King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (22)


David and Uriah – Rembrandt

King David and Bathsheba (2)

The Attempted Coverup: 2 Samuel 11:6-13

David’s initial attempt to coverup his sin seeks the least destructive path.  However, he has started down a dark, dangerous road that, if followed, will lead to ever greater levels of sin.

So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.

Note that the scope of David’s sin went far beyond adultery.  As the King he was the “commander in chief” of the army.  Thus, while Uriah was in the field of battle David had used this absence to enable his elicit liaison with Bathsheba.  Thus, David had utterly corrupted his military and political authority as well.

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. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.

10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”

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

Note that it is Uriah’s honor that defeats David’s coverup.

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.

dangerous-pathDavid has done everything in his power to deceive Uriah into sleeping with his wife.  But, since he must exercise this power in the shadows there are powerful limitations on what he can say and do.  David’s sin has thus led him down a road of degradation and powerlessness.  He is now in a terrible, dark place; lost within the shame and lies of the situation that he has created for himself.

This is his last chance to turn back before he has done something utterly irrevocable from the perspective of worldly consequences.



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