Introduction to Uriah the Hittite
Uriah the Hittite was one of the elite warriors who fought alongside King David. He was among “David’s Mighty Warriors,” who were either 37 or 30 in number. He is listed among these honorable and brave warriors in both 1 Chronicles 11 and 2 Samuel 23.
“David’s Mighty Men of War” were not only courageous, but they were also intelligent. Since they were so close to David and in his inner circle of soldiers, their involvement in creating war plots with the Israeli king could very much be a possibility.
I believe Uriah knew about David’s affair with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. As an elite warrior from David’s army, Uriah may have had his own network (of allies, secret agents, or subordinates) to keep an eye on his family while he was away from home to fight battles.
Uriah may also have been in touch with a few soldiers and servants in David’s palace. Being an Israeli government servant, he may have had contacts in the government as well. Remember, Bathsheba’s grandfather Ahithophel was a counselor of David (2 Samuel 15:12, 1 Chronicles 27:33); in other words, a government official.
Was Uriah unaware of David and Bathsheba’s affair?
In 2 Samuel 11, we read about David sending messengers to Bathsheba and taking her; then she comes to him and returns to her house. Someone must have witnessed this series of events unfolding. Not to forget, Bathsheba had also sent someone or a message to David to inform him that she was pregnant.
Obviously, while so much was happening near Uriah and Bathsheba’s house and David’s palace, the people around could have noticed it. Someone could have informed Uriah about it.
Do you really think Uriah didn’t know anything about David and Bathsheba’s affair? Do you really think a choice warrior from David’s close circle of intelligent and strategic army men was unaware what his wife was up to? If yes, maybe you’re too naive.
Why did Uriah not sleep with his wife after returning from Rabbah?
Uriah did not go to his house and sleep with his wife after David asked him to return from the war in Rabbah. He abstained from sex and did not go to his house while the war was still on. He did this out of respect to his commanding officer Joab and fellow army men who were fighting alongside him.
Uriah also did not find it fitting to be in his house and make love to his wife while the ark and his countrymen were living in tents during the war.
2 Samuel 11:11 – And Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.”
In addition, Uriah may have had already known that David had sex with Bathsheba, and this could be another reason why Uriah did not sleep with his wife. Remember, sleeping with a king’s wife, concubine, or any other woman with whom he has sexual relations meant treason or a claim to his throne.
Moreover, David’s Mighty Men of War, among whom was Uriah, were very loyal to him and ready to die for him at any moment. This could have also caused Uriah to abstain from sleeping with his wife after David had sex with her.
Uriah’s loyalty to his king and faithfulness to his fellow army men were exemplary. Even when drunk, he remained loyal and faithful.
2 Samuel 11:13 – Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.
Sins of David: Avoiding responsibilities to murdering Uriah
Using the words of Uriah, God was actually reminding David of his duty to fight battles as a king. At the beginning of 2 Samuel 11, we see David staying home at Jerusalem instead of going to Rabbah to fight the battle. No doubt, he had always been at the forefront and taken charge of almost every battle that Israel fought during his time.
However, David chose to send his men to Rabbah to fight the Ammonites and besiege the city, instead of leading the battle himself. He was at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and this was his first mistake that opened a door to the sin involving Bathsheba.
Even today, we see people procrastinating or not doing their God-given assignments. We see them giving their first priority to other things instead of God. We see them not giving God the first place in their lives. This gives the devil a legal entry in their lives and puts them in a spiritually weak spot.
That’s exactly what happened in David’s life. While he was in his palace instead of fighting the battle at Rabbah, he was tempted by the devil through Bathsheba. He eventually sleeps with her – the wife of one of his loyal army men who was fighting a battle for him.
Not only that, David plotted Uriah’s murder and took Bathsheba as his wife after Uriah died in the battlefield. You see, one sin leads to another, which could be worse, and it all starts with that one small door opened to the devil.
2 Samuel 11: 14-15 – In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.”
2 Samuel 11:27 – And when her 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.
4 red flags that warned David of the sin with Bathsheba
Warning Sign 1: When David saw Bathsheba bathing, it was a warning sign or a red flag for him to avoid giving into the temptation and committing a sin. But he didn’t stop there, he inquired about her. In the enquiry, he came to know that she is the wife of one of his Mighty Men of War.
2 Samuel 11:3 – So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”
Warning Sign 2: Bathsheba was also a daughter of Eliam, another warrior listed in David’s Mighty Men of War (2 Samuel 23:34). The name of Eliam is probably discernible as Ahijah the Pelonite in 1 Chronicles 11. In 1 Chronicles 3:5, it is altered to or by transposition mentioned as Ammiel. Not to forget, Eliam was a son of Ahithophel, a counselor of David.
You see, Bathsheba had such relevant, close, and legitimate relations with individuals from David’s Mighty Men of War and government. This was the second warning sign or red flag for David. However, he went ahead and committed a sexual sin with her.
Warning Sign 3: The third warning sign or red flag for David was Bathsheba’s pregnancy. He could have seriously considered it to not commit any other sin in connection with her. At this point in time, Bathsheba was bearing a child as a result of the sin of adultery committed by David and her.
2 Samuel 11:5 – And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”
Warning Sign 4: The fourth warning sign or red flag for David was Uriah’s loyalty, faithfulness, and respect toward his commanding officer Joab, fellow soldiers, and most importantly, the ark. Here, the ark symbolizes God. In other words, God was showing David how faithful Uriah, one of his subordinates, is to Him. He was also showing David how Uriah honors God and is committed to doing his duty.
Uriah abstained from having sex with his own wife while on duty, fighting for his country, his king, and staying committed to fulfilling his responsibilities. At the same time, David was committing adultery with the wife of another man, who was fighting a battle and risking his life for David.
David did not fulfill his responsibility as a king in the case of leading the battle in Rabbah. He stayed home, instead of leading or being actively involved in the battle. The words and demeanor of Uriah were a warning sign or red flag for David to make a hard stop and not commit any other sin in connection with Bathsheba.
However, David adds to his sin of adultery and makes it worser by plotting the murder of and killing Uriah. You may say David indirectly killed Uriah. But through the words of Prophet Nathan, God clearly told David that he “killed” Uriah.
2 Samuel 12:9 – Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.
A final thought
Now you understand how a small door opened to the devil wreaked havoc in David’s life. It all started with not fulfilling the responsibility of a king that God gave to David. David was not supposed to be present at home during the time of the war against the Ammonites in Rabbah.
If David had been in the battlefield, he wouldn’t have encountered the temptation of looking at a bathing Bathsheba and the sin of committing adultery with her. Moreover, he wouldn’t have to kill Uriah to hide his sin.
David could have asked for forgiveness to God right at the beginning when he watched or continued to watch Bathsheba bathing. And God would have forgiven him. David eventually asks for forgiveness to God and gets forgiven.
2 Samuel 12:13 – So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
But then it was too late. The consequences of his sin with Bathsheba had turned very devastating.
2 Samuel 12:10-12 – Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord:
‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’
2 Samuel 12:14 – However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”