When David meets Uriah
by John Morris
When David meets Uriah
There are going to be many interesting reunions as we travel from earth to heaven and no doubt in heaven itself following the return of Jesus, the Second Advent. Separated loved ones, friends, mothers and babies will be re-united and there will be some fascinating introductions to family members not seen on earth.
Ellen G White has a poignant description of these events. "Little children are borne by holy angels to their mother's arms. Friends long separated by death are united never more to part with songs of gladness ascend to the city of God" (1)
One of the most interesting meetings is going to be the meeting of David and Uriah. It is made the more interesting because of David's adultery with Uriah's wife and David's arranged killing of Uriah.
The Israelites had been fighting the Ammonites. The battle was successful and the army went on to besiege the city of Rabbah, the Ammonite capital. David was not leading the army, this role was taken by Joab, David's nephew. One evening David was walking around on the roof of his palace and saw a beautiful woman bathing on the roof of her residence close by the palace. David sent for the woman and seduced her. Some time later Bathsheba sent word to David that she was pregnant.
David then sent for Uriah with the idea of giving him time off from the battle so that he might go home, sleep with his wife and David is let out of an embarrassing situation. But Uriah did not cooperate. He made it clear that he could not go home and enjoy the pleasures of his beautiful wife while his fellow soldiers were having a hard time at Rabbah. David then sent Uriah back to the front with a message for General Joab to put Uriah close to the wall, in the hottest part of the battle. Joab followed the instructions and Uriah was killed in the fight.
God directed the prophet Nathan to confront David. David repented of the sordid deeds but had to suffer the penalty of the loss of the child that Bathsheba carried and the ongoing loss of others in the family and national disgrace.
Cast your mind ahead. The Messiah has returned and claimed his saints.
They are moving heavenwards. The scene is one of joy and happiness as the angels move amongst an innumerable crowd of healthy happy people. The people are in awe and wonderment at the process and give heartfelt thanks to the King of Kings who is leading the party heavenward.
Over to the right are Adam and Eve, with their arms around Abel, the world's first casualty, and now their number one son. He has been restored to them and they assure him of their love, and there is great rejoicing in each other's company. Do they know that they will see the Garden of Eden before too long? Then further away is Noah giving Methuselah a big hug at the same time as trying to answer some of the questions regarding the ark and the flood that he warned against. Mothers have babies in their arms. Some were rudely torn away in the theatre of war; others succumbed to the ravages of disease and famine. What a day it will be! Over in the centre of the throng is Jesus and we would like to get closer to hold him and to say thank you, but the crowd is too big. It is an ocean of people. Our turn will come before too long.
Uriah has just spotted David. Remember, just a moment ago (so it seems to Uriah) he was in the heat of battle. His brief visit back to Jerusalem and discussions with David were recalled. David was so kind it was so hard to refuse the invitations. He really would have liked to spend sometime with Bathsheba, but it just did not seem fair to the others in the fight. There was only time to send her a bunch of flowers, some lilies and marguerites that the flower seller had at the gate to the palace. Yet, under the wall of Rabbah she was on his mind continually.
Uriah was sorry that he misread the signals from Joab. Fighting close to the wall was always difficult. Enemy soldiers on the wall were dropping large rocks, arrows were flying everywhere, and there were cauldrons of boiling oil tipped over the ramparts. The noise was incredible. Then just as he left to help Shobab, there was this incredible pain in his side, then, well, nothing. The next thing he remembered he was in a grove of bedraggled trees, and then he was moving upward to the King of Kings. There was no doubt in his mind as to what was happening. The Messiah had come, Hallelujah!
Uriah glanced around to see if there was anyone that he might know. He expected many. The first he saw was David, his earthly king. "David my lord" he called. David turned to see who was calling him. There were so many to talk to, friends and family and angels. It was a little confusing. But, with a moment of reflection, yes, it was Uriah and David swallowed hard.
"Uriah. My mighty warrior" said David. "It is good to see you. But remember we have only one Lord and one King, who is Jesus our Messiah. You are my brother and we are going together to paradise. Come, here is someone I want you to meet." Turning, David takes the hand of Bathsheba and puts it in the hand of Uriah. Then seeing the love and care in the eyes of Uriah for his wife, David turns and pauses with his own thoughts. But there is the touch on his arm. It is Uriah.
"Tell me one thing, did we win at Rabbah?"
"Uriah my friend, we won the battle for the city, but the devil defeated me in a battle that day." David turns to Bathsheba and makes a request that she fully understands.
"Bathsheba dear, may I have a little time with Uriah?"
Lovingly and tenderly she releases Uriah and turns to talk to Solomon who has just joined the family group.
"Uriah" said David, "we need to talk" and we sense that it is a good time to move on. Returning through the throng a short time later we see David and Uriah. Uriah has his arms about David who has his hand buried in Uriah's shoulder. There is no doubt there is love between them. As we pass on we can hear David as he lifts his face to Uriah "…and through Solomon, the Messiah came just as God promised." Uriah responds with awe in his voice, not a trace of malice or hurt, "The works of the Almighty are indeed marvellous."
Uriah has forgiven David and sees that even in the mess that mankind made from time to time (and frequently at that) that the hand of God overruled, directed and swayed. Negatives have turned to positives, and the great day to which they both looked and were now part of was a reality.
Is it going to be easy for Uriah to forgive? You might argue that on that day that anything will be easy to forgive. Isaiah passes on God's enduring promise, "Behold I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former things shall not be remembered nor come into mind" Perhaps the hurts and afflictions of this earth will not come into mind at all. Uriah did not get the chance on this earth to forgive David. My thoughts tell me that some of these things will need to be aired, need to be reviewed to answer the many questions that we are left with.
However, do not think that you can wait until we are on the way to heaven to forgive others. Forgiveness is something for today. The Lord's prayer puts forgiving on a par with daily sustenance. "Jesus teaches us that we can receive forgiveness from God only as we forgive others. It is the love of God that draws us to him, love cannot touch our hearts without creating love for our brethren." (2)
"…cultivate a forgiving spirit" (3) was an admonition given to James White. It is good for us today.
Jesus concluded His prayer outline in Matthew's gospel with the directive - forgive today because if you do not then "the Father will not forgive your sins" (NIV) It is a sobering thought. Peter was dumbfounded when what he thought was an illustration of being truly religious was subsequently downplayed by the Lord. Peter offered forgiving 7 times as the mark of a true follower of Jesus. Jesus responded with the requirement for 70 times 7 (490), a rollover experience, a non-stop routine.
Colin Buchanan has produced a great little song
Have you seen those fit and healthy guys
Always doing their exercise,
Well it's better to work for a heavenly prize
So practice being godly. (4)
Want to witness the meeting between Uriah and David? Then practice being godly and forgive.
(1) The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan. Ellen G White, Pacific Press Publishing Association California USA p 645
(2) Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings Ellen G White, Pacific Press Publishing Association California USA p 113
(3) Testimonies for the church vol 3 Ellen G White, Pacific Press Publishing Association California USA p 98
(4) Practice being godly, Words and music by Colin Buchanan, C Wanaaring Road Music 1997
This article is Copyright © 2011 by John L Morris. Used by permission.
Copyright © 2015 Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church