“The man said, ‘She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.” —2 Samuel 11:3-4
Consider the mighty men and women in our lives—if we are honest with ourselves, would we say that we treasure them or do we take them for granted? David had 30 mighty men that were his closest companions. Some came when he was a fugitive, hiding out in a cave, some came when he had fled to the Philistines and some came when he was king of Israel. Although they came in different times and seasons, these men should hold a special place in David’s life; however, this was not always the case.
Second Samuel records the story of David and Bathsheba. We are told, “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army” (2 Samuel 11:1). Normally, David should have joined his people in battle, but he decided to remain in Jerusalem. One night when he could not sleep, he walked around his rooftop and saw a woman bathing. He sent someone to ask about her and the man returned saying, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite” (2 Samuel 11:3). Did we notice that Bathsheba was described as “the daughter of Eliam” before being “the wife of Uriah?” Culturally, Bathsheba should have only been identified as the wife of Uriah, so why was she still the daughter of her father? As we investigate, we find that her father, Eliam, was also one of David’s mighty men and her grandfather, Ahitophel, was David’s wisest advisor. Did David really not know who she was? David’s inquiry of this woman was all for show; he knew exactly who Bathsheba was.
With this knowledge, it completely changes the story. Knowing who Bathsheba was, David still chose to sleep with her, thereby destroying the family of his two mighty men because, after learning that Bathsheba was pregnant with his child, he tried to cover it up by bringing Uriah home to sleep with his wife. But when Uriah did not sleep with his wife, David arranged for him to be killed in battle. This is why years later, when David’s own son, Absalom, rose to rebel against him, Bathsheba’s grandfather joined the rebellion. Ahitophel saw what David did to his family and was going to get his revenge.
All of this hurt and pain that David caused could have been prevented had he treasured Eliam and Uriah. These men had David’s back, but rather than having theirs, David went and stabbed them in the back.
It is a blessing to have mighty men and women in our life who have our back. But do we have theirs too?
Dear God, thank You for the mighty men and women that You have placed in my life. May I not take them for granted. I ask that You bless them today in Your mighty name, amen!