The Desperate Cover Up
"So David sent word to Joab, 'Send me Uriah the Hittite.'"- 2 Sam 11:6 ESVSo begins David’s attempt to hide his sin. He had sent Bathsheba home from his bedroom, as if nothing had been done wrong. Within a short time, David heard word that Bathsheba was pregnant. Sooner or later, David would have to deal with the consequences of his actions. In response to Bathsheba’s pregnancy and “evidence” of David’s sin, he sought to deal with it the natural way- bring Uriah home to his wife.
When Uriah came home from the frontlines, David gave him a warm welcome- completing hiding any ulterior motive. After a pleasant and hospitable evening, David sent Uriah on his way home with a gift to encourage his return to his wife. To David’s dismay, Uriah did not return home that night. When David heard this he was shocked- he would have to move from a simple to an elaborate cover up if Uriah did not go home to his wife.
“Uriah said to David, ‘The Ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, 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? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing’”- 2 Sam 11:11Uriah was so loyal to his fellow soldiers and to David, he refused to enjoy the comforts of his home. It is so ironic, yet so pathetically sad, David was not loyal like Uriah. While the soldiers fought on the field, David stayed at home- a major disgrace. While Uriah fought in the battle, David slept with his wife. Yet, here is Uriah; refusing to go home on grounds of loyalty- an utter embarrassment for David.
Perhaps, a drunk Uriah would go home, so David thought. Even while intoxicated with wine, Uriah’s loyalty shone and he slept at the palace and not at home with his wife. Then David became desperate. The consequences of his sin would soon come to light. He did not confess of it, he did not repent of it. David’s single focus was hiding his sin and if Uriah would not cooperate, then he would need to be removed. The next day, David ordered the army to withdraw from Uriah next time in battle, leaving him exposed to the enemy. This was one of David’s most elite men and one of his most loyal soldiers. None of this mattered to David anymore. David no longer viewed Uriah as his friend, but as a potential avenger of the justice he greatly deserved. Once Uriah died in battle, David not only was an adulterer but a murderer.
The unfortunate lesson of David is the consequences of sin always become worse when we try to conceal our sin. He was so fearful of the consequence of one sin, he committed another one to conceal it. Perhaps David’s desperation was sparked by the punishment of adultery- death by stoning (Lev 20:10). David was so desperate to cover his sin, conceal the evidence and avoid his punishment he was willing to disregard the life of one of his best men. Once a deed is done, no matter how hard one tries, the consequences cannot be avoided- all sin will come to light whether through a husband finding his wife pregnant, or with the confrontation of God himself.