2 Samuel 11:1-27 (Part 3) – One Lie Is Never Enough…

Posted: June 19, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel

2 Samuel 11:1-27 (Part 3 of 5)
David Sins with Bathsheba & Arranges Uriah’s Death

One sin begets another. No better laboratory for testing the validity of this fact is our own children when they are little. They learn to lie at such an early age. If you have ever wondered about one of the bedrock theological tenets of the Christian faith, the depravity of man (the fact that we are born into sin and are sinners from birth), you have to look no further than our children. Like I said, they learn to lie at a very early age. Often as early as two years old, they learn that lying can (at least initially) get them out of trouble (time out, a whipping, the taking away of a toy, being sent to your room for an early nap, etc.) or allow you to continue possessing something desired by another child. The ones where something get broken can be hilarious lies when it comes to a young child. They tell a lie like their little baby brother or sister that is barely crawling did it or that some stranger or a ghost came in their room and did it. Being parents, we see that the child is lying so we play along and then see if they can maintain the lie.

We make them think through the lie. About all the possibilities that came before and after the act of the lie. It can be so hilarious watching a little 2, 3 or 4 year old mind trying to construct this alternate reality in their mind on the fly. Being adults with experience with the world, we always win these episodes because the child cannot maintain the consistency of the lie. Finally, they break down and admit they did the bad thing – the breaking of a lamp, a toy, doing something they shouldn’t be doing, etc. They tell a lie and then they have to tell other lies just to maintain the original lie and gets to be way too much for their little minds to handle.

When you think about it, the same is true for us adults as well. Murderers are always found out because it is impossible to maintain a lie. Adulterers are always ultimately exposed because lies are so hard to maintain. Addicts cannot lie about their addictions for too long because the lies pile up and when one lie is exposed the whole deck of lies comes crumbling down. Lies are always destructive and are a form of self-protection for the perpetrator of a wrong. They protect us but hurt others. We lie to make ourselves look better, to save face, to save position, to save a relationship that we value, you name it. It’s all about self-preservation, maintaining the current status quo. Lies prevent change from happening to our world as the result of our completed actions of selfishness. We learn it young. As I said, we learn it as early as we can put sentences together as a child.

That was the thing that I thought of this morning as I read 2 Samuel 11 for the third of five times – how lying is about selfish pride and self-preservation. Once we start lying about something, we often have to back up one lie with another to the point that we begin to believe lies as the truth. We lose a piece of ourselves when we lie. We all do it. Everyday. We may try to minimize it by saying it’s harmless lie, a white lie, or whatever, but the mountain of lies that we tell in a lifetime eat away at our soul and condemns us before an honest and pure God.

Chapter 11
1 In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.

2 Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. 3 He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. Then she returned home. 5 Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.”

6 Then David sent word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the army were getting along and how the war was progressing. 8 Then he told Uriah, “Go on home and relax.[b]” David even sent a gift to Uriah after he had left the palace. 9 But Uriah didn’t go home. He slept that night at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.

10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he summoned him and asked, “What’s the matter? Why didn’t you go home last night after being away for so long?”

11 Uriah replied, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents,[c] and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.”

12 “Well, stay here today,” David told him, “and tomorrow you may return to the army.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David invited him to dinner and got him drunk. But even then he couldn’t get Uriah to go home to his wife. Again he slept at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.
David Arranges for Uriah’s Death

14 So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. 15 The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.” 16 So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting. 17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.

18 Then Joab sent a battle report to David. 19 He told his messenger, “Report all the news of the battle to the king. 20 But he might get angry and ask, ‘Why did the troops go so close to the city? Didn’t they know there would be shooting from the walls? 21 Wasn’t Abimelech son of Gideon[d] killed at Thebez by a woman who threw a millstone down on him from the wall? Why would you get so close to the wall?’ Then tell him, ‘Uriah the Hittite was killed, too.’”

22 So the messenger went to Jerusalem and gave a complete report to David. 23 “The enemy came out against us in the open fields,” he said. “And as we chased them back to the city gate, 24 the archers on the wall shot arrows at us. Some of the king’s men were killed, including Uriah the Hittite.”

25 “Well, tell Joab not to be discouraged,” David said. “The sword devours this one today and that one tomorrow! Fight harder next time, and conquer the city!”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.

In this passage, we see that David tried to cover up his sin by deceiving others. We see that David could have chosen to stop and turn from evil at any stage along the way. However, once sin gets started, it is hard to stop. The deeper the mess, the less we want to admit that we caused it. It is much easier to stop sliding down a hill when you are near the top than when you are further down the hill. The best solution is to stop sin before it starts.

David committed sin. Tried to cover it up with lies. He committed other sins to cover up the first sin. All of it was lies to cover up sin. David is a messy guy. He did some horrible stuff. the Batsheba-Uriah episode is one where he does not show us his best side. He shows us his pride and arrogance and his convenience with lying. However, David was known as a man after God’s own heart. As we shall see, David sought repentance when confronted with his sins and lies. He realized that he was a sinner when confronted with the truth of his sin. He repented. That was one thing you can say about David. He realized when he was wrong and sought to repent for his sins and would turn away from them. He stayed humble because he knew that he was capable of great sin even after years of constantly doing the right things in the eyes of God.

We must be able to do the same. Be honest when we are confronted with our sin and lies. Go to the Lord in repentance. Learn from our mistakes and turn away from these temptations in the future. We must humbly thank Jesus Christ daily for paying the price for our sins and it is through belief in him and through repentance that we are made whole with God. We must remember of our capacity for sin and never think that we have shaken our sin disease. It remains with us for as long as we have flesh. There should be humility before the Lord in that.

Amen and Amen.

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