2 Samuel 11:1-27
11 It was spring. It was the time when kings go off to war. So David sent Joab out with the king’s special troops and the whole army of Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites. They went to the city of Rabbah. They surrounded it and got ready to attack it. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 One evening David got up from his bed. He walked around on the roof of his palace. From the roof he saw a woman taking a bath. She was very beautiful. 3 David sent a messenger to find out who she was. The messenger returned and said, “She is Bathsheba. She’s the daughter of Eliam. She’s the wife of Uriah. He’s a Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him. And he had sex with her. Then she went back home. All of that took place after she had already made herself “clean” from her monthly period. 5 Later, Bathsheba found out she was pregnant. She sent a message to David. It said, “I’m pregnant.” 6 So David sent a message to Joab. It said, “Send me Uriah, the Hittite.” Joab sent him to David. 7 Uriah came to David. David asked him how Joab and the soldiers were doing. He also asked him how the war was going. 8 David said to Uriah, “Go home and enjoy some time with your wife.” So Uriah left the palace. Then the king sent him a gift. 9 But Uriah didn’t go home. Instead, he slept at the entrance to the palace. He stayed there with all of his master’s servants. 10 David was told, “Uriah didn’t go home.” So he sent for Uriah. He said to him, “You have been away for a long time. Why didn’t you go home?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and the army of Israel and Judah are out there in tents. My master Joab and your special troops are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink? How could I go there and make love to my wife? I could never do a thing like that. And that’s just as sure as you are alive!” 12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day. Tomorrow I’ll send you back to the battle.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him. David got him drunk. But Uriah still didn’t go home. In the evening he went out and slept on his mat. He stayed there among his master’s servants. 14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab. He sent it along with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah on the front lines. That’s where the fighting is the heaviest. Then pull your men back from him. When you do, the Ammonites will strike him down and kill him.” 16 So Joab attacked the city. He put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest enemy fighters were. 17 The troops came out of the city. They fought against Joab. Some of the men in David’s army were killed. Uriah, the Hittite, also died. 18 Joab sent David a full report of the battle. 19 He told the messenger, “Tell the king everything that happened in the battle. When you are finished, 20 his anger might explode. He might ask you, ‘Why did you go so close to the city to fight against it? Didn’t you know that the enemy soldiers would shoot arrows down from the wall? 21 Don’t you remember how Abimelech, the son of Jerub-Besheth, was killed? A woman dropped a large millstone on him from the wall. That’s how he died in Thebez. So why did you go so close to the wall?’ If the king asks you that, tell him, ‘Your servant Uriah, the Hittite, is also dead.’” 22 The messenger started out for Jerusalem. When he arrived there, he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men who were in the city were more powerful than we were. They came out to fight against us in the open. But we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then those who were armed with bows shot arrows at us from the wall. Some of your special troops were killed. Your servant Uriah, the Hittite, is also dead.” 25 David told the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t get upset over what happened. Swords kill one person as well as another. So keep on attacking the city. Destroy it.’ Tell that to Joab. It will cheer him up.” 26 Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead. She sobbed over him. 27 When her time of sadness was over, David had her brought to his house. She became his wife. And she had a son by him. But the Lord wasn’t pleased with what David had done.
This chapter is one of the best known story’s of the Bible but for all the wrong reasons … late one afternoon King David sees a very beautiful woman bathing on a roof top … the result of this is that a woman is forced to commit adultery and an innocent man is killed, Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba’s husband.
The whole story pitches and weaves from bad to worse as we see the choices that David makes to cover his sin and yet the Bible/God covers none of it up so that we get to see in a mirror what we are all capable of – through someone who loves God with his whole heart and yet is capable of doing to some pretty dark things.
It’s the first verse that strikes me, where we are told that it was spring the time when kings to out to battle. But as king, David doesn’t go. He is not fulfilling his position, his calling, his anointing and he stands in stark contrast to Uriah.
This challenges me to make sure that I fulfill and complete the call (ministry) or responsibilities that God gives me to do as choosing to do my own thing above God’s, could leave the door open for sin.
Father I so know that I am not immune to sin, and I pray that I would always choose your ways over mine.
Written by Suzie Hodgson