Morning Light – June 25th, 2015
Today: [2 Samuel Chapter Eleven]: Never Let Down Your Guard. In this chapter David stays behind while his armies go out to war. As a result David eyes Bathsheba on a nearby rooftop and the events which ensue lead to adultery, murder and eventually civil war. David that night on his rooftop no doubt had let down his guard. His thoughts were anywhere but on the kingdom. We often make room in our lives for seasons of laxity and rest yet there is never a time that we should allow our guard to be let down so much that we open ourselves to disaster.
[2Sa 11:1-27 KJV] 1 And 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. 2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, 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. 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? 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. 5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I [am] with 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. 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.
In this chapter we find that David stays behind in Jerusalem rather than going to battle with his armies. We don’t know the reason for this decision by David but we do know that it is the beginning of a series of events that lead to adultery, murder and eventually civil war in the kingdom. David’s kingdom is so expanded and his armies so powerful that his personal generalship is not needed. He sends Joab against Ammon and Rabbah and Joab burns Rabbah with fire. Rabbah of Ammon is where Og – king of Bashan was defeated by Moses. The history of the place and the giant that was defeated there by Moses typifies it as a symbol of pride and rebellion. Joab defeated the outward enemy but David by staying behind was defeated by the inward enemy through the events that took place on the rooftop of his palace in the night.
This brings up the whole idea of rest, diversion and entitlement. We have a belief in our culture that “a man’s home is his castle” a place to rest when it is in fact according the scripture a place to serve. We do not suspend the disciplines of Christ when we park the car in our driveway. We see our home environment as the place where we “let down our hair” but there is never a time when we can afford not to be vigilant for the enemy as a roaring lion goes about seeking whom he may devour. We are prone to think that “we deserve a break” but when we lean to natural resources for the pressure relief to manage stress and life’s challenges we often open ourselves up to the snare of the enemy.
Jesus said in the gospel of Luke: [Luk 11:34 KJV] 34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when [thine eye] is evil, thy body also [is] full of darkness.
The phrase “if thine eye be single” is interesting because it means “without folds”. We know in the natural that the eye can develop stigmatisms that cause our sight to become blurred and inaccurate. What doesn’t it mean as Jesus states to have our moral, or spiritual eyesight compromised in this way? When you take something and fold it you are creating “compartments” in life. We often do this for practical reasons. There is the work-a-day life where you conduct yourself along certain lines. There is your public self and how you carry out your activities at church, or shopping, or in other public venues. Then there is your familial self and how you conduct yourself around extended family and your children. Then there is the personal compartment of your relationship with your spouse.
All of these are the various compartments of life and they are necessary and normal regarding how we go about your day. However what Jesus is referring to is when you become an entirely different person in one compartment of life than in another. David may have been the king in his throne room but he is something else entirely up on his roof the night he decided to take Bathsheba. It is common for people to seal off parts of their life from others and engage in unwholesome behavior without ever even holding themselves accountable for when they exit that compartment of life they dismiss it as though it never existed. David however finds that what he allowed in one area of his life is spilling over into another in ways that he is desperate to deal with to his own hurt and eventual to the harm of the whole nation.
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, 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 thing. 12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow 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. 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. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; 19 And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, 20 And if so be that the king’s wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. 22 So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for. 23 And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate. 24 And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and [some] of the king’s servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
David attempts to set up the circumstances where Uriah might seem to impregnate his wife but the man’s integrity foils his plan. Nonetheless David continues unchecked and arranges that Uriah will be killed in battle. As terrible as this crime is the situation is compounded by the fact that several others die as well – paying the price unknown to them for the king’s deceit and sinful choices. When you are dealing with people and find you are being treated unfairly it is often due to pressures in that person’s life that are not immediately evident. You may be mistreated or set aside in some way or even put in jeopardy – but the real issue has nothing to do with you but with other problems and circumstances to which you are (to the offending leader) a mere pawn in a circumstance engineered to hide or obfuscate their own wrong doing.
25 Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him. 26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
What would have been the result if David had presented himself for judgment before the prophets for his actions? We may never know but whatever the outcome we can be reasonably sure that David’s throne would have continued. We assume this because if he had repented rather than continuing on to deceit and actually murder yet God never removed David from the throne. Uriah is now dead and David takes Bathsheba to himself for a wife and the child is born in legitimacy. However David may have thought this was covered up – it was certain that Joab knew what was going on. The soldiers that Joab instructed to allow Uriah to die also knew what had happened. One way or another there was no way this situation would remain hidden. David may have thought all was manageable now except for the ominous concluding statement that the Lord saw this that was done and is displeased.
The lesson for us is to have the wisdom to identify the problem before it becomes so complicated that we are completely slain by the circumstance. David should have gone to war with his army. He should not have stayed behind. Whatever his reasons he should have continued to seek the kingdom as we should as well. When we take that attitude toward ourselves that in order to rest we must be able to let down our guard, disaster is often the result.
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