Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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David, Bathsheba and Uriah 7/29/2012
Dear ones,

(Today's sermon is being preached by Carl Aho. These are the notes of my meditation over this chapter, and by posting them I do not wish to try to add to or take away that which Carl will speak on this text today, but I do so to keep continuity in our brief study of the life of David)

In our sermon series in which we are presenting a brief overview of David´s life, we have heard of David´s early life, of the victory that the Lord gave him over Goliath the Dwarf, of Saul´s jealousy of David´s success and popularity and of David´s friend Jonathon, Saul´s son, who came alongside David to help him in the midst of his fear and uncertainty of what lay ahead for him in his life.

A number of years have passed between that which we spoke about last Sunday concerning the friendship of Jonathon and David and the events which are brought before us today. Saul continued to pursue David but through the Lord´s protection he never caught him, both Saul and Jonathan died, David was now publicly anointed to be King of Israel, was placed upon the throne and began to assume leadership of God´s people from Jerusalem.

This story takes place in the springtime when kings typically were off to war so as to keep the kingdom safe for the people that depended upon their leaders for protection. We find David not out at war, but he was at home in Jerusalem..........Let us see how this worked out for him.

This is a very familiar place of Scripture, which describes David´s fall into adultery and of the measures that he took to hide his sin. It is a common experience of all humanity, whether we realize it or not, in that our initial reaction and response to the guilt of sin is to get rid of the visible evidence. We think like this in our minds immediately after being reminded that we are sinners, through and through: "How can I keep anyone from knowing about this," forgetting that God sees all and that nothing is hid from His eyes.

Let us go through the 11th chapter today and then next week we will cover chapter 12 of 2 Samuel.

KJV 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.
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.

David was living in the success of his kingdom leadership and it was during this time of success and prosperity that the occasion presented himself. Even though it takes "two to tango" the Bible narrative here focuses on the life of King David and not of the life of Bathsheba. David was not occupied, he looked, he saw, he lusted upon her beauty and...

3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

God in his graciousness through one person counseled David by asking a question which was designed to appeal to David´s sense of honor and rightness: Does not this woman have a name of Bathsheba, does she not have a father, and does she not have husband, Uriah?
How did David respond? Did reason return to him so that he saw that he was looking upon Bathsheba as an object to be used rather than a person to be loved and honored. Let us see..

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.

She was brought to him, and we realize that she would have had not ability or right to refuse the king, so she came and they had sexual relations and as the result of that, she became pregnant. She sent a messenger to David, four words that changed his life: "I am with child." She did what most people would do, and that is to let the other party know that what they have done will not be able to be hidden for very long. What was David's response? Here we all enter into the experience of David, for sin does not want to be found out, does not want to come to the light, but wants to hide itself or justify itself. David began to seek ways to hide his sin from people, forgetting that God sees all.

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.

David sent for his brother in law, Joab who was also his general. He ordered Joab to fetch from the battle fields, Uriah, Bathsheba´s husband and to bring him to David. David directed Uriah to go to his home and to be with his wife, hoping that they would have sexual relations and then no one would know what had transpired between David and Bathsheba. But Uriah would not go into his wife, and he told David why he would not do it.(v 11) So, David made his next move....

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.

This too failed, for Uriah was an honorable man and would not go into his wife to enjoy himself while his buddies were out the sufferings and agonies of the battle field. Did David say, wow, what an example, Uriah is such a good man, he is a better man than I. Did David remember how his example of faithfulness and mercy had turned Saul´s heart toward him? We do not know, but in this case David continued on in his mission to hide his sin, by going to more wicked means of hiding instead of owning up to his sin.

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.

David, by the very hand of Uriah, sent Uriah´s death sentence by letter to Joab, giving explicit destructions that Uriah be put in a place in the war that would certainly cause his death. Wow, Uriah had no idea that he was carrying his own death sentence from the one he had served so faithfully, but he went, delivered the letter, and was killed on the battle field. We might ask, who was responsible for Uriah´s death? The Word addresses this question in chapter 12.

2 Samuel 12:9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

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.
22 So the messenger went, and came and shewed 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.

The reports came back of the events of the war, and it appears that the account of Uriah´s death was hidden in page 4 down in the corner of the report, as if, Oh, by the way, Uriah got killed. Joab must have been confused as to why David would order him to place one off his faithful men in harms way one, one who is listed as one of David´s 30 valiant men. (1 Chronicles 11:41) But lust had its way, and now the nature of sin demands that the results of sin be covered up at all costs. Even at the cost of another´s life, one who had always served David faithfully.....Cannot we all relate to this principle, that when lust has conceived and has brought forth sin, that unless contrition and repentance come forth, the hiding continues.

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.

Oh, the hardness of our human hearts. It is like David was saying that, oh well, there are dangers in war, people get killed and even though he does not mention Uriah by name, how could anything else been on his mind but the name of Uriah? But he keeps the deceit going, and said in so many words: "tell Joab that those things happen, keep fighting strongly, overthrow the city and lastly; "Encourage him!"

Before we go onto to the last two verses, let us consider what David was thinking at this point. He was living in a fantasy world, having become blinded by lust, which then drove him to kill in order to cover up his sin of adultery. He was a man of like passions as any of us, he was tempted, he fell and he acted like any of us who are sinners and have had similar experiences. We may not kill another in a physical sense, but we may use other means to hide the evidence of our sin. We are sinners, corrupted by the fall into sin. We sin because we are sinners. God knows this, He knows what is in man, He does not need to be told what we are. He knows this only too well. What is His attitude towards us when we are in this place, such as David was, having fallen into sin, and for the moment forgetting that the forgiveness of God in Christ is greater than all our sin. The Apostle Paul writes about this in the book of Romans. That is what David needed to know, that is what we need to know when we recognize that we have missed the mark, that we have gone the way of our flesh, that we have succumbed to temptation to live in the flesh...

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

But what is Bathsheba thinking?

26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.

She mourned for her husband, apparently not knowing what was going on behind the scenes. What sorrow she must have experienced as the loss of her dear husband, who was typically gone for such long times, and who had served David so faithfully. How they must have been happy in each other, joyfully sharing their lives as husband and wife! But now he was gone, and unbeknownst to her, David the King was the cause of her husband´s death in the war. She mourned for her beloved husband.

Lust wants to be satsified, but it never wants to acknowledge the effects and consequences that will be forthcoming. It wants to be satisfied now, not later. It has the ability to blind a person as to the future. It has a voracious appetite and if one keeps feeding it, it only wants more. I remember how as a young boy I would hear the minister say that if you give the devil one finger, he will want the next one, and then the next one, and so on. It is the same with lust, for the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life are never satsified. The following proverb aptly describes as to the appetite of lust.

Proverb 30:14 There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:
16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.

Bathsheba was a woman with a name, she was the daughter of Eliam and she was the wife of Uriah, the Hittite. She was not a thing to be used to satisfy one´s lust. It is noteworthy that in the genealogy of Jesus that Bathsheba is included, but that she is mentioned in this manner.

KJV Matthew 1:6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

The Scripture does not hide that sin of anyone, but shows how the God accomplishes his plan through the fallenness of our sinful beings. David came to repentance for his sin as we will see in the next chapter, but the consequences were great and long lasting. God´s grace is greater than all our sin, but our sin causes grief to those who are affected by our sinful actions, but through it all God performs that which He wants to do so that He will provide redemption for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Before we go to the last verse, I want to compare another time and place in the Bible which is similar. Both David and Joseph were living in moments of prosperity, both were popular and both were in a place of great influence. But how they handled temptation is where they differed greatly in their approach to it.

KJV Genesis 39:1 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
6 And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

Joseph had it all......

7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.

He was tempted to sin...
8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

He responded in this way...
9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

He was continually tempted....as he did his normal duties..
10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

He was tempted forcibly....
11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,

He was falsely accused.....
14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.
16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:
18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

But God was with him....
20 And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.

As we consider the two responses to opportunities to serve the flesh that David and Joseph were presented with, may we be instructed by the ways that it was dealt with. May the Lord help us resist the sinful inclination to use people as objects rather than to honor them as people and to serve them in love.

From all outward appearances, David was extending compassion to a grieving wife by taking her into his home and marrying her. Her husband had been killed, and now their king was showing her compassion. Now David would be able to take care of his responsibilities and all would be fine. But would it be? For deep within David's the calling of God's grace and mercy was doing its work. For He loved David, His promise for David would be fulfilled, but David needed to be brought back into fellowship with His God. The last part of verse 27 reveals the these workings to us.

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.

We close this mediation in the middle of a crisis of David´s life, not to leave anyone in a place of hopelessness, but because the last part of this verse shows the beginnings of God´s workings to restore David to Himself through repentance. How he does this will be revealed in the next chapter. May the Lord give us His grace to think and to meditate upon that which we have considered today. We are sinners, we fall into sin, we try to hide it or cover it up, but in the end all those efforts will be futile. For we may think that we are hiding from people, but the eye of God is upon us, seeing all and knowing all. But through all this, He is working to restore us to Himself through bringing us to our right mind. He always wants to restore us to Himself, for His grace is greater than all our sin. He is quick to forgive, but that which we have done will cause consequences in our lives and in the lives of others. But never forget, His grace is greater than all your sin. Believe that today. Lord willing, we will see you next week. Please read and consider 1 Samuel 12 as we will base our meditations upon that chapter next week.

KJV Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 29 Jul 2012 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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