A Mild Understatement

If ever there was an understatement, this line from 2 Samuel is it, “The thing that David had done displeased the LORD.”  That “thing” that David had done was to a) spy on Bathsheba as she bathed on her rooftop, b) fall in lust with her beauty, c) send her husband Uriah off to war, d) order his general to put Uriah up front in battle and then have the rest of his troops fall back, e) take Bathsheba as his wife.  To say that this was outside the bounds of God’s plan for humanity is to state the rather obvious.

In a recent radio interview, Rob Bell defined sin as anything that destroys and tears down the goodness given humanity in creation.  This series of actions by David not only tore down his own humanity through lust, envy and murder, but it turned Bathsheba into nothing more than a sexual conquest, oh, and by the way, it also cost Uriah his life.

In the military, I think this is called collateral damage.  David’s poor choices cost two people their lives: one literally, one figuratively.  It is no doubt, then, that the opening verses of the Track 2 OT Lesson for Sunday sounds so cold and calculated, “When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.”  There is no real joy in this story, only brokenness and sadness.  So, to say, “this displeased the LORD,” is very  much an understatement.

2 thoughts on “A Mild Understatement

  1. Bathsheba lamented Uriah’s death, but there was no indication that David had any sorrow over having brought about the death of a good man. Another collateral result of David’s actions was that, whereas he should have been concerned about the damage done to both Uriah and Bathsheba, his focus narrowed to his efforts to cover his own misdeeds. Sin harms the sinner as well as those sinned against.

  2. There are many times when reading the Bible that I will laugh out loud and this is one of them. I love those understatements since I feel that they give us a real insight into the messages in the Bible. If you believe, as I do, that the hands of the author were guided by God then you have to know that God loves this particular method of catching your attention.

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