Uriah was a great warrior in King David’s army. He was loyal and courageous but David committed adultery with his wife and had Uriah killed to cover up sin. Uriah died for being faithful.
Uriah was a Hittite, a foreigner, but he did not worship the pagan gods of his people. Uriah was faithful to God and King David. He fought in David’s army and was counted among his bravest soldiers .
David betrays Uriah
Uriah had a very beautiful wife named Bathsheba. On one occasion, Uriah and the entire Israelite army went out to fight the Ammonites, but King David stayed in Jerusalem. One afternoon, on a walk, David spied Bathsheba bathing and called her to his palace. Even though he knew that he was Uriah’s wife, David had relations with Bathsheba ( 2 Samuel 11: 2-4 ).
See also: why did God choose David?
Some time later, Bathsheba sent David a message saying that she was pregnant with her child. David’s sin was going to be revealed. So David sent for Uriah from the front to report how the battle was going. After hearing the report, David sent Uriah home to sleep with Bathsheba. So it would appear that the son was from Uriah. However, Uriah chose to sleep with the guards in the palace ( 2 Samuel 11: 7-9 ).
The next day, David asked him why he hadn’t come home to rest. Uriah replied that the rest of the army was camped, sleeping in difficult conditions. It would be unfair if he, being an exemplary soldier, enjoyed privileges that his companions could not have ( 2 Samuel 11:11 ).
Seeing Uriah’s loyalty to his soldiers, David decided to make him drunk. But even when drunk, Uriah chose to sleep with the guards again. Uriah was a man of his word!
In a last attempt to cover up his betrayal, David sent Uriah with a letter to the army commander, who had Uriah’s death orchestrated ( 2 Samuel 11: 14-15 ). Without knowing it, Uriah carried his own death sentence.
Uriah died in battle , because he was placed in a dangerous place without support ( 2 Samuel 11: 16-17 ). After the time of mourning, David married Bathsheba and took over the child. But God was not pleased with David’s attitude. He was a king and had everything he wanted but he stole the wife of a faithful soldier and even had Uriah killed! David repented and God forgave him. Even so, God punished David with the baby’s death and family problems ( 2 Samuel 12: 8-10 ).
Discover also: 3 positive influences on David’s life.
What did we learn from Uriah?
Uriah’s attitude contrasted with David at this point in his life: Uriah wanted to go back to work, David wanted to stay home; Uriah was faithful to David, David was betraying Uriah; Uriah exercised his own domain, David was overcome by desire … Uriah’s life shows us that:
- Good examples are annoying– it is difficult to ignore a good example; people like Uriah stress our need to change our attitude but we often act like David and don’t accept the message
- Injustices happen– Uriah did not deserve to be betrayed or die; he died because of David’s sin; in life people don’t always get what they deserve
- God is watching– God gives us freedom to do what we want but everything has consequences; God does not leave sin unpunished nor ignore the suffering of the righteous