It is spring time and David should be about kingdom business of ‘war’ but he stayed home. With time on his hands he gets himself into trouble. His wandering eye spies another ‘wife’ to take.
The story of Bathsheba is one of David’s darkest. He doesn’t just sin once and repent. He compounds sin upon sin until he is drowning in it. And he drags others down with him. “What a tangled web we weave…”
I don’t know if Bathsheba was a willing participant in this story or if she felt she had no choice but to obey her king. David’s conscience when confronted (later on) would lead me to believe that if she resisted he would not have taken her by force, but I could be wrong. Another reason I wonder about her participation is the timing of her pregnancy. We are told that her ‘bath’ was one of purification from her “uncleanness.” This would be her monthly cycle. We are told that David lay with her and she conceived. He would either have had to lie with her over a period of a few weeks or pursuing her took weeks. A woman in not fertile right after her cycle. She is fertile mid cycle only. So I’m inclined to believe their first ‘encounter’ lasted more than a single night. I believe she was as enamored with him, or at least his position, as he was with her.
Another issue with this story is that Bathsheba was taking her ‘bath’ in the WRONG place. There were special bath houses for women to ‘clean themselves’ regularly. Bathing on her roof was NOT one of these places. And it was certainly NOT a private place. As a woman, I can tell you that I am keenly aware of my privacy when in an undressed or near undressed state. I highly doubt that she didn’t know she was in plain view. I wonder if she ‘timed her bath’ to coincide with David’s activities.
With these thoughts in mind, I’m going to make her an initially reluctant participant in our story. Let’s step into our story and see where it takes us.
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Bathsheba has always known she possesses exceptional beauty. It is nothing that she earned on her own but she works to maintain it. She also likes to turn heads, not that she has ever acted on the looks she receives. She is a married woman after all. And her husband is one of king David’s mighty men of valor. Her status as the wife of such an important man helps to keep her tendency to seek out opportunities to turn heads in check.
But her beauty and enjoyment at turning heads has created a wedge between her and many of the women in Jerusalem. They think she is after their husbands. Nothing she does, including bragging on her own husband can convince them otherwise. She does her best to avoid contact with those that hold her in contempt.
Her trips to the well are timed when she will have the least amount of women to deal with. Her marketing is done with a servant in tow to decrease her own need for interaction. But her monthly cleansing ritual makes it harder to maintain a distance from the other women.
This ritual requires her to go to the communal woman’s bath and spend time observing the process of cleaning from her impurity. Last month she had the misfortune of spend half of her time over hearing the ‘whispered’ comments of several other women. “Even the great Bathsheba bleeds like the rest of us.” “I bet even her flow is ‘beautiful’ and could turn heads.” “One day her ‘beauty’ will be her undoing.” “One day she won’t have that beauty any more. She will be like the rest of us ordinary wives.” “Her husband’s head might turn then.”
These comments pierce her but she refused to give those making them the satisfaction of seeing her pain. She finished her ritual, gathered her belongings and quickly left.
It is time for her ritual bath again. She can’t face dealing with the comments of the women. But neither can she skip this requirement of the Law. God would surely punish her by closing her womb if she did.
“This day is too beautiful to be spoiled by ugliness. I will see to my needs in the comfort of my own home” decides Bathsheba. To prepare for her bath she has her servant lay clean clothing on a stool on the roof of her home near the cistern for rain water. Anything she touches will be ‘unclean’ until evening or until washed. She brings her cup with her to dip the water with and a rag for washing.
Bathing is usually done in the evening just prior to the beginning of a new day. Bathsheba doesn’t wait because she wants to beat the chill that is sure to settle on Jerusalem with the setting of the sun. Using the rain water that has been collecting will already make this bath cold enough.
Bathsheba kneels by the cistern and begins by ladling water over her hair. She uses a cake of hyssop soap, wets it and works it between her hands until she has a nice lather. This she worked into her hair. When her hair was thoroughly saturated with lather she dipped her cup and poured water over her head until it ran clean.
This process soaked the top of her tunic. She opened the front of her tunic and slipped her arms from it. She let it rest at her waist. She then wet a rag and applied hyssop soap to it. She used this to wash her face, neck, breasts and arms. She stayed on her knees and facing the wall as she washed. Her roof’s parapet protected her from view from the street. She was grateful for the privacy it offered.
Bathsheba’s final task was her lower body. She had to rise from her knees to free herself the rest of the way from her tunic but she stayed doubled over to remain hidden by the protective wall surrounding her roof. Using her same cloth and hyssop soap, she cleaned her lower torso and legs. She paid special attention to the areas of her womanhood. This bath wouldn’t be complete without this care.
When she was finished soaping her entire body she ladled water over herself from her shoulders down. She cupped her hands and brought water to her face to clean the hyssop from her face and neck. She sat for a few minutes enjoying the sun on her back as she allowed it and the breeze to dry the water from her skin. Finally clean and dry, she retrieved her fresh tunic from the stool near her and carefully worked her body into it.
This was a most enjoyable bath even if she had to ensure she not rise beyond the height of her parapet. Bathsheba gathered her soiled clothing, rags, soap and cup and brought them into the house. She then returned to the roof with her combs to work through her hair. The sun on her back had been so warm during her bath that she wanted to soak up even more of it.
As Bathsheba worked with her combs she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. It came from above her. She looked in the direction of the movement and noticed a figure on the king’s roof as it turned to leave. Her breath caught in her throat as she realized that her bathing spot was within full view from the king’s roof. Her hands trembled at the thought of being observed during such a private time. The king’s palace was some distance away but she was able to see that someone had been standing at the wall. For how long she didn’t know.
On the roof of the palace of the king someone had been watching. The watcher didn’t start out with the intent to invade Bathsheba’s private moment. He had merely been looking about the city; his city. The watcher was the king himself.
David was bored. He was a man of action but he had declined to join in the action this spring. He initially felt that he should spend some time on matters of state instead of placing himself in the throes of battle. But as the days and weeks marched on so did his unrest. He had decided to walk on his roof after rising from an unproductive rest.
Looking over his city he saw children playing in the streets, shoppers moving about the market, animals being led through town, and all other manner of daily life. Something on a rooftop a distance away caught his attention. It was a woman kneeling on the far side of her roof and working something through her hair. After watching for a few moments David realized she was washing her hair. Not a totally unprecedented sight but certainly in an unusual location. David shrugged his mental shoulders at the sight and began scanning his city again.
As his eyes scanned the city his mind went back to the rooftop. Soon his eyes joined his mind. David looked again expecting the woman to have completed washing her hair and to be combing it out now. Instead he saw the exposed olive skin of her shoulders and back. His breath caught as he watched her movements. As she scrubbed with her rag or worked her cake of soap he could see the swell of her breast from the side. He knew he should look away but it was if he was bound with chains and he couldn’t move even his eyes a hairs breadth.
David continued spell bound as the woman rose from the ground and slipped her tunic below her waist and finally let it fall from her body. He felt a stirring deep within his loins as he continued to watch her smooth skin being released from her clothing. When she returned to her seated position she didn’t face David nor did she fully face away from him in his vantage point. She was angled toward the cistern which afforded David a splendid view of the side of her face as well as all her other ‘assets’.
David stepped back just a little from the edge of his roof so that he would not alert her to his presence. But he remained watching until she rose and gathered her belongings and went into her home. Her beauty and the sensuality of her movements so gripped him that he felt driven to possess her.
David was thrilled when she returned to the roof. He called to his servant Abket to join him on his roof. With a nod in her direction David asked, “Do you know who that woman is?”
Abket moved to the edge of the parapet for a better look at whom David was inquiring about. “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” (verse 3b).
David nodded understanding.
“Have you further need of me my king?”
“No. You may go.”
Abket left the roof. David also retreated from the rooftop and returned to his couch. The memories of Bathsheba played themselves out in his mind as he reclined awaiting the evening meal.
Even the sumptuous meal could not drive thoughts of Bathsheba from David’s mind. He also wrestled with the knowledge that she is the wife of one of his mighty men; a man who had fought valiantly by his side for MANY years.
Thoughts of Bathsheba appeared in David’s dreams; the few that he could catch when he was able to sleep. By morning his mind was made up. As Abket attended him with his morning rituals David spoke.
“I would have an audience with her.”
Abket had watched his master’s movements since being summoned to the roof. He knew of the “her” of which David spoke even without him calling her by name. “Do you desire me to fetch her my king?”
“No. I would send a messenger for this task. Please have one attend me in the throne room.”
Abket bowed and quickly found David’s messenger. “The king has need of your services.”
The messenger found David sitting on his throne. Bowing, he said, “You sent for me my king.”
“Yes. Take a message to Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Tell her that her king requires her presence.”
“Shall I tell her of the purpose behind the summons?”
“You may say it is an urgent personal matter.”
“As you command my king.”
The messenger knew of the house of Uriah the Hittite. He was one of David’s mighty men of valor. It took no time at all for him to arrive at the door. He called out from the gate and Bathsheba’s servant came to his call.
“My lord the king has a message for your mistress. Please bring her to me.”
“May I tell her of the nature of the message?”
“The king said to say that it is ‘an urgent personal matter’.”
“I will inform her immediately.”
A few moments later Bathsheba appeared at the gate. Her face is white with fear. Could it be news of her husband’s death?
“My lord the king requires your presence on an urgent personal matter.”
“I will accompany you” replies Bathsheba as she wraps her cloak around her shoulders.
The two set off for the palace. They make their way directly to David’s throne room. “Uriah the Hittites wife, Bathsheba, my king” announces the messenger.
Bathsheba bows in respect before her king.
“Leave us” David commands the messenger. David had already emptied the throne room of all his other servants before their arrival.
Bathsheba waits to be addressed. Her hands itch to wrestle with one another in anxiety but she stills them through sheer force of will. David smiles to himself as he watches her. “She has strength as well as beauty” he thinks. Finally he addresses her. “I have a personal need that only you can fill.”
Bathsheba has no idea what David’s ‘need’ might be but as his subject she will endeavor to meet her king’s needs. “It is my pleasure to serve my king in whatever way I can.” She also assumes that since it is a need that ‘only she can fill’ his summons does not speak of the death of her husband. This brings a measure of relief to her as she awaits her king’s command.
David stands and moves toward her. She stands absolutely still. He circles her slowly, taking in every inch of her. David stops in front of her with but a few hands breadths separating them. He reaches out and gently strokes her cheek with his index finger.
Bathsheba’s breath catches at the familiarity of her king. His hand is calloused as a warrior’s should be but it is also very gentle. It has been some time since she was touched in such a manner and she finds herself longing for a repeat gesture. David tips her chin up with is index finger until their eyes meet.
“I watched you yesterday” whispers David.
Bathsheba’s face flushes but she refuses to look away. She had felt eyes on her but she thought it was just her imagination. “Did the site of me offend you my king?”
“Not at all. It is all I could think of from that moment on.”
Bathsheba is familiar with the attentions of men because of her beauty but none have been so bold as her king at this moment. A slight smile plays at the edges of her mouth. David releases her chin and circles her once again. As he circles her she stands a little taller, ensuring that her chest is full and straining against her tunic.
David faces her once again. “Do you understand the nature of my need now?”
“I believe I do. It is the nature of a man and woman, is it not?”
“It is. Does this please you?”
“It does my king.”
“You will be taken to a room near my chambers. I will join you there.”
David steps away and summons Abket with a bell.
“See that Bathsheba is given a quiet place to rest. She has need of refreshing.”
Abket bows and leads Bathsheba from David’s throne room. David has kingdom business he needs to attend to before he can go to Bathsheba. Banishing thoughts of her waiting for him is impossible so he rushes his tasks as much as possible.
While Bathsheba waits she explores the room given to her. There is a table laid with perfumes and cosmetics. She wonders if David desires for her to use them. She is confident in her beauty so forgoes the cosmetics but samples the perfumes until she finds on she feels fits her. She anoints herself with it while she waits.
David finally joins her in the privacy of the room he has prepared. He had Abket lay the items out for her while they were meeting in his throne room. He hadn’t been certain she would join him but he was hopeful.
David is gentle with her as they share a night of passion that both participated fully in. Morning finds them still in one another’s arms.
“Have the king’s needs been met” chides Bathsheba.
“Those of the past have but I fear future ones are on the horizon” answers David. “Stay with me again tonight. I would bathe you myself as I watched you doing on your roof.”
Bathsheba smiles and snuggles into David’s chest. “Your wish is my command.”
Bathsheba and David spent many nights together, thoroughly enjoying one another’s company. Finally David’s need was satisfied and he dismissed her to her home. Only David’s closest servants even knew of her presence in the palace.
David returned to the matters of the kingdom once Bathsheba left. It was as if the spell he had been under had finally broken. The memories of that stolen evening still brought with it a thrill but it didn’t dominate his thoughts.
Three weeks have passed since their parting when David receives a letter delivered by Bathsheba’s maid. His guard had announced her and brought her into the throne room. She gave the guard the letter from her mistress and he put it in David’s hands. David sits staring at the words contained in it.
“I am pregnant.”
Nothing more is written. These words are enough. They have brought David’s world to a halt. Shaking himself from his thoughts he addresses Bathsheba’s servant. “Inform your mistress that I have received her letter.”
“Is there any reply you wish to send her my king?”
“No. That is all.”
Bathsheba’s maid and the guard leave the throne room. David turned to Abket. “Bring me a messenger. The swiftest you can find.”
When the messenger arrived he found David waiting with a scroll he had personally penned and sealed with his signet ring. “Take this to Joab at once.”
The messenger set off with all due haste. He reached Joab within a day. Once being admitted into camp by the sentry the messenger is taken directly to Joab. “The king has an urgent message for you my lord.”
Joab takes the message from his hands and breaks the seal. “Send me Uriah the Hittite” is the command it contains. Joab is puzzled by the words but he will obey just the same.
“Bring Uriah the Hittite to me” Joab commands.
Uriah appears at Joab’s tent. “You sent for me?”
“Yes. I am sending you to the king. He has asked to see you.”
“Does he say why?”
“No he does not. Only that you are to go to him.”
“I will leave right away.”
“We will be here when you return. Good speed my friend.”
“May the Lord continue to show His favor to you in my absence.”
The two men part ways. Uriah returns with David’s messenger and Joab turns his attentions back to the battle field.
Uriah and the messenger make good time returning to Jerusalem. There is little conversation as their haste consumes their attention and their breath. Upon reaching Jerusalem Uriah goes directly to the palace and announces himself to David’s guard. “I am Uriah the Hittite. The king has sent for me.”
The guard smiles at Uriah’s formality. He certainly knows who Uriah is without the introduction. “I will announce you at once.”
The guard disappears inside the throne room then re-emerges and motions Uriah to follow him. Uriah makes his way towards David’s throne and then stops to bow deeply.
“Uriah my friend. Welcome home.”
“You sent for me my king.”
“Indeed I did. I want to know how goes the battle and how fares Joab; my commander.”
Uriah is confused by the fact that he was called to bring word of the battle when any soldier could have been tasked with such a duty. But his is not to question his king so he dismisses his confusion and reports to his king. “We are besieging the city of Rabbah. They have held fast for now but with the Lord’s hand we will take them. Joab commands the troops with distinction. It is an honor to serve under his leadership.”
“Thank you for that report. It is pleasing to hear that the battle goes well, even in my absence.”
“Your presence would certainly be welcomed my king but your troops are showing themselves strong while you are about the business of the king.”
“Well said my friend. ‘Go down to your house and wash your feet’ (verse 8b)” instructs David.
Uriah left the palace. As he was leaving Abket passed a loaf of fresh bread, aged cheese and a portion of meat to him. “A present from the king for you.”
Uriah was pleased with the gifts. As it was getting on towards the evening meal Uriah decided to share his good fortune with the king’s servants. He joined the group at the door of the king’s house. “I bring gifts from the king” he said as he held the treats aloft.
Those gathered there settled down for a good meal and great stories. Uriah’s tales of the front lines were the main topic of conversation. Uriah shared these well into the night. He had no intentions of going home. Not with his comrades still on the field of battle.
Uriah was observed from the moment he entered Jerusalem by one of David’s most loyal servants. Abket had tasked this man with this job himself. When morning came the servant brought word to Abket who brought word to David of Uriah’s activities during the night.
“Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house. He did not go to his own home.”
David was shocked and displeased by this news. He was certain that Uriah would go home and lay with his wife. He could then pass the child off as Uriah’s instead of his own. He paced his chambers thinking of what to do next. “Have Uriah appear before me in my throne room.”
Abket went off to summon Uriah to the king while David settled himself on his throne.
Uriah stood before David. “It has been told to me that you did not go down to your house. ‘Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?’ (verse 10b).”
“The Ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing” (verse 11).
David can see the determination in Uriah’s face. He must think of another way to accomplish his task. “Well said my friend. ‘Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back’ (verse 12). Dine with me at my table this evening. Share some of the stories you shared last night. I would enjoy hearing them.”
Uriah smiled, “I would be glad to share them with you my king. They are stories of great deeds of your finest men.”
Uriah helped in the garrison during the day while he waited to dine with king. Before dinner David had instructed Abket to keep Uriah’s goblet full. “He is to never lack drink while at table or while sharing his stories.”
David’s table was full. He had all the soldiers who had remained in Jerusalem, save the guards of the night, join them. They would clamor for Uriah’s stories long into the evening. David made certain to press for more throughout the evening. This kept Uriah always parched and reaching for his overflowing goblet. By the time the guests began leaving for the night Uriah was most assuredly drunk. David felt certain that he would stagger home into the arms of his wife.
David retired with a smile on his face. He was certain his worries were over. Abket’s handpicked servant followed Uriah again.
When morning dawned Abket’s man reported once again that Uriah had slept with the servants instead of going to his house. Abket brought this news to David upon waking. David paced the floor once again. There was no way Uriah would lay with his wife until the battle was over. And by that time it would be too late to claim the child was his. Uriah would return to Jerusalem to an obviously pregnant wife and know that she had sinned. He had every right to have her stoned at that point. A consequence David could not bear. His only other option was to remove Uriah from the equation and claim her as his own. He could then say the child was conceived after he had taken her following Uriah’s death.
This decision did not sit easily on David’s mind but it was the only one he could think of. But he had to act fast. He would also have to take someone else into his confidence who had the ability to make Uriah’s death a surety. He needed Joab.
Joab had already shown himself to be a cunning and ruthless man. David had no doubt he could use that cunning to his own benefit. Quickly he put pen to parchment and wrote a letter to Joab. “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die” (verse 15). David quickly sealed it with his signet ring and summoned Uriah to him.
“I send you, my faithful servant, on your way back to Joab just as promised. Take this letter to him for me. It will save me sending another messenger.”
“As you wish my king” answered Uriah. With these words he tucked the letter in his belt and set off to rejoin the battle. David watched him leave, knowing this would be the last time he would see his old comrade.
Uriah arrived back in camp by nightfall. He brought David’s letter to Joab. Joab dismissed Uriah and told him to get some rest. He waited until he was alone to read David’s words. The words penned drew a cold smile from Joab. “So, the king wants me to remove a problem for him. This knowledge may serve me well one day.”
The next morning when battle lines were being formed, Joab assigned Uriah to an especially well protected area of the city. That area had valiant men protecting it. Uriah would certainly fall under their hand. Several others would fall beside him but that was the price of seeing to David’s command.
Just as predicted, the fighting was fierce where Uriah stood. He gave his best effort but the power of those defending the city overwhelmed him and he fell by the sword. By the end of the day’s skirmish several of David’s servants joined him in death.
“We must send word to the king of his servants’ death” instructed Joab to one of his runners. “He needs to know of this battle. ‘When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, then, if the king’s anger rises, and if he says to you, “Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the walls? Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?” then you shall say, “Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also”’ (verses19b-21).”
The messenger sets off immediately with news for the king. When he arrives in Jerusalem he is shown directly to David’s throne room. David wastes no time in pleasantries.
“You bring news from the front?”
“I do my king. ‘The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also’ (verses 23-24).”
David’s heart is torn. Part of him wants to leap for joy that his problem is finally nearing its conclusion. The other part of him mourns for the loss of his friend and valiant soldier. Before the guilt can rise in his own heart David addresses the messenger. “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen you attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him” (verse 25).
The messenger bows and prepares to leave. As he nears the door David calls him back for one more task. “Bring word to Uriah’s widow. She should hear it from your lips as you speak for Joab, his commander.”
Bathsheba had been staying in seclusion since sending her message to David. A week had passed before a knock sounded at the gate. Her servant went to answer it. She quickly returned and told Bathsheba that a messenger from Joab waited for her at the gate. Bathsheba pulled on her cloak and both women hurry to the gate.
“My good woman, I have been sent with news from Joab, the king’s commander and the king. I regret to inform you that your husband Uriah was killed in battle. He fought valiantly but he was overcome by archers.”
Bathsheba lets out a mournful wail and her maid supports her before she collapses in the garden. She helps her back into the house and sets her gently onto her cushion. She then returns to the gate to dismiss the messenger.
He is more than happy to be done with this task. It is never easy on the family of the fallen. He is looking forward to returning to battle where things are as he would expect them and where he knows he can be of some use.
Bathsheba had heard that Uriah was in Jerusalem just days ago. She had waited patiently for him to come to her but he never did. Now she was a widow who was with child, not of her husband’s doing. She had no idea how she was going to resolve this issue. She prayed the king would make matters right but she had heard nothing from him since informing him of her condition. For now though, she needed to mourn for her husband.
The month of mourning passed slowly for Bathsheba. Partly because she stayed secluded to hide her pregnancy and partly because of the uncertainty of her future. Each day brought with it the fear of discovery of her sin. The whole city now knew of Uriah’s final visit and how he had slept on the doorstep of the king’s house. His faithfulness to his fellow soldiers was as famous as his name. She would give her own life if she could prevent tarnishing his.
David waited and mourned in secret. He also anticipated the day Bathsheba’s mourning would be complete. He had kept his distance so as not to arouse suspicion. He planned to take her as his wife as soon as the required period had passed.
The days were finally complete. David called for his messenger. “Go to the house of Uriah the Hittite and say to his widow that the king would honor Uriah by taking his widow as his own.”
The messenger was pleased with his king’s kindness to Uriah and his widow. He quickly made his way to her gate and began knocking. Bathsheba’s servant met him at the gate.
“The king would see the widow of Uriah the Hittite.”
“May I tell her of the purpose of his summons?”
“He wishes to honor her husband.”
The servant quickly told Bathsheba that the king wished to see her to honor her husband. Bathsheba rose, wrapped her cloak around herself and made her way to the gate where the messenger waited.
As soon as she stepped before him he delivered the full message from his king. “The king wishes to honor Uriah the Hittite by taking his widow as his own.”
Bathsheba’s hand flew to her mouth. “He will protect me” she thinks. She nods her head in agreement and opens the gate. She steps through it and leaves her widowhood and hopefully her shame behind. The only thing she brings with her to the home of the king is her servant.
(to be continued)
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I’m sorry this story got so long. I trust it was not too graphic but I wanted the story to be something your more than “he lay with her” and “he saw her bathing.” The story called to be brought to life. David’s sin was ugly and real. So was Bathsheba’s. But this is not the end of their stories. They do not get off so easily for their sin, but that is for another day.
Father God, thank You that You don’t just put the glowing stories into Your word. You show me both the good and bad of those You used to bring Your plan about. This gives me hope for my own life. If You still used David after this great sin then I still have hope to be Your tool too.
It also gives me confidence that You didn’t spare any of Jesus’ stories, just to make Him look good. There have been people who have tried to assign sin to His life but those are man’s lies! I believe You would have told us just as surely as You shared David’s or any other ‘heroes of old’ sins. Jesus was the ONLY one without some kind of ‘sin story’ to share.
I’m also MORE than glad to know that Jesus came to forgive my sins. I can be clean again because of His work on the cross. Please cleanse me again of any sin I have hidden in my heart.