“If we were judged by our worst day, where would any of us be?”
Leslie Odom, Jr.
Original Cast Member who played Aaron Burr in the musical, “Hamilton”
The above quotation was taken during an interview with the actor Leslie Odom who was reflecting upon his character Aaron Burr. The familiar story of the fatal duel between two great American statesmen, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, ending the life of Hamilton, forever branded Burr with this ugly stain on his brilliant career. Although he was later acquitted of murder, the episode continued to haunt him and he eventually died a pauper.
While I do not condone Burr’s actions, Odom’s statement is sadly very true. One poor act of judgment, one ill-spoken word to the wrong person-I have made these errors and I have witnessed it in others. It is difficult if not impossible to recover from such tragedies.
Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house.
2 Samuel 11:2-4 (NKJV)
David was the greatest King of Israel. He was the man after God’s own heart. He was chosen by God to be an ancestor of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In a terrible act, he seduced the wife of one of his army commanders, and committed adultery. When she became pregnant, he attempted to cover it up by having her husband killed on the battlefield. Once that happened, he married her. He thought he had hidden all of his sordid deeds but God knew. He confronted David through the prophet Nathan.
Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.'”
2 Samuel 12:10-12 (NKJV)
In one day, his entire legacy of David’s faith to God crumbled. He would never again know peace and prosperity in his kingdom. His favorite son, Absalom, soon turned against him and orchestrated a coup. If we were to judge David by his worst day, we would conclude that he was a horrible man, a murderer and adulterer. He was, but he also repented of his sins. God forgave him but David still reaped the penalty of his actions.
There are many great people who live a life of great faith and accomplishment. Yet, like King David and Aaron Burr, they commit a grievous sin and are often judged by their worst day. While the world may proclaim judgement upon these individuals, we can take hope and comfort that no matter how egregious our sins, if we confess and repent of them and ask God for forgiveness, He will grant it through a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.