Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad | Lust and Lies

Lust and Lies

July 29, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

The Old Testament Lesson for today is 2 Samuel 11:1-15, the familiar story of lust and lies. The scripture reading sets the scene with the context that it is spring, the time when kings usually go off to war. That's a disappointing observation to say the least about the normalcy of war. But the point the writer makes is that David stayed home. And notices Bathsheba, bathing on a nearby roof. Without any hesitancy, it seems, he orders her brought to him. And although the text minimizes the sexual act, most likely he rapes this married woman. She gets pregnant and notifies David. To cover what he did, he brings her soldier husband back from the battle front with the hope that he will do what husbands and wives do.
But he doesn't go to his house. He doesn't have sex with his wife because he is an honorable man who knows that the loyalty of a soldier forbids him this pleasure while the battle rages. Even when David gets him drunk the following night, Uriah still does not sleep with Bathsheba.

David takes another step that deepens this tragedy. He tells his commander to place Uriah in the center of the battle and then to fall back so that he will certainly be killed by the enemy.

Make no mistake that this is a commonplace story of adultery. Rather, it is an indictment of a powerful man who acted beyond the boundaries. While this Bible story tells of an ancient event, it exposes truth in contemporary situations where powerful men use women for their own pleasure and deny their wrongful actions. David thinks he has covered his sin but, as we hear next week, he has only deceived himself.

Imagine the grief of Bathsheba whose life was turned upside down by the lust and greed of David. Imagine the embarrassment of a nation that is trying to develop a system of ethics, morality, and law distorted by a corrupt king.


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