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5.28 2 Samuel -- Revenge from Beyond the Grave

Unfortunately, there is nothing in Scripture that gives Uriah a place among the faithful, a seat at Abraham's table.  He passes from the scene, mourned only by Bathsheba.   Her role in this scandal was purely passive:  she was not a moral actor at all, being totally subject to the will of the king.  Did she object when David first sent for her?  Did she suspect that David caused her husband to be killed?  Was her mourning for Uriah's death sincere?  More likely, she was relieved, because if she had been discovered to be pregnant by another man, she could have been stoned as an adulteress.  Bathsheba's character can never be known.  God never addressed her at all.


And then, after all the hubbub had died down, after David successfully managed to cover up the whole affair and seemed to have gotten away with murder, God intervened.  Note the timing of the Word of the Lord: Uriah was long dead and buried, Bathsheba was in the palace, her baby had been born.  A year had passed since the original sin!  And only then God spoke through the prophet.  It was a setup: Nathan told him a story of the poor man whose sheep is taken by the rich man.  

          "David burned with anger against the man" (2 Sam 12:5).

God was arousing David's strong point -- his sense of justice and righteousness, his compassion for the powerless.  And then the trap was sprung, and David found himself the prey, and there was no escape. 

         "Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites" (2 Sam 12:9).

           David was the rich man who had stolen the sheep.  He had condemned himself out of his own mouth, and he would pay four times over (Ex 22:1).


And in God's judgment, the fact of Uriah's foreign origin was irrelevant to the matter:  it was the acts of David that were the issue.  Before David could respond, God pronounced the sentence:  "Calamity," chaos in David's home, death to the infant. What David did in secret, God would do before everyone.  There is no mercy here, and David asked for none.  Unlike Saul, who when confronted with his disobedience at Amalek protested and made excuses (1 Sam 15), David said simply,

          "I have sinned against the Lord" (2 Sam 12:13).

           Actually, there was nothing more to say. And then God offered mercy:  his sin wasn't taken away, but he would not die.  Still, the consequences remained.


This is a textbook case of the psychology of sin.  Surely a part of David's mind knew that he was doing evil long before Nathan showed up.  Lightbulbs must have gone on at some point in the progression of events:  lying with another man's wife, for instance, is pretty blatant.  Conspiracy to commit murder is also a flashing neon sign.  But somehow, David's conscious mind suppressed the inner witness, the still small voice, the nagging doubts.  David had been in tight spots before, and had always come through:  Goliath, Saul, Achish.  What he learned was that the way to win is to stifle the inner doubts and go full steam ahead.  In the past, this worked because David was acting in accordance with the purposes of God, not contrary to His ways.  But when he set himself against God's laws, this bull-headed approach merely got him deeper and deeper into the mire.  Sin fed on itself:  first a look, then a desire, then a plan, then sending a man to bring the woman to him, then lying with her, then pretending to honor Uriah and be his friend, then trying to enlist Uriah in the coverup by sending him home to Bathsheba, and finally eliminating all evidence of the crime by killing off the victim himself!   

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