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, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliamand the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” (2 Samuel 11:1-5)
– The point is made that David stayed home when kings go to war – when he should be at war. Point is further made that the army is successful without his presence
– Uriah was one of David’s might warriors we learn later – a man who had fought for David faithfully
– What significance is there to Uriah’s being identified as a Hittite?
– Is there a contrast in vs. 4 – her purifying herself but having just ‘defiled’ herself with David? What makes her and him more impure than the behavior told here?
– Why did David say behind in the first place???
To say that David was distracted would make light of what happens here. But why did David stay behind? His duty. the writer seems to say, was to be at war. It was the time of year when kings fight, when his men and his main general were fighting and the wife of one of his best men was in that fight. Had David gone to fight none of this would have happened!
The story is told with little sense of judgment or condemnation. The story speaks for itself. David had work to do that he did not do. And he got into worse trouble than simply shirking his duty as king.
It is tempting to be overly moralistic here. To condemn David for his slipshod kingship that leads inevitably to what follows. It does not. But David puts himself in a place where one duty has been avoided. It becomes easier to do it again. And then to justify the heinous crime that follows.
Am I where I should be? Am I doing what I am bound to do or know to do? I catch myself avoiding certain tasks or not doing what I should and having a well-manufactured reason later. Today I am reminder how important the little faithful choices are. And how much more the big ones.
Lord, in whatever season of life I find myself, may I do as you would have me do. May I be faithful to what I am called to do and be. May I choose well now that choosing well later is easier or at least more likely. Thank you for the faithful choices of your Son, my Savior. Amen.