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Summary: What does the verse "In the spring when kings go out to war" mean

2 Samuel 11 David and Bathsheba

1 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, "Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then [a] she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."

6 So David sent this word to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8 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. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.

10 When David was told, "Uriah did not go home," he asked him, "Haven’t you just come from a distance? Why didn’t you go home?"

11 Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"

12 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. 13 At David’s 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 master’s servants; he did not go home.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."

Temptation 2 Samuel 11:1-11:27

Have you ever thought what is meant in the Lord’s Prayer when Jesus said:

“Lead us not into temptation….” (Mt 6:13)

Have you ever asked any of these questions?

i. Does God tempt us?

ii. Is temptation a sin?

And indeed what do you make of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness in Luke 4.

I’d like to focus this morning on how can we resist temptation?

Oscar Wilde in his inimitable way usually had something to say about everything – and temptation was no exception: He said

1. "I can resist anything except temptation!"

2. "The best way to deal with temptation is to yield to it!"

Was he right?

If he wasn’t, how do we deal with temptation.

“When kings go off to war”

This morning, I’d like to focus on one verse from our OT lesson today. That seemingly strange phrase in 2 Samuel 11: 1:

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war,…..(2 Sam 11:1)

When I first read it – I was perplexed – not just about the meaning of the verse, but because I had to preach on that passage at the Anglican Church in Basle later on that week.

So what is it all about?

“In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war”

1. The Context

The verse introduces one of the most notorious acts of treachery in the Old Testament.

King David’s adultery with Uriah the Hittite’s wife, Bathsheba - followed by the shameful murder of her husband.

2. Who was Uriah?

What makes this event so despicable is that Uriah wasn’t just any old soldier.

He was one of David’s special SAS force - known as the Thirty Chiefs - who had been with David from the days of Adullum’s Cave (2 Sam 23: 39).

In other words Uriah was a trusty companion of David’s. A friend even. And David had him killed!

3. David’s sin

I haven’t come across anyone who could break so many of the 10 commandments at one sitting!

As far as I can make out David managed to break at least 4 of the 10 commandments

You shall not murder (No. 6)

You shall not commit adultery (No. 7)

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