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By James Vasquez
A kingdom had been promised me,
And on the royal throne,
I was to take my place just as,
My father’s words made known,
"As surely as the Lord does live,
This son shall one day reign,
And after me, shall rule the land,
From town to distant plain."
And thus it was fulfilled that day,
Midst shouts and trumpet’s blare,
I was anointed solemnly,
And thence the crown would bear.
This charge my father duly gave,
That he might thereby lend,
A good beginning to my rule,
And then a blessed end.
"Be strong and show yourself a man,
Abjuring wealth and fame,"
His words fell keenly on my ears,
For David was his name.
"And walk in all the ways of God,
When many join, or few,
For then, as written in the Law,
‘It shall go well with you,’
"And for all time twill be fulfilled,
Nor e’er will be unknown,
A man from my own progeny,
To sit upon the throne."
And also did he give to me,
Of certain men, their name,
Who were, for what they’d done to him,
Of ill and spiteful fame.
He said that I by wisdom led,
Should take account of them,
And offer what their deeds deserved, -
Perhaps a requiem.
But others who had served him well,
A kindlier prize deserved,
A place among my dinner guests,
Might be for them reserved.
And saying this my father died,
He took his place with those,
Among his kin who went before,
And in their graves repose.
My kingdom was established well,
But ere I tell its fame,
A word about my mother, now,
And whence my birth I claim.
Bathsheba was she called and thus,
A "child of oath" was she,
Which may explain just why she was,
As lovely as could be.
But beauty was not all she had,
For truthfully I say,
Her intervention did assure,
I wear the crown today.
For she, with Nathan, man of God,
Addressed King David and,
My right to reign as king was then,
Proclaimed throughout the land.
Yes, others had disputed that,
I was the next in line,
And, scheming, sought to thus ensure,
The throne would ne’er be mine.
Now from the first ‘twas plainly seen,
As king I was no dunce,
For I was crowned, anointed and,
Began my rule at once.
And then one night I had a dream,
The Lord said he would grant,
My one request as I set out,
My kingdom thus to plant.
Now wisdom did I ask of him,
To govern as I should,
And he was pleased I asked for this,
Of all the things I could.
He said that wisdom would be mine,
And lavish wealth, as well,
And honor, too, bestowed on me,
Beyond what one could tell.
Indeed, among the kings of earth,
With whom a throne I shared,
In glory, riches and in fame,
Not one could be compared.
Long life was also promised me,
And health to crown my days,
But this he then required of me,
To walk in all his ways.
I built for him a temple grand,
Of ample, finest gold,
And cedars, too, from Lebanon,
Majestic to behold.
And when it finally stood complete,
It was a wondrous sight,
They came from everywhere to praise,
Its grandeur and its height.
We dedicated then to God,
This house of prayer and song,
And asked that he within would dwell,
Forgiving all our wrong,
Though well we knew that works of man,
Our God could ne’er contain,
Nor would the earth itself suffice,
Nor even heav’n’s domain.
A handsome palace, too, I built,
Quite worthy of my reign,
And lavishly I furnished it,
For all my royal train.
The wall around Jerusalem,
I had my men complete,
So armies from a foreign land,
This bulwark first would greet.
And I determined early as,
My nation’s fate evolved,
To follow in God’s statutes and,
In this I was resolved.
I showed I truly loved the Lord,
Those glorious, pristine years,
Attending well to all he said,
As one who closely hears.
I did, of course, allow one thing,
That caused, at first, some doubt,
I offered sacrifice upon,
High places round about.
But then I thought this lapse of mine,
Would have no consequence,
I’d done so much to honor God,
It needed no defense.
My kingdom prospered greatly and,
Its glory was untold,
My ships from distant ports returned,
Well-stocked with things of gold.
My armies were victorious,
And revenue I gained,
From nations near and far as they,
Beneath my power remained.
And truly, as the Lord had said,
No king had e’er compared,
And guests from all the world came,
To see how I had fared,
My courts, my buildings, chariots,
And wealth till then unknown!
The lions that surrounded me,
My gold and ivory throne,
With mouths agape they wondered then,
At all there was to see,
And leaving as in disbelief,
They offered gifts to me.
The Queen of Sheba also came,
And sought her doubts to quell,
About the things that she had heard,
Before she bid farewell.
And with a caravan as vast,
As any I had seen,
She journeyed to Jerusalem,
With pomp and regal mien.
But treasures were not all she brought,
For questions filled her mind,
And one by one I answered them,
While we conversed or dined.
"Now praise to God," she finally said,
"For he has made you king,
And all who hear your prudent words,
Of your great wisdom sing.
"The half, in truth, I had not heard,
Of all your glories and,
More fortunate your people are,
Than those in any land."
But was my wisdom, all in all,
The thing I needed most,
To walk in God’s most holy ways,
And in his will to boast?
For now I tell you of my wives,
I married quite a few,
Though this was not uncommon for,
A mighty king to do.
But I, to make alliances,
For wives did search abroad,
And cared not what they worshipped or,
If they had faith in God.
And then to please them I set up,
High places where they might,
Find opportunity to kneel,
Before their gods of night.
And Israel thus was led astray,
By my own faithlessness,
And soon I found my state was such,
God could no longer bless.
For with the many I was found,
Who offered sacrifice,
To Molech, Chemoth, Ashtoreth,
And that did not suffice,
For bowing low before these gods,
In worship taking part,
I wandered far from Israel’s God,
And turned away my heart.
Now from that time God was displeased,
He’d done so much for me,
But gods who were no gods I sought,
And to them bent my knee.
And dare I say my wives had wrought,
This change within my heart?
Were they the reason that I turned,
And did from God depart?
Nay, I had twice now heard the Lord,
When he appeared and spoke,
I bear alone the consequence,
For each command I broke.
"Your kingdom will be torn away,"
The Lord to me then said,
"And to a lowly underling,
It will be giv’n instead.
"Yet for the sake of David and,
Jerusalem I’ll give,
A single tribe your son to rule,
As long as he may live."
The Lord has not his voice made known,
Since this foreboding word,
But things will come to pass, I’m sure,
Just as from him I heard.
And forty years I reigned as king,
Quite wisely, all could see,
But wisdom by itself was not,
What God required of me.