THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
A TALE OF TWO WARRIORS
Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 11:1-17
Today we have the tale of two warriors--David and Uriah. It
is quite a contrast. David betrayed his own loyal soldier
and even had him killed, while Uriah did his duty admirably.
David acted very selfishly, while Uriah acted very unselfishly.
David acted in the shadows plotting, while Uriah was up front
in all his actions (literally up in the battle front). What
can we learn about being warriors from this tale?
when there is a war, a soldier goes off to war; otherwise,
a soldier might end up lounging around in the country club
sipping piña coladas. At “the time when kings
go to war, .... David himself remained in Jerusalem.”
(v.1). So David was lounging around the king’s house,
saw a beautiful woman bathing, and was consumed by lust. Not
keeping your eyes and mind fixed on the enemy makes your eyes
stray and be fixed on distractions, including what can lead
to grave sin.
sin easily builds upon sin. Once the enemy makes you fall,
he continues to pummel you until you are totally wiped out.
David tried to cover up his sin by trying to get Uriah to
sleep with his wife, thus answering for her pregnancy. David
first gave Uriah R&R to be with his wife, then when that
failed, got him drunk so he would sleep with his wife, and
when that failed, set him up to be killed on the battle front.
David got deeper and deeper into the hole. Infidelity turned
to murder. David not only sinned against God, but actually
turned against his own, helping the enemy by killing one of
his own valiant warriors. When you start losing your focus
on the war, when you start feeding your own lusts and desires
(when you become self-referential), you end up being on the
side of the enemy!
contrast, the posture of Uriah was exemplary. Told by King
David, the Commander-in-Chief himself, to go to his house
for R&R, Uriah did not, but rather remained with his fellow
officers. When David asked him why, he said, “The ark
and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my lord Joab
and my lord’s servants are encamped in the open field.
Can I go home to eat and to drink and to sleep with my wife?
As the Lord lives and as you live, I will do no such thing.”
(v.11). There are a number of lessons here.
be focused on the war. Often what keeps us from the
thick of the fight is not sin but the good things in life,
such as family and rest. Uriah certainly was entitled to go
home, eat and drink, and be intimate with his wife. But he
chose to do otherwise. There was a war going on. So even as
he was not at the battlefield, he would remain in battle posture.
Remember: the enemy does not rest, but is totally committed
to bringing down God’s people.
be one at heart with your fellow soldiers. In fact,
keep them in your heart. They are your comrades-in-arms, sacrificing
as you are. Empathize with them. Uriah could not bear to have
a good time, when his fellow soldiers were staying in tents
in the open field. Even when he was called away from the battlefield
and told to go home, “Uriah slept at the entrance of
the king’s house with the other officers of his lord,
and did not go down to his own house.” (v.9). Rather
than sleep with his wife, he slept with his fellow warriors.
be singleminded in your determination to do the task at
hand. There will be those who will tell us we are too
involved in our work, taking too much time away from the family,
not considering our own well-being enough, giving more than
our share, doing more than what God expects from us, and so
on. What indeed was wrong with Uriah taking a few days off
from the war and enjoying his home life? Nothing. However,
that was not how Uriah the warrior saw it. Even as his own
Commander-in-Chief was already directing him, he was emphatic:
“I will do no such thing.”
In the army of God, in the community of God’s people,
there can be deceit, infidelity and betrayal. Even among the
highest leaders. There is indeed the enemy within. Our part
is to be true warriors, giving our all in the war that rages
in the heavens and on earth, even until death. We are holy
warriors that are martyrs.
When we die, we die with our combat boots on, with the praise
of God in our mouths and a two-edged sword in our hand. And
so it was that “some officers of David’s army
fell, and Uriah the Hittite also died.” (v.17b). We
fight to the end.