prophetic notation, he begins to worship the Lord again...
~ For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David... I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.4
Story adapted from 2 Samuel and 1 Kings
1 Psalms 4:1
2 Psalms 5:1
3 Psalms 6:1
4 Psalms 9:1
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