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May 25, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Nehemiah 4-6
Audio: Nehemiah 4-6

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

2 Samuel 11 (ESV)

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12 Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.” 16 And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. 19 And he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, 20 then, if the king’s anger rises, and if he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall?21 Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’”

22 So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27 And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

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Next: 2 Samuel 12

Back: 2 Samuel 10

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. David Abuses His Power and Position

    This is a tragic chapter in so many ways. While it would only be natural for a man to be attracted to a beautiful woman (Bathsheba) who was bathing, his devotion to God and his knowledge that she was married to a soldier (Uriah) who was fighting a war for him and Israel should have been enough to stop David from sinning. 

    It didn't stop him and David slept with her and she got pregnant. Since they were intimate after her menstruation, it would be obvious to Uriah she was unfaithful while he was gone.

    So David's plan was to summon Uriah to return home in hopes he would sleep with his wife while he was home. This would have been the “perfect” cover-up as Bathsheba’s pregnancy would have appeared to be because she was with Uriah. His plan backfired. 

    2 Samuel 11:11 says, "Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.”

    So what does David do? 2 Samuel 11:14-15 says, "In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, 'Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.'"

    Sadly, Uriah was killed and when Bathsheba was done lamenting over her husband and her mourning was over, David married her and he gave birth to a son (2 Samuel 11:26-27).. 

    The last sentence shows God knew everything that had happened:

    "But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord" (2 Samuel 11:27). 

    Notice the Lord's focus was on what David did? There's no mention of Bathsheba's participation.

    The literal translation is this was "evil in the eyes of the Lord" and would bring about serious consequences. 

  2. One of the things that stood out to me was how Uriah delivered the letter containing his own fate. If this scenario was played out today, I wonder if the messenger could have been trusted not to read the letter before passing it on to Joab. The fact that this thought even enters my mind is interesting to me. 

    Interesting, but I know why it does.  

    Suspicion, paranoia and mistrust were all parts of my old life. Sometimes things like that can be very hard to shake. Once you're used to suspecting everyone of, in some way, being "against" you, it's a hard habit to break. 

    But when you really trust in God, those feelings fall away. You know that He's there for you, no matter what, and that nobody has that power over you anymore. You begin to see things for what they truly are, and you can act accordingly, with confidence. 

    The way God has opened my eyes since I laid my life at His feet are incredible. For the first time, I feel like I'm seeing life with "truth glasses" on. Amen. 

     

  3. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Ephesians 4:25

    So much wickedness and sin in this chapter!! If it weren’t David, I would not be surprised at any of it. This is “a man after God’s own heart,” a man who knew God’s Law and expectations of him and was enjoying the privilege of leadership. Yet here he is a lying, cheating, plotting, manipulative and  murderous king whose sin has resulted in the death of an innocent man — and he’s even brought his servants into it.

    This is the path we set out on once we choose to set aside Truth to satisfy our flesh, especially when we surround ourselves with people who are afraid or hesitant to be honest with us, or people who don’t desire to honor God with their lives and are likely to encourage our sin and even take part in it with us. 

    I wonder about the way David has previously responded to criticism from those closest to him. Has power gone to his head by this point? Has he removed people from his life who would dare question him? He seems to be surrounded only by “yes men,” making him a very dangerous leader with no accountability.

    1) What kinds of friends do we surround ourselves with? Godly people who will tell us the truth? Who want to help us grow in faith, knowledge, grace and obedience to God for His glory? Who are comfortable speaking truth in love to us? Or friends who flatter us, pat us on the back, and look the other way as we engage in sin? (See Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 27:5-6; Proverbs 12:26; Psalm 12:2; Proverbs 29:5)

    2) And how well do we receive criticism? Are we willing to listen to godly men and women who disagree with us or who are warning us about sin? Are we humble and grateful for the love of our godly friends when they point out areas in our lives they’re concerned about?  Or do we shut them out and perhaps even shut them down? Are we easily offended? (See Galatians 4:16; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 15:12; Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 12:1; Proverbs 12:15)

    3) And what kind of friends are we? Are we “yes men” who are afraid to speak truth to one another for fear of offending them (especially if they’re easily offended!) and losing the relationship? Or do we truly love our friends and seek the best for them for God’s glory? (See Ephesians 4:15-16; Ephesians 4:25; Zechariah 8:16-17; Proverbs 17:17; John 15:12-13)

    4) How might this chapter have turned out for David, Bathsheba, Uriah and Joab if David had surrounded himself with godly men, and had the humility to listen to their counsel and receive criticism when needed? 

     

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