July 2, 2023
“David told the messenger, 'Say this to Joab: “Don’t let this matter upset you because the sword devours all alike. Intensify your fight against the city and demolish it.”'”
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“David told the messenger, ‘Say this to Joab: “Don’t let this matter upset you because the sword devours all alike. Intensify your fight against the city and demolish it”. Encourage him.’ When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband Uriah had died, she mourned for him. When the time of mourning ended, David had her brought to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. However, the Lord considered what David had done to be evil.”
2 Samuel 11:25-27 (HCSB)
Several years ago, I was surfing around the TV dial when a Discovery Channel program caught my eye. Scientists were dropping cats off buildings. The scientists were conducting experiments as to why cats always land on their feet, regardless of the position they were in when they fell (or were thrown). Mystery solved.
In today’s passage, David reminds me of one of those cats. Throughout the whole drama, David is in control and successful. No matter how he falls, David seems to land on his feet. Perhaps, you have known people like that. No matter how wicked or evil their deeds are, they always seem to come out unscathed. Don’t believe the hype.
Sin frustrates. While David is always active, always the one in control, he is repeatedly frustrated. In verses 2-5, David saw, inquired, sent, took, and copulated…but his secret hits a snag: “I am pregnant.” No problem. In the next segment (vv 6-11), David sends for, asks, orders, and lavishes gifts, but he cannot control Uriah. David has more cards to play. He gives Uriah final orders, invites him to dinner, gets him drunk...unsuccessful. David may put Uriah “under the influence,” but Uriah is not under David’s influence.
King David, always the mover and shaker, even has Uriah carry his own death warrant under Royal seal. Eventually, Uriah is killed. David has persevered; he has succeeded. How can this be? This is Israel; this is DAVID! He is the king in the covenant with the Lord. The man “after God’s own heart” takes the sword after God’s own people? Here is David, who put Mephibosheth at his table, and Uriah in the grave. Everyone is suspect, and the only one acting like a God-fearing Israelite is the Hittite! Welcome to Old Testament thug life.
So, what are we to learn from today’s passage? The simple truth is that the kingdom is not safe, even in David’s hands. It is only safe when Messiah Jesus rules with justice and righteousness. Yet, until Jesus permanently & publicly enforces that just regime at His second coming, it will not be unusual for God’s people to suffer, even within (what claims to be) the Kingdom of God. It is detestable when Church leaders rule with harshness and severity, crushing rather than comforting Jesus’ flock, suffocating rather than sustaining them.
Bottom line: David may have Bathsheba’s flesh and Uriah’s blood, but he cannot escape the Lord’s eyes nor His iron rod! The silence of God does not indicate His absence. For a moment, He may be silent, but the Lord is not sightless nor powerless. Rebuke is on its way!