*After requesting a private audience with King David, Nathan took a deep breath before entering the king’s quarters. Deep furrows lined his forehead. “God, help the king to understand the seriousness of this moment. His future and that of his beloved Israel lie in his hands.”
“Welcome, Nathan. What is so urgent that it can’t wait until morning? You look like you haven’t slept in days.” King David said as Nathan walked across the sitting room to greet his king.
Bowing before King David, Nathan spoke, “Well, yes, there is something deeply troubling me and I thought you might be able to advise me.”
“By all means, Nathan, speak what’s on your mind.”
“Yes, sire. It seems there were two men in one city…”
Picking up the hand mirror, the wealthy man stroked his pointy beard turning just so to get a good look at his profile. “You handsome devil,” he cooed to himself, “rich looks quite debonair on you.”
Everyone knew he was a self-made man. Growing up poor he had made a vow to one day be rich. He had kept that vow even though it cost him many friendships and his reputation along the way. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the entire nation of Israel was experiencing its golden years under the leadership of King David. Peace had finally come enabling those with enough gumption to pursue things such as riches and pleasures.
“Sir, you have company downstairs,” a servant yelled through the bedroom door. “The man said he has traveled a long way to see you about some important business matters.”
“Very well, tell him I’ll be down shortly,” the wealthy man said. Moving his eyebrows up and down, he admired himself one more time before reluctantly putting the mirror down.
The traveler turned out to be someone who was interested in establishing lucrative business dealings with him. “Let’s celebrate with a scrumptious meal, my new friend. In fact, I will personally select the best lamb for the feast.”
Requesting that the shepherd bring him the fattest of the lambs, he was disappointed as he rejected one lamb after another. “A fatted lamb. Do you not understand the meaning?”
“Yes sir, but it is too early in the season to find anything plump. It’s not like I can hand feed the entire flock like your neighbor does with his pet lamb. Now that one is ready for the fire pit.”
Turning towards his neighbor’s land, he sneered. “I never did like that man. It’s embarrassing to live next door to that run down house and land of his. There’s no excuse for poverty during such a time of prosperity. A fatted lamb did you say? I’ll never understand why folks want to keep sheep as pets. Ridiculous practice if you ask me!”
Without any remorse the rich man ordered a servant to steal the lamb from where it was grazing. He had it killed and a wonderful feast was prepared for his new-found business friend.
“This lamb is delicious,” declared the visitor. “You do have the magic touch. Finding lamb chops this succulent in the spring is indeed a miracle. Here’s to doing business with you.”
Wine cups clinked.
The sudden pounding at the door startled both men. “Who could that be?” the homeowner demanded.
Bending from the waist down, a servant interrupted the meal. “Sorry to disturb you, sir, but your neighbor is here inquiring about his lamb.”
Without waiting for permission to enter, the neighbor ran into the dining area. He stopped and stared at the meat lying on the platter in the middle of the table. He didn’t even try to hide his pain as tears fell down his face and drenched his beard.
“How could you do this to my family? You have flocks of sheep. That,” he said while pointing to the platter, “was our one and only lamb. My children are devastated about the loss of their precious Snowflake.”
“Snowflake?” sputtered the rich man.
“That was her name. You are an evil man. May God deal with you in the same way you dealt with our dear pet.”
King David’s face grew red as he faced Nathan. Running his finger across his throat he yelled, “Who is this fiend? Kill him for what he did to this poor man’s lamb.
Looking King David right in the eyes Nathan boldly declared, “Sire, YOU are the man!”
*Fictional retelling of a true biblical event found in 2 Samuel 12:1-10.
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