2 Samuel 11:
1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
It was spring. The chill no longer in the air. As the men of Israels army gazed down the valley upon Rabbah, the grass was green, and fresh, and soft. Morning had met them with a moderate west wind and the clouds lay low with a mist beading on their faces.
Joab, walked slowly in front of them and encouraged them with words of war. They stood tall and brave, banners from their different tribes, with colors bright, were popping as they whipped wildly back and forth. Their armour, shields and swords had been readied prior to sunup. This was a mighty army of battle hardened men. They were about to use the skills they had learned in battles past, to route Ammon, and to take Rammah.
Where was their King? He should have been on the field of battle with them that day. But he remained behind in Jerusalem. Oh, that he had not given his authority to another, that he was the one that would have encouraged his men. But alas, Kings can get lax in their duties, they can put their guards down. This is what David did.
2 Samuel 11:
2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3 And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
David had become complacent, gone, it seems, was his endurance to lead his nation in the forefront. Here he was, while his men battled for him, he was laying on his bed. While some of his soldiers lay dying, the ground drinking up their lifeblood, he lay on his bed letting the day slip away from him. In the afternoon, he strolled out on his balcony taking in the sight of Jerusalem. Then, he saw her, a very beautiful woman sunbathing in the evening sun.
“Who is she?” He asked, “She is Uriah the Hittites wife.” he was told. That should have been the end of it, as “A Man after God’s own Heart.” David should have left it alone. But she was beautiful. He was KING, and he wanted what belonged to another, although God had commanded through Moses, “Thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal.” David’s fall was great. And he was about to try deception to cover it.
2 Samuel 11:
6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. 8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house. 10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house? 11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. 12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. 13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
David tried to cover his sin by bringing Bathsheba’s husband to Jerusalem. However, Uriah was a man of honor. He worried about his men back on the battlefield, while David the King plotted to cover up his indiscretions. Uriah figured it would not be right to have relations with his wife while his men were dying on the front lines. If only David had not lost his zeal for God, he too would have been there. But David finds out that his sin is not going to be hidden, so he hatches another plan. This one is more evil than the first, if Uriah is dead, he could marry Bathsheba, and no one would know the better.
2 Samuel 11:
14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. 16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. 17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; 19 And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, 20 And if so be that the king’s wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
David had sunken so far down from his earlier honor, that he penned a death sentence and ordered the condemned man to carry it to is executioner. Uriah’s only sin was to be an honorable man, a man who bravely fought for his commander, his king. Whilst his king showed no honor in this whole episode. All because he could.
22 So the messenger went, and came and showed David all that Joab had sent him for. 23 And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate. 24 And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king’s servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. 25 Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.
26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
David thought he was free and clear of all these terrible offenses, he tried to go about with business as usual, BUT, what he thought was in secret, was in fact very evident to God. And God was not pleased.
This whole episode is not only talking about David, it is talking about all of us. Men, do you look at those who do not belong to you? Whether on the internet at porn sites, or in mags, and think what you do is hidden?
Women, do you flirt with married men, thinking it is harmless? Wearing suggestive clothing? Again, it is not hidden.
This story of David and Bathsheba should give you a warning, hopefully you will see it.
Next time: The King And A Judgement Against An Evil Deed