Throughout the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, the story of David combines favorable aspects along with unfavorable aspects. Steven McKenzie discusses what he calls these conflicting versions in his King David, a biography.
This week's reading tells us of one of the unfavorable acts of David.
He has been an ardent warrior, bravely facing mighty foes. And now, while his army is fighting somewhere else, he is lounging at home.
He notices a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, and he desires her.
Bathsheba's husband Uriah is one of the soldiers now at battle.
When Uriah returns, David is not able to trick him into providing an alibi for Bathsheba's pregnancy. David sends him back to battle, to the forefront of the hardest fighting.
We can see in David's sin many echoes in our own time. People who have demonstrated great ability, devotion, and talent to getting to the top then misuse their gifts. They become willing to harm many people.
As you read this story, imagine yourself as each of the characters. As David, what gifts have you benefited from? Have you misused your status? How does a middle-aged person overcome temptation?
As Bathsheba, how do you resist the advances of someone much higher in status to you? To whom can you turn for support?
As Uriah, how do you measure your loyalty to someone you have deservedly respected at times when that person has behaved in such a way that he has damaged that respect?