“But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all
his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.” 2 Sam 11:9
It was probably walking distance from the entrance of the palace to Uriah’s home and Bathsheba might
have stayed up, waiting for her husband to come home. Yet Uriah did what was
unthinkable to most people: he slept at the entrance of the palace with the
king’s servants. Being flesh and blood, Uriah must have thought about going
home to his young wife for the night, but he didn’t succumb to his base nature
and yield to his instinct as a man; he instead did a noble thing by staying
away from his wife, which he deemed an honorable thing to do.
In one sense, Uriah was a better man than David. While the man after God’s own heart was scheming to
cover up his own sin, the one who was victimized by David was intending to do
an honorable thing, an act which would lead to his own demise.
A grave injustice was done to an innocent man who had been betrayed by his own wife and was murdered by the
king. Who was to avenge Uriah’s blood?
Up to the day of his death, the Hittite had tried his best to do the right thing. He was faithful to his
God, loyal to his general, and fair to his fellow soldiers. Even though he had
a rare opportunity to be with his wife while all the other soldiers were
sleeping in tents, he overcame his desire by staying away from his wife.
Although he was sent to the place where the battle was the fiercest to be
killed, Uriah still believed he fought to the death for his God and his
country. The man died with a clear conscience and without regret, yet the man
who murdered him had to live with his guilt his entire life.
Uriah might have come out a winner after all was said and done. He did what he believed was right and never
wavered from his purpose until the day he died.
What kind of bitter fruit did David harvest from randomly sowing his wild oats?
It must have taken him a lot of spiritual energy to repent and to get right with the Lord; and it would take
a much longer time for him to restore the joy of his salvation. He might have
killed thousands in battles, but the one he killed in this incident would haunt
him for the rest of his life. Moreover, the child that was conceived through
the affair died not long after he was born. The punishment David received from
this sin was indeed very severe.
We may not have fared any better than David if we were in his shoes, which is the reason why the psalm of
repentance he composed after Nathan confronted him speaks to all of us so
profoundly. We all have committed various sins, albeit to a much lesser degree
than David, but we all have experienced great remorse and are in dire need of
repentance and forgiveness. We may have great difficulty indentifying with
Uriah; but we all have great potential to do what David did.