Daily Devotionals

Bride and Gloom Week 6: Thursday

In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 11:1

I have heard it said that most good things in life take work. It is true. If we want to excel in our jobs, we must work hard. If we want to grow in our skill sets, we must practice repeatedly. To have successful relationships, we must work hard, engage in difficult conversations, forgive often, and serve the people around us. We face the consequences when we get complacent and let our guard down.

David learned the hard way in 2 Samuel what happens when we become complacent and step away from hard work. This chapter tells us that during the time of the year "when kings normally go out to war," David stayed home. This may not sound like a big deal, but this passage indicates that David was shirking his responsibilities. He was becoming complacent. He stayed home when most kings would go to war. He chose the comfort and safety of home instead of doing the hard work of going to battle. As we read throughout the rest of this passage, this decision to stay home sets the tone for what was a decision that David must have regretted for the rest of his life. One day, David went to the top of his roof and noticed a woman taking a bath. Bathing on a roof sounds strange today, but this was customary during David's day. When David saw this woman bathing, he wanted to know who she was. He found out that her name was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, a man who was currently out at battle with David's army. Next, he sent one of his messengers to get her and spent the night with her (verse 4). Later, Bathsheba realized that she was pregnant. This was a terrible situation. David had taken another man's wife for himself, and now his sin would be discovered. This sin led to him ultimately having Uriah killed in battle so that he could marry Bathsheba. If he had gone out to battle, this would have never happened. If he had not been complacent and strengthened his relationship with Tamar and his other wives, he would not have been focused on Bathsheba.

When we grow complacent and stop fighting for our relationships, they decline. We make poor decisions. We find ourselves in situations that we never thought we would be in. On the other hand, our relationships strengthen when we continually work and fight for them. They become even stronger than we imagined they could be.

Moving toward action

When you think about your life, are you working hard in your relationships, or have you become complacent? Have you stopped working to grow in these relationships and chosen laziness instead? What is one way you can take steps to help this relationship grow? Make a plan to take that step today. Spend a few minutes praying to God. Ask Him to help you as you work towards growth in your relationships.

Going Deeper

2 Samuel 11:1-27 (NLT)

In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.

Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. Then she returned home. Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.”

Then David sent word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David. When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the army were getting along and how the war was progressing. Then he told Uriah, “Go on home and relax.” David even sent a gift to Uriah after he had left the palace. But Uriah didn’t go home. He slept that night at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.

10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he summoned him and asked, “What’s the matter? Why didn’t you go home last night after being away for so long?”

11 Uriah replied, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents, and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.”

12 “Well, stay here today,” David told him, “and tomorrow you may return to the army.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David invited him to dinner and got him drunk. But even then he couldn’t get Uriah to go home to his wife. Again he slept at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.

14 So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. 15 The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.” 16 So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting. 17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.

18 Then Joab sent a battle report to David. 19 He told his messenger, “Report all the news of the battle to the king. 20 But he might get angry and ask, ‘Why did the troops go so close to the city? Didn’t they know there would be shooting from the walls? 21 Wasn’t Abimelech son of Gideon killed at Thebez by a woman who threw a millstone down on him from the wall? Why would you get so close to the wall?’ Then tell him, ‘Uriah the Hittite was killed, too.’ ”

22 So the messenger went to Jerusalem and gave a complete report to David. 23 “The enemy came out against us in the open fields,” he said. “And as we chased them back to the city gate, 24 the archers on the wall shot arrows at us. Some of the king’s men were killed, including Uriah the Hittite.”

25 “Well, tell Joab not to be discouraged,” David said. “The sword devours this one today and that one tomorrow! Fight harder next time, and conquer the city!”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.