Contemplating History

By Joanne Sher

A man – jaw set, countenance firm – looked out in the distance
contemplating history, recalling events of the past.

They said they loved the Lord, that God was their Father.
Yet Adam and Eve disobeyed, eating of the forbidden tree.

And the man pursed his lips.

He said he would follow God, that he trusted His direction.
Yet Abraham bedded Hagar to sire a son his own way.

And the man cringed.

They praised the Lord for miracles, declaring their devotion to Him.
Yet the Israelites built an idol in the desert, bowing low to a calf of gold.

And the man wept.

He said he would rule for God, that he would lead His people righteously.
Yet Saul took power into his own hands, offering an unholy, forbidden sacrifice.

And the man clenched his fist.

He said that God was his shepherd, that the Lord would meet his every want.
Yet David sent a man to his death to satisfy his own lust.

And the man sighed.

He said he wanted Godly wisdom, that he would serve Him only.
Yet Solomon took wives by the hundreds, and followed each of their gods.

And the man shook his head.

He was a prophet of the Most High, speaking His pronouncements far and wide.
Yet Jonah turned from Ninevah and entered the great fish’s belly.

And the man bowed his head.

They praised God with singing, celebrating their return to the land.
Yet the remnant neglected His temple, letting its gates disintegrate.

And the man closed his eyes.

They taught God’s Word to the masses, rebuking those who defied their authority.
Yet the Pharisees hated His Son, and worked to destroy Him.

And the man grit his teeth.

He marveled at Christ’s miracles, following and speaking for Him.
Yet Judas betrayed Jesus, sending Him to death with a kiss.

And the man grimaced.

He said he would never leave Jesus, declaring Christ was the Son of God.
Yet Peter turned his back on Him, denying Him thrice in one night.

And the man scanned the crowd.

They said they were God’s chosen, following His laws and precepts.
Yet the crowd rejected God’s Son, condemning Him to death on a cross.

And the Man examined His hands and feet.

“It is finished,” He cried, and He gave up His spirit.
At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

**
Based on Genesis 3 and 16, Exodus 32, 1 Samuel 13, 2 Samuel 11, 1 Kings 11, Jonah 1, Nehemiah, and the four Gospel accounts.

The direct Bible reference is taken from John 19:30 and Matthew 27:50b-51.

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