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A Man of Principle
Posted by: SeniorSeeker
Date: November 04, 2010 11:10AM
A Man of Principle

In the biblical narrative, Bathsheba appears as a passive character, and the biblical author refrains from making any comments about her accountability or involvement. However, even though she appears to be passive in the entire account, she, too, will pay a high price. Her baby son will die. The only time that Bathsheba speaks is when she sends a message to David to tell him that she is pregnant. David figures that if he can get Uriah home for even one evening, then it would appear that the baby was Uriahs, and Davids sin would go undetected. And so David sends for Uriah, who has to make a tiring 40 mile (approximately 65 km) trip to Jerusalem. After making some small talk, David sends Uriah home with a veiled command that he go and sleep with his wife. In an effort to appear generous, he even sends a gift to Uriahs home, thinking that the situation is all taken care of. However, Uriah, being a man of principle, cannot be manipulated. The next morning David hears that Uriah spent the night in the gate with the servants of the king. The situation is quickly slipping out of Davids control. David sends for Uriah. He is becoming frustrated. Uriah is showing him up badly. David, who was once a man of integrity, now cannot seem to understand Uriahs integrity.

What does 2 Samuel 11:1013 tell us about Uriahs motives? What other examples can we find in the Bible of those who acted with the same kind of integrity?


"David was told, Uriah did not go home. So he asked Uriah, Havent you just come from a military campaign? Why didnt you go home? Uriah said to David, The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lords men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing! 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. At Davids 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 masters servants; he did not go home."

Uriahs answer shows that he was not a nominal believer but had completely identified himself with the God of Israel and his comrades. Uriah believed that it was wrong to use his situation for personal comfort or advantage. The same David who once showed complete loyalty to King Saul (even though Saul was persecuting him) now cannot understand the loyalty and faithfulness of Uriah.

David resorts to a disgusting scheme. He deliberately gets Uriah drunk in an attempt to break down his principles. It is interesting to note that the same scheme was used by the two daughters of Lot, and it led to the origin of the Ammonites in Gen.19:30 to 38 - the very people that the Israelite army is fighting. Despite his impaired reasoning, Uriah refuses to compromise his values and again spends the night among the kings servants.

Read Psalm 51 in the context of 2 Samuel 11. What can we learn from it about the nature of sin, of repentance, and of Gods grace?

Psalm 51 A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. " Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar."


2 Samuel 11 David and Bathsheba "In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the kings men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 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, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. 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. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, I am pregnant. So David sent this word to Joab: Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 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 masters servants and did not go down to his house. David was told, Uriah did not go home. So he asked Uriah, Havent you just come from a military campaign? Why didnt you go home? Uriah said to David, The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lords men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing! 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. At Davids 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 masters servants; he did not go home. In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die. So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in Davids army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died. Joab sent David a full account of the battle. He instructed the messenger: When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, the kings anger may flare up, and he may ask you, Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didnt you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth? Didnt a woman drop 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, Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead. The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 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 of the city gate. Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the kings men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead. David told the messenger, Say this to Joab: Dont 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. When Uriahs wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 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."

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