Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


Uriah’s Path

Reading: 2 Samuel 11: 6-15

Verse 11: “As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing”!

In today’s passage there is quite a contrast in characters. David chose to stay home from war, to sleep with another man’s wife, to get her pregnant, and to try and cover it all up. Uriah has dutifully gone off to war, chooses not to lie with his wife, and honors the men out in battle. He walks a different path. What a contrast to David’s path.

David knows Uriah. He is one of David’s thirty mighty men – elite warriors who have spent much time with David. David sleeps with his friend’s wife. News of Bathsheba’s pregnancy hatches a new plan. Bring Uriah home under the guise of getting a report about the war and then send him home for the night. Surely he will lie with Bathsheba and all will think he’s the father. But Uriah sleeps outside the entrance to the palace. David asks why he didn’t go home. Hear the integrity in Uriah’s response: “As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing”! How could I? This response must have stung David a bit. No worries – plan B. That night David gets Uriah drunk and tries to send him home again. Again Uriah sleeps outside the palace. He does the right thing again. Plan C begins to unfold. It works as Uriah is killed in battle. After mourning, Bathsheba will become a wife to David and the child seems legitimate.

David implicated and affected many people in his sin. Some were impacted in small ways, but impacted nonetheless. Others were obviously affected more – Uriah, Bathsheba, Joab. When we sin, we too affect others. In our minds we also try to rationalize it or to minimize the ways it affects others. But sin never affects only us. At the very minimum it impacts us and our relationship with God. Indirectly there is always a list of others negatively affected. And then there are those we hurt directly.

Just as sin has ripple effects, so too does doing good. Let us not lose sight of Uriah. In our passage today, we can also learn from Uriah. Doing the right thing is always an option. When presented with the choice today, may we choose Uriah’s path – the path of righteousness. May it be so today.

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The story of King David and Uriah the Hittite is quite a contrast in terms of their integrity.  David’s infidelity has led to a pregnancy so he brings home the husband to sleep with the wife to cover it up.  After talking with him about the battle, David sends Uriah to clean up and to go home for a good night’s rest.

But Uriah does not go home.  Instead he sleeps on the front steps of the palace on his mat.  David questions him and Uriah says how could he go home to sleep with his wife when his fellow soldiers are on the battle field?  So David decides to get Uriah drunk and then to send him home to sleep with Bathsheba.  But out of loyalty to and respect for his fellow soldiers, Uriah again sleeps on the palace steps.  After weeks away at war, after sleeping on the hard ground, Uriah does not go home to his wife.  Talk about integrity and commitment!  So David sends him back to battle with instructions to the general to allow or arrange for Uriah to die in battle.

David knew at the start that sleeping with Bathsheba was wrong.  But he did it anyway.  One lie grew into another which eventually grew into a murder plot and a murder.  Even though David saw Uriah’s integrity it did not kick start his own.  He allows the lies to grow and his integrity to continue to erode.  Once a lie gains traction, it is hard to stop.

All of this happened in spite of David’s knowledge that God already knew.  In this we are the same.  As soon as we sin, God already knows.  At that point we have a choice.  Do we stop, confess and repent, and seek forgiveness?  Or do we look the other way and continue in our sin?  We know the right choice.  God’s forgiveness is a gift.  All we need to do is claim it.  May we show Uriah’s integrity when we can and admit our sins when we cannot.  God loves us equally either way.

Scripture reference: 2 Samuel 11: 6-15