Summary: Here is David's attempt to manipulate others in order to hide his sin. Far to many today still manipulate others in an attempt to get their way or to hide their sin. "O, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive."
2 SAMUEL 11: 6-27 [The Life of David]
Forty-two years ago (June 17, 1972), hotel personnel noticed that a stairwell door lock had been taped in the open position. Three police officers responded to find five unauthorized individuals inside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Burglars had broken in to readjust some of the bugging equipment installed in an earlier break-in in May. Documents of the Democratic National Committee had been photographed in the first break-in.
No one really seemed able to explain just what these burglars expected to gain from their crime. Whatever it was, if there had been an honest confession of all that was done and what they were attempting to do, it may have been taken as a minor crime of political intrigue with minimal impact. It was the attempt to cover up the crime which led to massive repercussions. Richard Nixon, the President of the United States, was forced to resign amid talk of impeachment. A number of his closest associates were indicted, convicted, and sentenced to prison terms.
Throughout history, many attempts have been made to cover up incompetence, immorality, and even crimes. In the Bible, cover-ups appear very early. Adam and Eve sought to cover their nakedness and to hide from God, not realizing their efforts betrayed their sin and guilt. Our lesson from 2 Samuel 11 is one of the great cover-up attempts of all time, and like so many, it too fails disastrously.
Our previous message attempted to explain David's sin with Bathsheba. This sin was due to David's lust and arrogance. David had no desire for Bathsheba to become his wife, or even to carry on an adulterous affair with her. He sought one night's pleasure, and she went home. That was that, or so it seemed. But then David received word from Bathsheba that this one night resulted in Bathsheba's pregnancy. Our text takes up here with the account of David's desperate attempt to cover up his sin with Bathsheba. As we all know, it didn't work, and it made matters so much worse. Let's look at David's attempt to manipulate others in order to hide his sin (CIT). Far to many today still manipulate others in an attempt to get their way or to hide their sin. "O, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive." [Sir Walter Scott]
David's problem was that he didn't know how to stop what he started. So he begins to stack one sin upon another, certain that each one will somehow wipe out visibility of the previous sin. Instead, his sins only multiply. More and more people become aware of his sin, and a cover up becomes impossible. Many lessons can be learned from this tragic episode of David's life, which if heeded, will keep us from duplicating them in our own lives. May the Spirit of God open our ears and our hearts to listen and learn from David's attempt to cover up his sin with Bathsheba. [Bob Deffinbaugh: A Study of 1 Samuel. Bible.org]
I. MANIPULATORS PRETEND, 6-7.
II. MANIPULATORS PROFESS, 8-13.
III. MANIPULATORS PANIC, 14-17.
IV. MANIPULATORS PLANS, 18-25.
V. MANIPULATORS PUNISHED, 26-28.
When word came to David that Bathsheba was pregnant, rather than coming to his senses and facing up to his sins, he began to make plans to hide his wrongdoing. The crisis brought by the pregnancy required some kind of suitable resolution, so David determined to "legitimize" the impending birth by bringing Uriah back from the Ammonite campaign, thus making it possible for him to enjoy the intimacies of marriage. He sent a message to Joab instructing that Uriah be sent to the palace, where he inquired of him about Joab, the people, and the battle.
Verse 7, "When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war."
David orchestrated this homecoming to appear as though it serves one purpose, while it actually served David's purpose of concealing his own sin. So David pretended in was interested the General, the military and the progress of the war. But the real reason for getting Uriah back was to make it possible for him to enjoy the intimacies of marriage. Thus it would be possible to attribute the paternity of the child to him. How sad it is to read of David's hypocrisy.
It seems likely that David and Uriah know each other, to some degree at least. Uriah is listed among the 30 mighty warriors of David (2 Samuel 23:39; 1 Chronicles 11:41). Some of the "mighty men" came to David early, while he was hiding from Saul 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 David at Hebron (1 Chronicles 12:38-40). We do not know when and where Uriah joined with David, but since his military career ends in 2 Samuel 12, his military feats must have been done earlier. It is very likely that David and Uriah would know each other from fighting together, and perhaps even from fleeing Saul together.