Fateful Choices

“When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken” – Deuteronomy 24:5, NKJV

Uriah the Hittite and King David were in the wrong places. Uriah was away at war when he should have been at home with his new wife while King David was at the palace at ―the time when the kings go out to battle.

Why was David in Jerusalem instead of on the battlefield with his men? Who knows? Maybe he just didn’t want to go this time. Maybe he needed a break. Whatever the reason, it turned out to be one big mistake. It was at this time that he saw Bathsheba bathing.

He was in bed but then got up and went out on to the roof. There he got a good view of a woman bathing. Instead of turning and heading back into his room, he stood there, transfixed, watching. Not satisfied with just a view, he had to find out who this beautiful woman was. She was Uriah’s wife. You would hope that this would make him stop and think, Hey, what am I doing? This woman is married to one of my men. I can’t go through with this. Unfortunately, he was not thinking straight.

Consumed by lust, he ignored the inner voice that was telling him that what he was about to do was a sin against God. He simply had to have this woman. He exercised his right as king and summoned her to him. Of course, she didn’t refuse to go. She went and well, you know what happened. David thought this tryst would have become a thing of the past but Bathsheba got pregnant and he panicked. It never occurred to him that this could happen. What was he going to do about this unforeseen problem?

He got the bright idea of trying to make it appear that the unborn child was Uriah’s. But how could he do that since Uriah had not been home for ages let alone slept with his wife? Then a light bulb went off. He had Joab summon Uriah. He told Uriah, “Go down to your house. Wash your feet.” The plan was to get Uriah to go home and have relations with his wife.

Unfortunately, the plan didn’t go as David hoped. Instead of going into his wife whom he hadn’t seen for a while, Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with the other servants. When David found out, he questioned Uriah. Uriah’s response was, “The ark, Israel, and Judah dwell in makeshift shelters. My lord Joab and the officers of my lord are camping in the open field. But I may enter my house to eat, to drink, and to sleep with my wife? As you live and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing!

Uriah didn’t think it was fair that he got to go home, eat, drink and sleep with his wife while the other soldiers were out in the field. He was an honorable man but may be to a fault. If it had been any one of the other soldiers who got the opportunity to be home with his wife, he would have been there in a flash. Would he be thinking about Uriah and the others? I doubt it. Why couldn’t Uriah have spent at least one night with Bathsheba? Was his duty to king and country more important than his marriage?

Do you sometimes feel that your husband is putting his job or friends or other things in his life before your marriage? Perhaps you feel neglected or unloved or unappreciated. Perhaps this is how Bathsheba felt. Is this why she went to the king? Or did she feel she had no choice?

What would you do if you felt that your husband wasn’t giving you the attention you needed and you could get it from someone else? Would you be tempted to have an affair? God always provides a way out of temptation so we have no excuse.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, don’t give in. Pray about it. Use God’s Word to rebuke the temptation. Don’t give up on your marriage. Deal with the problem and make every effort to work things out. “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:3).

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