Joab sent David a full account of the battle. He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”
(2 Samuel 11:18-21)
Background: David had not too long before this commited adultery with Bathsheba Uriah’s wife. He had made several attempts to cover his tracks yet failed. So he staged a scenario that would get Uriah killed in battle.
What I see though is how God’s Word even in this small section of our text today, still has valueble truth. Though in the text above, there is a literal wall that the soldiers are warned not to get to close to because of danger from the wall. We see how David himself crossed a line toward a wall near the gates of sin he should never have gotten close to.
Historically, in Judges 10— Next Abimelek went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull. (Judges 9:50-53)
Abimelek who had faithlesy killed Gideons sons in a conspiracy and became king, he was later repaid for his treachery. His undoing was not caused by being slain by a sword in battle at the hands of a warrior he fought with but rather a woman manages to drop a heavy object on his head. He dies that way.
David in a spiritual sense is not undone by enemies in battle, not by the foreigners Israel is fighting against. Rather, David stays home one day instead of joining his troops in battle and is hit with an arrow of lust. Hit in not a war field but his own palace as he inadvertantly catches gaze of a woman bathing on a roof. The roofs in those days were flat and could be walked upon. Yet there he gets close to tye threshold and falls prey to a temptation that falls heavily upon him.
He first sees hee beautiful form, then his imagination ponders possibilities, then sinful action takes places and he takes her to sleep with him.
David sinned against the Lord and later was sternly rebuked ans suffered life long consequences. God forgave him because his heart was responsive to the prophet Nathan and he humbled himself, repented and grieved over his sin. Unlike Saul who often made excuses for his sin. David does show himseld to be responsive to the Lord’s rebuke.
Here is one distinct difference between a truly saved person and an outright sinner, both can fall in sin, both will at times blow it and there is often life long consequences depending on the sin. Yet those who belong to God through Christ should show themselves true to faitg by responding in genuine repentence and humility. We should never make excuses. Nor justify our wrongs. Anyone can easily come up with a reason for why they thought their sin was not too serious. Yet truly it takes the humbling of a heart to grieve and take ownership and pray like he does in Psalm 51 and say “Against you and you alone have I sinned and done what is evil”
Sure yes David sinned against Uriah, and Bathsheba, but truly He sinned most against His God. Since he owned up to it and grieved, God spared him from putting him to death.
—-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. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’” Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
2 Samuel 12:9-17
Lets understand God’s mercy and justice that beautifully go hand in hand. God mercifully forgave David his sin, and allowed him to live. Yet God did not just say “Ok thats ok, your forgiven now you have no consequences”
That would not be just. God did not hold David’s guilt against Him by destroying Him with the fate of the wicked. Yet God did not go easy on Him either because He wanted to teach his servant that it was not ok to sin and do that.
Like a good father who loves a child unconditionally, that good father may still use a belt on his son’s behind not because he hates his boy. Rather he loves his son to much to let his son turn out the wrong way.
Ever heard some mother say, or a father say “That’s not how I raised you to behave. That’s not how Im going to let my children behave!”
So too the rod of the Lord is His greatest act of love so often!