King David’s story is inspiring, rich, and detailed. Chosen by God to be the King of Israel when still a lad, pursued by King Saul, lived in caves and in the wilderness with his band of not-so-merry men, rose to the throne after Saul’s death, subdued his enemies, raised his successor, King Solomon, and turned over a peaceful kingdom to his son.
In 2 Samuel 11, we see David during his darkest hour, which is self-inflicted due to poor judgement. We can profit from David’s experiences by observing his downward path.
1And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
- “the time when kings go forth to battle” – This is the beginning of David’s troubles. He should be out at the front, leading his troops in battle. Instead, he stays behind in the safety of the kingdom with an idle mind.
2 And it came to pass in an evening tide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
- Since the men were fighting, then this woman should have been safe bathing on the roof, far from the wandering eyes of a man.
- David was captured by her beauty.
3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
- David pursues his desire to meet Bathsheba.
4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
- David “hooks up” with her at his palace to gratify his adulterous desires by impregnating Bathsheba.
5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
- David schemes on how to cover-up his illegitimate child.
6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.
- David returns Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, from battle to meet at his palace. After a discussion about the front line, David sends Uriah home with a feast with the intent to spend the night with Bathsheba. This would provide the perfect whitewash for her pregnancy.
9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? Why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?
11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah abides in tents; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou lives, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.
Uriah is an honorable man as expressed by his loyalty to his fellow warriors.
12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here today also, and tomorrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
- David now turns to plan B. After filling Uriah with food and wine, David expects that Uriah will go home, but he sleeps with David’s servants instead. Uriah is proving to be stronger and more disciplined than David expected.
14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
- David’s final solution to send Uriah to the riskiest, hottest fighting results in David murdering an innocent man.
This murder is not covered up by God.
In 2 Samuel 12 David is confronted by the prophet Nathan about God’s extreme disappointment and consequences with David’s decisions.
For the remainder of David’s life, even after David marries Bathsheba, she is referred to as “the wife of Uriah”. I think that this is a reminder of his sin.