UNSUNG HEROES

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  Uriah (Husband Of Bathsheba)  
 
 

2 Samuel 11
1 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 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,
3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home.
5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."
6 So David sent this word to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent him to David.
7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.
8 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.
9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master's servants and did not go down to his house.
10 When David was told, "Uriah did not go home," he asked him, "Haven't you just come from a distance? Why didn't you go home?"
11 Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord's men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"
12 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.
13 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.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
15 In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."
16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.
17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David's army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle.
19 He instructed the messenger: "When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle,
20 the king's anger may flare up, and he may ask you, 'Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot arrows from the wall?
21 Who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth ? Didn't a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?' If he asks you this, then say to him, 'Also, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.'"
22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say.
23 The messenger said to David, "The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance to the city gate.
24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king's men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead."
25 David told the messenger, "Say this to Joab: 'Don't let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.' Say this to encourage Joab."
26 When Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.


Throughout history, many attempts have been made to cover up incompetence, immorality, and even crimes. In the Bible, cover-ups appear early on. Adam and Eve sought to cover their nakedness and to hide from God, not realising their efforts betrayed their sin and guilt. 2 Sam. 11 is one of the great cover-up attempts of all time, and like so many, it too fails miserably.

It seems likely that David, Uriah & Bathsheba are hardly strangers, but that they all know each other, to some degree at least. Bathsheba, her father was Eliam, one of David's Mighty Men (2 Samuel 23:34) and grand-daughter of Ahithophel.

Uriah is listed among the mighty warriors of David (2 Samuel 23:39; 1 Chronicles 11:41). Some of the "mighty men" came to David, while he was in the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1-2), and we suspect that among them were Joab, Abishai, and Asahel, the three brothers who were mighty men (see 2 Samuel 23:18, 24; 1 Chronicles 11:26). Others joined David at Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:1ff.), and still other great warriors joined with David at Hebron (1 Chronicles 12:38-40). We do not know when and where Uriah joined David, it would seem though that these two men know each other, fighting together and perhaps even from fleeing Saul together.

David knew what he did was wrong, yet he did it. So many times we too listen to Satan who makes us doubt and believe that my sin will not affect anyone but it surely does. If David had thought about all this, he would see the cost was so much greater than what he wanted to consider at the time. If David only knew that this illicit pursuit of pleasure would directly or indirectly result in:
a. An unwanted pregnancy
bĚ The murder of a trusted friend
c. A dead baby
d. His daughter raped by his son
e. One son murdered by another son
f. A civil war led by one of his sons
g. A son who imitates David's lack of self-control, leading him and much of Israel away from God

Question: Do we understand clearly that no matter what compromise we are involved in or sin we indulge in, it is going to have its deadly effects later on?

When David heard the disastrous news of Bathsheba's pregnancy, he should have used it as a prompt to repent. Instead, David did what most unrepentant sinners do: he tried to hide his sin.

He drew Uriah back home to have relations with Bathsheba to give a reason for her pregnancy, and when that didn't work; he planned things in such a way that Uriah went to battle with his death sentence in his hand.

The whole concept of hiding our sin is deceptive. Our sin is never hidden before God and only hidden with difficulty from our conscience. Our hidden sin hinders our fellowship with God and others and is a barrier to spiritual life and power. We tend to forget (1 John 1 & 2) and be confident that God is faithful and gracious to help and forgive us from our transgression when we confess it.

The real question for us all is: "Are we prepared to face sin? Not to discuss someone else's sin, but to face our own."

I love this quote from Spurgeon. "As soon as ever we are conscious of sin, the right thing is not to begin to reason with the sin or to wait until we have brought ourselves into a proper state of heart about it, but to go at once and confess the transgression unto the Lord, there and then."

Application:
1. Think about your temptation/ compromise and make a list of its consequences.
2. Pray today to have courage to confess your sins and not conceal them.