By Diane Virginia

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

David, CEO of a nationally recognized company, had established an experienced leadership team through the years, so he decided to take an extended vacation. The company had some new projects they were working on, but he thought he deserved the reprieve. Surely his team could carry on without him for a while.

“I’ll vacation for four weeks,” David announced to the Board. He discussed the necessary arrangements, making sure they knew his decision was final, and commissioned them. They were to make certain the operation functioned flawlessly during his absence.

*          *          *

David’s vacation finally came. He had preparatory meetings with his men, mentored each of them on the new projects, and set priorities for the team to accomplish during his absence. At the close of the day, he packed his laptop and started toward the elevator.

Suddenly, David stopped. He felt sick to his core, but why? His team recognized his hesitancy to depart right away.

“David, we can handle this,” John said. “Go!”

The other leaders agreed. David relented, shook each leader’s hand one last time, and continued toward the elevator.

*          *          *

As David stepped into the lobby, his driver, Jerome, greeted him. David followed him outside. Jerome opened the door of David’s Tesla.

“Home, sir?”

“Hum,” David replied, his mind drifting, still questioning his decision to leave.

As the city streets broadened to four lanes, and the decorative scrolled street lamps were replaced with luminous cement towers, David realized why he regretted his decision. He hadn’t prayed about it: he had simply decided to treat himself to the reprieve. It was a well deserved reward, but was the timing right?  A whole month, he thought. What was I thinking?

David placed his hand on Jerome’s shoulder, “First and Concord.”

“But sir, you just came from First and…”

“Turn around, now!” David insisted.

“Yes sir,” his driver said, turning the Tesla around. “How fast do you want me to…?”

“Floor it.”

“With pleasure, sir,” Jerome replied.

As soon as they reached the office complex, David scrambled to exit the Tesla. Jerome, delighted with his driving performance, never got an opportunity to open David’s door.

“I’ve always wanted to know how much power she had,” Jerome said.

David didn’t hear him; he had already bolted toward the elevator.

*          *          *

When the elevator door opened to the executive penthouse, David said nothing. He didn’t have to. His men, who had gathered around the elevator, riddled him with questions.

“David! We’re surprised to see you,” Alan said sarcastically. “Did you enjoy your vacation? Let’s see–it’s been a whole fifteen minutes.”

“We placed bets as to how far you’d get,” Joe added.

“So, did you get past Tenth Street?” Stephen asked, chuckling.

David looked down.

“Ha! I get the fifty!” Brian said, grabbing money from a dish. He unfolded the fifty dollar bill and fanned his face with it.

“You’ve trained us well,” John said. “Let us prove that to you.”

“Trust us. We’ve got this,” Curtis said.

David stepped back into the elevator, and with six men pushing on his back, he really didn’t have a choice. Joe and Brian stepped in with him, ‘to make sure he got into his Tesla.’

*          *          *

When the elevator doors opened to the lobby, Joe addressed David’s driver. “Jerome, make sure ‘Mr. CEO’ gets to his estate.” Joe snatched a bill from Brian’s hand. “Here’s a fifty to make sure he does.”

“Hey, that’s my fifty!” Brian complained.

“Thank you, sirs, I will,” Jerome said, quickly pocketing the bill.

David reclined into the leather seat of the Tesla. “Circle the building.”

“Should I drive slow, sir?”

“Crawl. I want to remember what she looks like.”

*          *          *

David would vacation at home. That way he’d be close to work–just in case. Besides, his estate had the finest amenities, so it seemed like the perfect arrangement. He called his hilltop home his “castle.” Even though it was situated just outside the heart of the city, it was an oasis to him. David could watch the hustle and bustle of city life from his balcony, while enjoying the seclusion of his mansion in the heights.

David dedicated the first part of his vacation to working on his cars. He hummed a new tune while tightening a radiator hose on his Shelby. He reached for a wrench. That’s when he noticed his guitar resting in the corner of his garage. It would be nice, he thought, to compose a song again. Words for the melody started to form in David’s mind. I should write those lyrics down, he thought as he wiped grease off a rear of his Fiat. David tuned the engine and bled the brakes on his Cobra. It was hard work, but he was happy to do it. Music again started to take shape in David’s mind. He began to hum the tune. Pray now, David heard in the recesses of his spirit.

“Later, God,” David mumbled in protest. He continued to work on his cars.

Satan smiled….

David washed the grease off his hands and retreated to his balcony. He wanted to sip on a beverage, and, although it seemed trivial, he longed to watch a sunset. He knew the Lord was talking to him, but he suppressed the thoughts. The melody gradually slipped away.

Satan shot his first projectile. David was unaware.

It was a beautiful evening. The air was crisp and clean. The reds and blues of the setting sun painted the surrounding homes in a deliciously dreamy color palette. As sunset gave way to twilight, lights flickered in the residences. They were like randomly appearing gems. David began to play games as to which homes would light up next. He giggled as some he guessed correctly while others he missed outright. Suddenly, David caught a glimpse of a gorgeous woman, bathing herself. David gasped. She’d beautiful, he thought, but I should look away. It was a war between flesh and spirit.

Satan chose his sharpest arrow. He checked the tension on his bow and aimed at David’s mind. The arrow hit its mark and stuck fast.

David found himself watching the entire bath. He imagined the lady’s perfume. He looked intently at her form. David watched the woman towel-dry, dress, and lie down for bed. David watched until her form was no longer visible. Then, David watched her silhouette in the recesses of his mind, the visual imagery taking shape in his imagination. Songwriting was no longer on his mind….

Satan grimaced, tightening his bow as if it was an instrument. He shot again.

David began to entertain thoughts. He tried to shake them off, but they kept coming, as if they had a life of their own. Soon, David found himself secretly devising schemes to sleep with the woman. Conflicting thoughts tore at his subconscious. God, I should pray to You, he thought. But instead, he entertained lustful desires.

Satan’s grimace widened, “I’m a self-made man,” he said, shooting another projectile toward David.

It was a fitful night’s rest, but David finally did fall asleep. Before dawn, he had mastered a deceitful scheme. He knew just how he would proposition the woman without being discovered. What harm will come out of a little sex? David reasoned. He had become an adulterer of the mind.

David phoned a buddy to inquire the identity of the lady. His friend disclosed her name. David now knew full well that the darling whom he lusted after was married–and her husband was a new hire, employed by David’s company. he knew all about the man–his salary, his work ethic, and even his hobbies. David knew he could order his phone buddy around so he pulled him in on a scheme. Then he paid off this go-between in order to assure his silence. At David’s bidding, his friend arranged an excuse for the lady to meet David at his estate the very next evening. Surely, she would think it was work related, since he had recently sent her husband on a business trip. This is going to be easier than I thought, David mused. The trap was set.

The trap was set for David….

Satan folded his arms, propped his feet on a smoldering cinder, and watched his victim tumble further into transgression.

David had never before entertained thoughts of having an affair, but now his mind was running helter-skelter. If only he’d looked away, turned his chair, gone inside, composed a song. If only! But he had not, and he did not want to stop now! The passion of lust had replaced Spirit-led living. The rational mind was cooking up some wicked schemes that David was entertaining with a passion.

David had his dialogue polished and ready to try out. “Is it difficult when  your husband leaves you all alone? I’m here. Trust me to meet your needs…My, what a lovely dress! You have a beautiful smile….”

David had become a marionette on a string, and Satan was the puppeteer.

The knock at the door came. David opened the latch and smiled. It was Showtime! he would possess his woman! Sure enough, before the evening was over, David had enticed this prized beauty into his bed, and she had consented to a game of sex. Was sex consensual, though? After all, David had made a plan. It was a seduction, in reality, but the beautiful lady it seemed they had agreed to the affair. Hadn’t they? She could have said, “No!” her mind was confused.

David had played the game of seduction, and he had won the prize of sex. Satan hurled a ratchet between David and the lady. He didn’t want them to repent or apologize….

*          *          *

When David’s vacation ended, he gladly returned to work. Why did I ever leave? he thought, guilt knocking at the door of his subconscious. David resented the lady. He pushed off any thoughts of her and buried himself in his work. She was too embarrassed to tell anyone David had stolen her virtue, and he wouldn’t speak to her. Silence fell upon her like a black cloak; she now wore the garment of shame.

David was troubled in his spirit. He couldn’t focus on his work. He felt his intimacy with God was waning. Don’t ban me from Your presence, Lord. I need You in my life, he prayed. A single thought kept surfacing; I desire truth within your spirit, David heard from the recesses of his heart, but he suppressed God’s message. Why? He didn’t want to reckon with his sin.

*          *          *

A few weeks later, David’s buddy delivered the news.

“David, she’s pregnant.”

“Who’s pregnant?”

“Who’s pregnant? You’re kidding, right? You paid me ta bring ‘er to ya, and I did! She’s a good gal, so it’s your kid, Davio! I’m a keepin yer secret, but ‘er belly’s gonna tell the story soon enough! You might as well pack up yer pencils and make room for the new CEO.”

*          *          *

Would David come clean? He was too proud, so he schemed some more. He would bring the woman’s husband home from the business trip–‘so hubby could get recharged.’ If he could get them in bed, David’s indiscretion would remain hidden. The woman, David rationalized, would entice her own husband to sleep with her, because she needed to keep the secret more than he did.

David was caught in the web of deceit and the anxiety of impurity. Satan fanned his arrows triumphantly and shot again. “Nobody’s business is my business…”

David called the employee home to work on a small project. He met him at the airport and handed his employee a roll of cash and two opera tickets. “It’s a gift,” David alleged, “for the loyalty you have to the company. Let’s just keep this matter between us, so others won’t be jealous. Take your wife to a posh restaurant. Treat her to a night on the town that she’ll never forget!” David sighed in relief. The conception date of the child needed to be close enough to the husband’s visitation if this cover-up was going to work.

David had hired this employee for his uprightness, but now, this gentleman’s loyalty backfired! The employee phoned his wife about the cash and the tickets, but told her he needed to focus on the job assignment. He checked into a nearby hotel, promising that when he came home they’d have a great time. The opera tickets–he gave them to a passerby. To the roar of jets, David’s employee finished the at-home assignment, and then left promptly to finish David’s bigger project.

Now David was stuck! The cover-up had gone bust! David had thought he could resolve the issue by whit, but he had further complicated the matter. Now the woman’s husband would know for certain he was not the biological father of the child. David wouldn’t admit it yet, but his biggest sin was against God. He had shelved intimacy with the Creator.

David just didn’t have the same inspiration he used to have for songwriting. He had his old songs, but even those had started to feel mechanical. Was his anointing slipping?

David started to focus on the potential consequences for his transgressions. Would he remain CEO of the business he created if his misdeeds surfaced? Would there be an impact his company? David knew he should turn to God even if there were consequences, but he did not.

Satan chuckled. He steadied his bow; “One, two, three. Murrr…”

Meanwhile, David was filled with hatred. That employee was causing him so much trouble! Why was he being so loyal? Couldn’t he have just gone home and had sex with that woman? David wished the guy was gone! He’d just have to get rid of him!

God cringed. “Come home, son. I’m still here,” He whispered. “Receive the wisdom that comes when you seek Me with your whole heart.”

Satan laughed in God’s face as he shot; “…der!”

“Hey, buddy, I need you to do me a big favor. And this time, there’s some real silver in it. You think the last favor paid well–this one will make that payoff look like chump change! I need you to arrange an accident….”

“An… accident?”

“Yes. Make sure it looks like an accident, or you won’t get a dime.”

Dead. David’s faithful employee, Uriah, was dead. The accomplice successfully carried out David’s murder plot. Bathsheeba was free to take David as husband. The big secret was stuffed. That is, it was stuffed into David’s subconscious, and he would not be free of the mental anguish until he came clean. In the meanwhile, Bathsheeba grieved the loss of her first husband Uriah, and the infant death of her firstborn son.

David finally wrote that song–the one he was thinking about composing while on vacation–Psalm 51 describes his heartfelt confession.

God swooped up two repentant children into His arms of love–David, the CEO-songwriter-poet, and Bathsheeba, the beautiful lady. The Lord knew it would take a while, but He planned on working restoration into these broken vessels, for as long as they would allow. God began to spin the Potter’s wheel.

Satan retreated, sharpening his arrows, looking for his next opportunity.

I’m pretty sure you recognized somewhere in your reading that the above “David” is “King David” of the Bible as we would see him in a modern-day setting. There are some liberties taken in the prose, so we’re able to take a fresh look at David’s situation.

David’s folly is something that can happen to us today! David loved God, but when he got spiritually lazy, the enemy blindsided him with a powerful blow! When spiritual leaders fall, God’s message gets tainted. Be watchful,  for how you shepherd the anointing is a matter of life or death to those in your sphere of influence.

The most important point to remember about the above situation is that David had position, title, and a developing anointing when he fell. Sin entered into David’s clean heart while he was in a season of spiritual ascent! David’s folly happened about one-third of the way into his kingly reign. As king of two nations–Judah and Israel–David’s influence was far-reaching. He had come to a place where his public ministry was recognizable from across the miles. From Satan’s perspective, that was the perfect time to launch an attack. Be watchful when you are spiritually ascending; it is during those seasons that the enemy is jealous of you.

Thank God for Psalm 51 that David authored, because it shows us the remedy for sin. God forgave David, as He forgives us if we repent of transgressions, but I’m sure David would have preferred to avoid Satan’s trappings altogether, as should we.

The CEO is an excerpt from The Kiss of Peace: An Intimate Exploration Into Song of Solomon, to which Diane is currently seeking publication.

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