Fighting the Ammonites and Syrians; David and Bathsheba(2 Samuel 10 – 11; 1 Chronicles 19)

Nahash, the king of Ammon died, and his son Hanun reigned in his place.  David sent word to him to comfort him.  Hanun, however, heeded counsel of the princes of Ammon suggesting that David was simply spying on Ammon and trying to overthrow them.  They took David’s messengers, shaved off half their beards, and cut off their clothes at the buttocks, and sent them away.  David met them and sent them to a sanctuary until their hair grew back.  Hanun sought the Syrians to help defend them, for they knew David would be coming for them.  When the conflict was to begin, Joab arrayed against the Syrians, and Abishai, his brother, arrayed against Ammon.  When the Israelite troops began to defeat both armies, they fled from Israel into their city.  After this, David took all Israel to fight Syria, and they killed tens of thousands of the Syrians.  The Syrians did not assist the Ammonites any more.

The next part of this section chronicles David’s indiscretion with Bathsheba.  In the spring of the year, a time when kings went out to battle, David sent his army, but he stayed in Jerusalem.  One evening, as he walked on his roof, he observed a beautiful woman bathing.  He inquired about her and learned she was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.  He then sent for her, and had sex with her, and they conceived.  She then told David that she was pregnant.  David called for Uriah, and asked him how the war was going.  He then sent Uriah to his house to see his wife.  He slept on the front steps of the king’s house, citing the fact that the ark of God and the armies of Israel were sleeping in tents, so he would not sleep in his house, either.  David sent orders to Joab to place Uriah in the heat of battle and then retreat from him.  They did as David commanded, and Uriah was killed.  Joab sent word back to David that the battle was fierce, and that Uriah was killed.  When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him, then David brought her into his house, and she bore him a son.  But the thing Dabid did displeased the Lord.

David initially did what kings do: he fought the nation’s enemies and won with the Lord’s power.  But then he stopped doing what king did, and had too much time on his hands, and succumbed to temptation.  In order to cover his sin, he tried to enlist the husband to cover him, but the husband was too virtuous.  Then David killed the husband (murder by war) to cover his tracks even further.  David covered one sin by committing another, and then did the “right thing” by taking the man’s wife into his house to appear virtuous.  First, do not shirk your responsibilities and sit idly by while Satan leads you to places you do not need to go.  Second, if you do sin, take responsibility and confess your wrong.  Third, do not cover your sin with more sin.  Stop the cycle, the downward spiral toward judgment before it is too late!

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