Summary: The story of King David’s sin, his prayer of repentance and his path back to confidence in God
Pastor Jamie Wright * July 19, 2006* MFC
“In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. But David stayed at home (in Jerusalem).
Whatever David’s reasons for staying at home, it becomes clear that there was more than strategy involved. David has a warrior-king, the very reason he was not allowed to build the temple of the Lord—ordinarily, David would be leading the charge in war, fueled by his passion for God and disdain for his enemies.
David’s place was with his armies, but something was amiss. Perhaps he had become weary with battle; maybe he had grown a little “soft” surrounded by the wealth and comforts of the palace. We don’t know for sure, but what we do know is that David was at a place of low spiritual vitality. His heart had lost its edge; he was drifting from God.\
ILLUS: People find it hard to understand that simply doing nothing is so dangerous to spiritual life and vitality….but it’s really only a reflection of our normal, daily experience. Relationships fall apart because we don’t work at them. Etc..
David couldn’t sleep one evening (2 Samuel 11:2) so he gets up out of bed and takes a stroll on the terrace. There’s no indication that David was on “the prowl” but how many know that when your guard is down, the Devil will set you up?
Bathsheba was bathing that evening in the privacy of her own yard, assuming she was alone, did not count on being watched. But when the king summons her to his room, it is safe to assume that she felt obligated to obey. This was not adultery on her part but rather royal rape. David bluntly abused his authority as king, shepherd of God’s flock, to indulge his own desires.
Days if not weeks go by. David may very well have forgotten his one night stand with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, but then he receives the news that she is pregnant. David knows that the child is his so, being a strategist, he concocts a foolproof plan: It’s still early in the pregnancy, so order Bathsheba’s husband home form the battle field; he’ll certainly sleep with her and discover later that he and his wife are expecting a child. Perfect.
David is underestimating Uriah. Uriah is on of the 30 mighty men of David. He isn’t just a common soldier. He is a Hittite who had been serving David ever since David was a fugitive running from Saul. We know his parents have converted him to Judaism by his name---Uriah, means “My light is the Lord”.
Here is where we see the contrast between David and Uriah. 2 Samuel 11:9 tells us that Uriah didn’t even go to his house---perhaps for fear that he might compromise his convictions. Instead he sleeps outside in the servants’ quarters.
So here you have David who should have been in the fields with his troops and Uriah who is so committed to David and to God that he will not even sleep one evening in the comfort of his own home with his wife. So David tells Uriah (vs. 12) to stay another night before going back to the battle. The scheme? Get Uriah drunk and then have him go home and sleep with his wife. It back fires on him again.
Now treachery begins to unfold. David prepares to do the unthinkable. It is still early in the game. David is thinking Bathsheba’s only a month along, so if I get rid of Uriah, I can marry her as a widow, and feasible hid my sin.
Watch this now. The callousness of David’s heart is further exposed not only by his plot to have Uriah murdered, but by sending the death sentence to Joab in the hands of Uriah himself. David is murdering a man whose very name means my light is the Lord! What does that mean? David, a man after God’s own heart, has allowed his own heart to become dull and dark; so darkened he sets out to extinguish the light of the Lord. Why? Because of the light of the Lord is extinguished he can hid his sin. David himself says in Psalm 119, “I have hid they word in my heart that I may not sin against you”. He goes on to say, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” God’s light exposes things. David was trying to extinguish the light of the Lord
You know the rest of the story. Uriah goes to battle. Joab puts him on the front lines. He is killed in the heat of the battle and David gets word that he is dead. (Vs. 16-25)