The king played hookey from war. While home, the king took a commander's wife and got her pregnant, then had her husband killed because he wouldn’t go home to his wife. The king was David, in the Bible Blunders series titled, "Ferocious!" I shared a while ago. The man whose wife was taken by the king was Uriah, commander in King David’s army. This whole scene looks like a soap opera plot. The sad thing is that it really happened.
Uriah may seem like an odd choice for a godly character portrait, but he displayed such integrity. We can learn a lot from the little bit we see of him. In 2 Samuel 11, Uriah was sent to battle against Ammon and Rabah in the spring. He was a commander in Israel’s army, although a foreigner from a country taken in one of Israel's conquests, during the reign of King David. Kings usually went to battle, leading the army, but David sent Uriah and Joab to do the leading.
Uriah had a beautiful wife who was at home while he was at battle. Why she did not ward off the King’s advances is not clear. After she had sex with King David, she became pregnant. This had the King concerned for his image, so he tried to get Uriah to go home and have sex with his wife. Here is what is so telling in this story: Uriah refused to go home. Even when the King got him drunk, Uriah refused to go home. Why? He had an opportunity to take a break and show his wife some love and attention while he was there. Instead, he felt that it would be wrong of him to do that while the other commanders and army were in the heat of battle. Israel’s existence was at stake.
He made King David look really bad without trying. Uriah showed integrity. He was faithful to the service of the Israelite army, whereas, the King lacked it. Without even trying, he made David’s shame stand out. In 2 Samuel 12, God sent Nathan to David to tell him what his sin was and the penalty for it. Uriah’s faithfulness to Israel’s service shed light, post mortum, on the dark sin David committed.
No godly person whose life was exceptional is forgotten. The testimony of such a godly life lives on long after they die. Those whose life is a shining example is not without problems from those whose sin stands out in the their shadow.
When you die, how will people remember you? Will there be a lot of people very sad that a wonderful, dedicated person like you is gone? Or will there only be a few who have to make up something nice so the funeral was not a waste? Are you a dedicated spouse, parent, employee? Does your church prosper because of the service you do for the Lord? Is your community a better place because of the life you have lived? Godly integrity is priceless!
Many blessings to you!