Standing In The Gap Of The Real And Perceived
Well, Anthony Weiner‘s detractors wanted his head, and they got it. He is no longer a congressman. But what does Weiner owe us, the leering public, for the distraction he’s been?
I think we could take note again of King David. David reigned over the only theocracy ever set up by God in recorded history. As king, David was directly responsible for dispensing the leadership and judgment of God over the nation of Israel. Thus, his example of righteousness was supposed to be unparalleled among his people. Chosen personally by Yahweh to rule over Israel, David’s actions were almost unassailable. He was the King Arthur of Israel, a foreshadowing of the Messiah.
It is a fascinating footnote to history that when King David sinned in his impregnating adultery with Bathsheba, and his subsequent effective murder of her husband, he never asked forgiveness from Israel, whom he most certainly and sorely disappointed. Read the story for yourself. It’s all right there in the Bible, in the book of 2 Samuel. It’s the stuff of bestsellers, only 3000 years older, and, I believe, 100% blushingly true.
Weeks or months may have passed as King David enlisted his considerable court to cover up his despicable actions and cowardly killing of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, a faithful and trusting warrior of his king. King David may have thought he had gotten away with his betrayal. He had everything at his disposal to put it behind him. Bathsheba would have his child, and everyone outside of the cover up would believe it belonged to her dead husband. He had almost convinced himself that Yahweh would look the other way. And then he heard a knock on the door.
It was Andrew Breitbart, in a robe, carrying a staff. He was just cruising by, he said, and thought King David would enjoy a good story Breitbart had heard recently. King David was, of course, always game for a good yarn, being a storyteller and writer of sorts himself. And that was the beginning of the end of King David’s perfect crime, and perfect reign.
When the other shoe dropped, King David’s heart was ebullient, not with anger, but with guilt and sorrow, and fear. His predecessor, King Saul, had been abandoned by Yahweh and destroyed for far less. King David, called “a man after God’s own heart,” was busted. He had betrayed everything for which he stood, and condemned himself to death by his own standards. Somebody say, “Uh-oh.”
David’s response was simple and immediate. “I have sinned against the LORD.” That’s all. He didn’t ask forgiveness from his people, even though he was the representative of their interests before Yahweh. Nor did he ask the forgiveness of his aides, or his family, or his army. What did it matter? David knew his Benefactor intimately, and he knew, as the Pharisees and scribes later said right before Jesus forgave the sins of a lame man as a object lesson, “Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” Hmmm. I have to hand it to them. That was a good question.
David asked forgiveness of God alone, because in King David’s own words, recorded in Psalm 51, “against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.” King David asked the forgiveness of God alone because God, being blameless, was alone qualified to condemn him for his sin. God, as the author, arbiter, and sole standard-bearer of perfection, stands in a singular and rightful position to judge others. And so He does.
Tomorrow, we finish up our series on lessons we can learn from Mr. Weiner’s example. Who knows? If we take a closer look at ourselves right now, we may have better things to do next time.