2 Samuel 11:1-13 Our fortunes and circumstances may change, but the Christ in us does not

2 Samuel 11:1-13

1 Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.

2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. 5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “ I am pregnant.”

6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king was sent out after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 Now when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “ The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.” 12 Then David said to Uriah, “ Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord’s servants, but he did not go down to his house.


As Israel successfully defeated the Arameans, Israel returns for some unfinished business with the sons of Ammon. While Israel goes to war, David chooses to remain at home. This seemingly normal kingly “privilege” strikes us as ironical. David may be losing his moral edge and focus as commander in chief; his military successes begin to get the better of him. Today’s passage teaches us to keep vigilant watch over our values system especially when things are starting to look up. Power, wealth and fame have corrosive properties that can taint even the purest of hearts. Our fortunes and circumstances may change, but the Christ in us does not.


Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? – Spring is the time to launch military campaigns and when kings to go out to war. In this campaign, David chooses to stay behind in Jerusalem. While it is not unusual for David to stay behind while his troops are on campaign, except this time, far-reaching consequences are about to ensue. David wakes up from his afternoon rest and while roaming about his rooftop, he catches sight of a woman in a purification regiment of bathing after her menstruation. Inquiry reveals that she is Bathsheba, the wife of Urriah, one of the thirty mighty men of David (see 2 Samuel 23:39). David sends for her and has sexual relations with her. As to whether David acted against her will, the details are not explicitly stated. When it is known that Bathsheba is pregnant, she sends word to David. Nothing has been said concerning Bathsheba’s involvement in the attempt to cover up, but a certain degree of complicity can reasonably be inferred.

Send me Uriah the Hittite – David’s attempt to pass off the unborn child as Urriah’s is abysmal at best. He recalls Uriah from the battlefield in a pretext to understand local battlefield conditions. He later sends him off to his wife in hopes that they may come to the point of sexual intimacy and thereby legitimizing the child as Urriah’s.

Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? – David expects his stratagem in recalling Urriah from the battlefield to work like a charm. However, Urriah refuses to go into his wife despite getting him drunk the second night; he slept at the door of the king’s house and would not go into his house. Urriah’s reason for his abstinence: The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, … Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? Urriah’s piety and sense of duty gets in the way of David’s plan. One could observe how far David has fallen from the code of discipline and solidarity with his troops; from the values that he stood for from the beginning. It is ironic that it takes a soldier to explain to his king why he should not be going into his wife while the rest of his fellow soldiers are still fighting in the field.


  1. As a man rises in power, fame and wealth, he must be vigilant to adjust to the changing landscape of temptation. By keeping vigilance, we maintain Christ and His truth as the centrality of our lives. As a person rises in social status, and influence, he will have more options at his disposal. His social networks widen, and people of higher social class will want to spend time with him. However, people who could not take the pressures of progress will start to change their values system, life priorities as well as their personality. Relationships don’t matter as much as before as they take a turn towards the pursuit of wealth and power. A man may think he could handle temptations, but when things start to look up, the whole landscape changes, everything changes! Power, wealth and fame have corrosive properties that can taint even the purest of hearts.

David is a man after God’s own heart; he exhibits the traits of justice, mercy, kindness and righteousness. Yet, at the height of his career, the traits that once plated his armor begin to tarnish. With abundance of power, David thinks he can have any woman he wants and eliminate any man that stands in his way. Therefore, when circumstances are looking up, we must keep our feet down at all cost! The following are Christ-centered values that must be kept real and concrete regardless of our circumstances:

  • We must continue to love our spouse, children, and parents by serving and spending time with them.
  • We must continue to put Sabbath worship as the top priority of the week and to offer our tithes faithfully.
  • We must give personal time to help out in the charity programmes of the church.
  • We must continue to keep in close contact those who have been faithful and loyal to us. Are we keenly interested in them and their lives?
  • We must continue to ask the question: are my current endeavors relevant to my spiritual calling?
  • We must keep our expenditure in check, to live simply and prudently.

Therefore, man must guard his heart from the corrosive properties of power, fame and wealth. These have uncanny abilities to taint even the purest of hearts. Men and women who exhibit the highest moral standards can shift their shapes when given a higher dosage of power, fame or wealth.


  1. Do your love and devotion for God increase with your fortunes? Or do the blessings of God cause you to lose your zeal for Him and His works?
  2. Do power, wealth and fame contribute to abundant living? If your answer is a yes: in what way do they contribute? Power, wealth and fame are resources given to do the kingdom’s work, but they do not directly make our lives more abundant. The Holy Spirit is source of abundant living. By walking in step with the Spirit, we begin to live abundantly. And as God increases our resources we begin to bear fruit in the Kingdom in increasing measure.

Dear Lord, guard my heart from the allure of power, wealth and fame. Give me strength to reject the pleasures of sin and to dwell on the blessings of the Spirit. Even if my wealth increases, keep my eyes focused on the glory of heaven and the inheritance that you have reserved for me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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