Daily Readings & Thought for July 25th. “IS THIS NOT BATHSHEBA?
Today’s readings bring us to that very sad and disturbing account of David’s adultery with Bathsheba. He asked who she was and was plainly told “Is this not Bathsheba … the wife of Uriah” [2 Sam.11 v.3]. To try to cover up his adultery he uses his authority to arrange the death of Uriah. How could David have been so blind to commit such a dreadful sin – two sins really – murder to try to cover up the first. Let’s weigh up the situation.
When someone has total power and is answerable to no other human, then there is always the potential to misuse that power. The only human being to succeed in overcoming all forms of temptation was Jesus – and his temptations revolved around the misuse of his special powers. David had achieved in his life everything that was humanly possible, except that God did not permit him to fulfil his dream of building a magnificent temple to his God. It is clear he had a very committed and energetic mind; he set about assembling much of the material that would be needed to build the temple.
Note how there is a strange lull in his activity at the time of his sin. Today’s chapter indicates that when winter is over it is customary for “kings to go out to battle” [v.1], this would be to reassert their control over their dominions, yet this time David decided not to go but “remained in Jerusalem” and “sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel” [v.1].
There is an important lesson for us here; there can never be a time when we can take life ‘easy’, can relax when there is work at hand to be done in service to our Lord, that we can take or ‘make’ the opportunity to do. The Lord has given his servants different talents, abilities and opportunities and when we shirk using the one’s we have and perhaps sub-consciously feeling, “my Lord delays his coming”, we start to give opportunity for distractions and attractions to lodge in our minds and we start to drift off course. We have just read in Matthew about the servant who said, “My Master is delayed … and eats and drinks with the drunkards” [Ch. 24 v.48,49], that servant ends up “in that place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”[v.51]
Mercifully the Lord “put away” David’s sin because he had already proved himself an exceptional servant, he nevertheless suffered the consequences for the rest of his life, his authority was undermined, especially with Joab, and he lost confidence in himself. The lesson for us is plain, it is never time to ‘take time off’ when there is work for the Lord to be done.