SONG RELEASE: “I Will Not Look”
Even the strongest, even the chosen, even the blessed can make wrong choices. None of us can ever be termed truly valiant until we are safely dead.
We are introduced to David as a youth: He is the tender harpist, the watchful shepherd, the brave slayer of a giant, the faithful friend to Jonathan, and a valiant warrior. After Saul’s death, he becomes king of Judah, and years later, of Israel.
The setting from this song comes from 2 Samuel 11. King David sent Joab and the army to beseige Rabbah, but he himself stayed in Jerusalem. One evening, as he walked on his roof, he saw a woman bathing privately. I imagine if my neighbors stood on their roof, they could see into my home too.
There is no indication that David was out looking for trouble. That he saw something he shouldn’t have was not his downfall. We ALL see things we don’t mean to see, especially since the advent of the internet. The first view is not the issue. It’s that second look.
(Years ago, as we discussed this concept with friends, someone said, “Just better be sure that first look is a good look….” Noooooooo, that is not a good plan.)
Before I penned the first song of “Old Testament Records”, I knew I would write this song, sung by King David. It is a song for today. The ability to step away from unexpected but enticing temptation is a crucial skill and key to self-efficacy.
David experiences all of the following: Shock; determination to do the right thing (matching his current actions to his former actions and his self-image); reliance on teaching from the scriptures. But then also: Pride; belief in his own strength; equivocation; self-recrimination; wonder; doubt; self-justification. When he thinks to turn to God for strength, he finds that his thoughts and feelings have created a feeling of separation, and THEN he falls captive to the 3 big lies:
- No one will ever know
- Everyone is doing it
- Just once won’t hurt
Okay, okay, okay, all of this happens between verses 2 and 3, and not a word of it is detailed. What am I basing this on?
Prior to beginning composition, I decided to read the stories of many people who had committed sexual sin and learned its hard lessons. These were heartbreaking entries and the pattern of transgression was strong and clear. I ascribed this pattern to King David’s transformation from the blessed king in Chapter 10 to the man who does evil in Chapter 11: committing adultery, then ordering the murder of his faithful soldier, Uriah in an effort to cover his sin.
I played this song for a person who has counseled many people in similar circumstances. After hearing “I Will Not Look” the response was, “Well, you have highlighted every reason people use to justify these choices. This is exactly how people get pulled down into situations that destroy their happiness.”
This song ends before the second look. That look is key to all the evil David does afterward. What is the rest of the story? Does David ever confess to God and repent? Yes. He writes many psalms of repentance, including the beautiful Psalm 51, which the cast sings, here.
David’s story is a sobering example that we ALL need to beware of the steps that led David – and so many others – to do in the evening things they would have never imagined doing when they got up that morning. If even the mighty can fall, so can you and I.
Lyrics to this song can be found here.
Bruce Burton is our excellent vocalist for this song. Although he lives far from us now, we have many enjoyable memories of working together for years on previous musical projects. When Bruce lived in Green Bay, he sang in the Pamiro Opera Company. In addition to singing King David, you can here Bruce on this site as Moses and King Cyrus of Persia. Thank you, Bruce!
Cover art: Gustave Courbet “The Desperate Man” 1845