Our reading in this part of the Hebrew Bible reveals so many fascinating characters. David is so multifaceted— for good and evil— that you can’t take your eyes off of him. But be careful to notice Uriah the Hittite in 2 Samuel 11 (p.150 in Immerse: Kingdoms)
David has gotten Uriah’s wife pregnant while Uriah is away in battle, fighting for David and his kingdom. David calls Uriah home to be with his wife, Bathsheba, hoping that that will cover up his infidelity. Uriah, a convert to Judaism, takes his faith seriously, and in obedience to the Torah will not return home to his wife.
David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”
Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”
Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home. (2 Samuel 11:10–13)
David’s coverup is thwarted by Uriah’s integrity and eventually exposed by the prophet Nathan. Even though Uriah is murdered in battle, his life is not a tragedy. We can trust that upon his death he found himself in the care of our just and merciful God. The tragedy of David’s sin would have been much worse if Uriah had abandoned the Biblical standard as he knew it. As it is, Uriah’s integrity puts David’s sin in a harsh light where it belongs. We can learn from both these men.
Is there anything you need to learn from this?
Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee, chocolate chip cookies, Apple products, small video projects, and the New England Patriots.