Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
2 Samuel 11:1 (NIV)
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 11:1 (MSG)
When that time of year came around again, the anniversary of the Ammonite aggression, David dispatched Joab and his fighting men of Israel in full force to destroy the Ammonites for good. They laid siege to Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem.
“Then it happened in the spring, [a]at the time when the kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all [the fighting men of] Israel, and they destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.” -AMPLIFIED
We continue today with David’s blatant sin against God and others. David slept with another man’s wife and now we will see how he tried to cover it up. David had to come up with an elaborate scheme to cover up his sin. (Funny thing about lies and deception they cause us to spin more lies and deception.)
David used his tactical talents to devise a plan to cover up his sin. He went through some amazing steps to try and get Uriah home to Bathsheba to sleep with his wife, but we will see each time those steps failed.
Step 1: David wrote a letter to Joab in order to have Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband sent home from the front. His thinking process was that he would get Uriah to go home and sleep with his wife and when the child that Bathsheba would bear came he would think it was his own. “David then got in touch with Joab: “Send Uriah the Hittite to me.” Joab sent him.”- 2 Samuel 11:6 (MSG)
Uriah came home; for his king had ordered him to do so. He went to report directly to the king, loyal soldier that he was; instead of going home to see his wife. (David’s plan was not working out so well.) So David ordered him to go home. “Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet. “So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house. “-2 Samuel 11:8-9 (NIV)
Step 2: David was told that Uriah never went home; so David called Uriah back into the throne room for another interview. It went sort of like this, “He asked Uriah, “Didn’t you just come off a hard trip? So why didn’t you go home?” Uriah replied to David, “The Chest is out there with the fighting men of Israel and Judah — in tents. My master Joab and his servants are roughing it out in the fields. So, how can I go home and eat and drink and enjoy my wife? On your life, I’ll not do it!” -2 Samuel 11:10-11 (MSG)
We find Uriah chiding the king for thinking that he, a good soldier, would go home and enjoy his wife while all the other of the king’s men were out in the fields fighting for David. What kind of a soldier would he be if he put his pleasures before his duties? (David must have been getting a little exasperated by this point in time.)
Step 3: David gives himself enough time for one last ditch effort. He would get Uriah drunk and then, maybe, just maybe he would wander home to his wife for the night because he was not thinking clearly. “All right,” said David, “have it your way. Stay for the day and I’ll send you back tomorrow.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem the rest of the day.
The next day David invited him to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. But in the evening Uriah again went out and slept with his master’s servants. He didn’t go home.” – 2 Samuel 11:12-13 (MSG)
We can see that once again David’s plan failed. Uriah did not go home; instead he stayed at the palace sleeping with the king’s servants. This guy was truly loyal to the king; which makes what David did to him even worse.
Step 4: David no longer has a choice, at least as far as his deception went; somehow he needed to dispose of this guy. (Sin will lead you down a winding trail.) David sat down and wrote a letter to Joab his army commander and Uriah’s boss. And he sent that letter via Uriah back to the front. The letter went something like this: “Put Uriah in the front lines where the fighting is the fiercest. Then pull back and leave him exposed so that he’s sure to be killed.”-2 Samuel 11:15 (MSG)
Sadly, this time David’s scheme worked exactly as he wanted it to. Scripture tells us this: “So Joab, holding the city under siege, put Uriah in a place where he knew there were fierce enemy fighters. When the city’s defenders came out to fight Joab, some of David’s soldiers were killed, including Uriah the Hittite. Joab sent David a full report on the battle. He instructed the messenger, “After you have given to the king a detailed report on the battle, if he flares in anger, say, ‘And by the way, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.'” Joab’s messenger arrived in Jerusalem and gave the king a full report. He said, “The enemy was too much for us. They advanced on us in the open field, and we pushed them back to the city gate. But then arrows came hot and heavy on us from the city wall, and eighteen of the king’s soldiers died.” When the messenger completed his report of the battle, David got angry at Joab. He vented it on the messenger: “Why did you get so close to the city? Didn’t you know you’d be attacked from the wall? Didn’t you remember how Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth got killed? Wasn’t it a woman who dropped a millstone on him from the wall and crushed him at Thebez? Why did you go close to the wall!” “By the way,” said Joab’s messenger, “your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.” Then David told the messenger, “Oh. I see. Tell Joab, ‘Don’t trouble yourself over this. War kills — sometimes one, sometimes another — you never know who’s next. Redouble your assault on the city and destroy it.’ Encourage Joab.”- 2 Samuel 11:16-25 (MSG)
David thought he was free and clear now, but oh he was sadly wrong. David had forgotten God’s command to His people, “’Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.” –Leviticus 19:11 (NIV)
As we continue to study God’s story we will see how David deals with the consequences of his sin.
Lord, it can be so easy to fall into temptation and sin. I pray that your Holy Spirit will prick my conscience when I am inclined to give in to sin. Bring to my memory your Word and your desires. My greatest desire is to be found faithful and true to you. Help me, Lord, to overcome.