By Dr. Esther Mombo
Why did Bathsheba give in to David’s move? What choice did she have, she was dealing with the most powerful man in the nation? Why did David stay behind when his men were at war, he had so much power and he could decide what to do until God reminds him that power is not to be used.
Today’s text begins with the resumption of the war with the Ammonites at the beginning of the New Year. The men go to war including Uriah, a Hittite leaving his wife Bathsheba at home. David did not join the men for battle, and while he was walking on the roof of his house, he saw Bathsheba bathing and admired her. He sent for her and had an affair with her and she became pregnant. When she told David that she was pregnant, he tried to conceal it by asking her husband to be sent home. Uriah came home but chose to be faithful to the code of conduct of war (2 Samuel 11: 11) rather than visit with his wife. When Uriah disobeyed David his commander in chief, David ordered Uriah to be killed and he took Bathsheba as a wife. These actions angered God and Nathan was sent to confront David for his actions. (2 Samuel 12: 7)
David had misused his position of power and authority, and could no longer fool himself or those around him and above all, fool God. David paid for his mistakes losing the son who was born by Bathsheba and lost credibility in being a father. David did not remain in his state of sin but repented as indicated in Psalm 51.
Many are the times that we find ourselves in the shoes of David, and we misuse our positions because we are mortal ─ we are called to listen attentively to people of integrity and people who expose the truth, repent and join David in prayer as he did in Psalm 51.
1. In what ways do we like David forget what we are called to be in our daily activities?
2. How do we challenge misuse of power in our church or society?
3. How can we raise leaders of integrity?
Dr. Esther Mombo is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) of St. Paul’s United Theological College in Limuru, Kenya