The Snowball Effect

2 Sam. 11:5-17  “And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child. And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. 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. 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. 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? And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide 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 livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thingAnd 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. 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. And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 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. And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. 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.

Yesterday we saw how David’s initial sin was being in the wrong place at the wrong time: he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. This resulted initially in committing adultery with Bathsheba. When he found out she was carrying his child, the sin compounded. Here he was, the king of Israel, appointed by God Himself, reputed to be a man after God’s own heart. What’s more, all of the surrounding nations knew that Israel was God’s chosen people. And here was David, his sin making a mockery of that reputation. What was he going to do now?

He devised a plan. He would have Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, brought back on furlough from the battlefield. He would give Uriah enough leave time that, when the child was born, everyone would assume the child belonged to him.

But Uriah was a more honorable man than the king. He came home at the king’s request, but he would not enjoy himself at the expense of the comfort of his comrades on the battlefield.  He would be rested and able to rejoin the battle with renewed vigor, but he would not enjoy the pleasures of his wife. Uh-oh. So now what was David to do? His plan was not working.

He brought in Joab, the captain of the unit to which Uriah belonged. The edict from the king was to have Uriah killed in battle. As we read farther into the chapter we see that, not only was Uriah killed, but several other men with him. They had been put in a place where no military leader would ever put his men: right next to the wall from which the arrows were being shot. They had zero chance of survival. Not only did David kill Uriah, he killed innocent men that had not even been a part of the whole matter. As if those crimes were not enough, he had made an accomplice of Joab. David breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing the news of Uriah’s death. Now he would simply marry Bathsheba. All would be well. Right?

Read the final segment tomorrow.