By: Zach Collins
Eliam was the father of a beautiful girl. Like any loving father, he nurtured and loved his daughter, watching her grow into a beautiful young lady. She married a good and honorable man who served in the King’s army. What else could Eliam have hoped for? He could have never seen the tragedy that would befall his life. As Eliam’s daughter and son-in-law were making a life together, the unexpected happened. One day, as her husband was serving at the pleasure of the King, men came into his home, took his wife, and brought her to the King which he served. Her honor was taken, in part of our own decision, and adultery was committed. Yet, the tragedy had only begun. The news that began a spiral of regrettable actions came to the King in the form of four words, “I am with child.” If the people, who once sang his praises, found out about his transgressions, they would turn their faces from him! So, the King who sat in the palace connived and strived to conceal his sin. He summoned her husband and made casual conversation with the man whom he had betrayed. He even sent her husband with a gift basket of food! Believing the King was an honorable man, the husband was none the wiser. One day, the King’s spiral of sin reached a pinnacle of mythical proportions. The King sat her husband in the forefront of the hottest battle, so he might be struck down and die. Now, the King was not only an adulterer but a murderer. Which one was worse? In the eyes of God, they were of equal consequence. Not only had the King betrayed Eliam’s son-in-law, but worst of all, he had betrayed the God who brought him out of the fields and into the palace where, with skillful planning, he had saturated himself in sinful behavior.
It appears as a fictional story. Yet, this is a real story. Do you remember this story in the Bible? Eliam’s son-in-law was Uriah, the King was David, and his daughter was Bathsheba.
This is one of the most popular biblical stories ever told. Yet, this time, the story was told through another man’s eyes. His name was Eliam. How did Eliam view David? Do you believe it was harder for Eliam to forgive David than us? After all, Bathsheba was his precious daughter and Uriah was the man whom he entrusted to care for his daughter. Yet, David had put his daughter in sin and his son-in-law in the grave. He also had to bury a grandson. The immorality of David’s actions brought tragedy to the life of Eliam and destroyed all that he held to be true.
I want to leave you with three thoughts.
1. Your sin affects others. Our sin looks much different through the eyes of another. Perhaps our hearts have been so hardened to the sin that it comes into our lives as second nature. Our sin not only affects the soul within but also those whom we hurt with our sin. The pain of sin touches every facet of our humanity. It’s why Jesus taught that death was preferable to hurting or causing others to sin (c.f., Matthew 18:6).
2. Forgiveness is difficult. Forgiveness is only easy until you have someone to forgive. I would imagine that it was difficult for Eliam to forgive David. Yet, David spent the rest of his life searching the depths of his heart to forgive himself. Forgiveness is a gift on God’s terms and, if I seek Him first, I can forgive others (c.f., Matthew 6:14-15).
3. Good can come from bad. On the surface, it appears as an oxymoron. However, if there is ever a truth demonstrated throughout the pages of the holy scriptures, it is that good can come from bad in the lives of those who love God (c.f., Romans 8:28). Eventually, in the birth of Solomon, Eliam would be given a new grandson and Israel would be given a new King, who would bring about much good during his reign.
Before you sin, always remember, our sin looks different through another man’s eyes.
August 23rd, 2023