Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Uriahs Wife

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

According to 2 Samuel 23 Uriah the Hittite was the 37th of David's mighty men. He had been with David since the early days when He was establishing his kingdom.

You may have already guessed but there are no women with names that begin with the letter U.

He is a Hittite, according to "Hittites were a people with yellow skins and ‘Mongoloid’ features, whose receding foreheads, oblique eyes, and protruding upper jaws are represented as faithfully on their own monuments as they are on those of Egypt, so that we cannot accuse the Egyptian artists of caricaturing their enemies.
So quickly who is the wife of Uriah?

Need another hint?
She was the daughter of another of Davids mighty men, Eliam

I am going to assume you have figured out who todays bible woman is at this point. This painting was painted by Rembrant in 1654. Many artists have painted her and generally the moment in time that they depict is while David has spied her bathing on her roof. Rembrant picks a moment a little later in time. I suppose she was a slow bather because in Rembrants painting she has received Davids letter. Will she obey and go to the king or will she reamin true to her husband. I still contend that she was a woman on a mission. She is not some mamby pamby woman she is a force to be reckoned with and she later assures that her son succeeds David as king.

So here we have David - who is called a man after God's heart except for this one major blot on his other wise steller service to God as king. Here's a guy, who as king can have any available woman in the kingdom and his choice of other kings daughters as well. Rembrants painting is certainly a beautiful woman but not an ideal beauty. She looks like a real woman. Anyway I hope I have not offended anyone by having a painting of a naked woman. It is a Rembrant after all and it hangs in the Louvre. Here's a video about the painting if you need a little bit of art history today.

Here's when the trouble starts.
2 Samuel 11:1 "It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem." I suppose that is when trouble starts for any of us - when we are not doing what we are supposed to be doing. 

So David has become established enough at this point that he can send his mighty men and his army and he can indulge in the pleasures afford to a king.  They are out slogging in the mud and the muck of battle and he is home at the palace. He must have had a lot on his mind because it was late in the evening and he was out on his roof enjoying the night air and the local view. I have to wonder if this story is really just about a lustful king but perhaps it is about a woman who saw a path to power and set her heart to seduce a king. 

It seems that both were repentant, though we only hear David's side of the story. It would seem that if she were unrepentant that she might remain barrin. Even Davids wife the daughter of Saul disparages Davids public display of worship to God and she becomes barrin. Bathsheba on the other hand is listed in the genealogy of Jesus. I suppose in this sorry story that there is hope for all of us who are broken and messed up. 

This painting is one from the Book of Hours a French painting from the fifteen hundreds shows the whole story of David's sin.  

Maybe she was just a pretty woman who obeyed a powerful king. Maybe like Rembrant supposes she did stop and consider the consequences. We don't really know from the text. There does not seem to be much hesitation. She never says "Oh no my king, I am a married woman." Once her husband is dead and buried she waists no time moving to the castle. I think those some women may play dumb and work over time to allow men to feel superior, most generally get what they want. You know the old saying. "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I think she was a woman who knew what she wanted. She wanted power and influence. She a Israelite woman had been married off to one of dad's fighting buddies. I doubt he was the great  love of her life. Women in those days were used to secure territories and to form alliances between powerful families. It was not about love she was a pawn in someones chess game. Maybe she became infatuated by this wonderful king and began to plot and plan how she might meet and marry him. 

Was she raped, or taken advantage of by the king or was she willing and complicate in these acts. Perhaps even this was all part of a plan for power and her bathing in view of the king was pre meditated. We can't tell from the text. Maybe its a measure of my own heart that I think this whole bathing thing was a premeditated plan to get noticed by the most powerful man in the land. 

Well I am out of deep thoughts for this post so I leave you to ponder these questions on your own. Perhaps it had been God's plan all along for her to be the mother of Solomon and Nathan and part of the family line of Jesus. Perhaps the problem is not in the destiny that she had but in how it came about. In all likelihood a man like Uriah was probably going to die in battle without having to have carried his own death sentence from the king.   Sometimes we think we need to help God and our foolish choices and sinful behaviors can make a mess of something that God may already have in the works. We easily become impatient when God does not answer our prayers as if they were a food order at McDonalds.   

What things have you tried to take into your own hands and make happen according to your plans and time tables rather than trusting God with you present situation? 
There are things that I, like you must lay at the foot of the cross. Sometimes the difficulties in our life are the agents that turn us more fully to Jesus. We need to be careful that we are busy with the kingdom work that he has for us at this time and not like David who found himself at home when the rest of his men had gone to war. 


  1. Hi, I'm just dropping by from the AtoZ Challenge and to let you know that I have set up a Link to your blog from my post today

    1. Hey thanks Rosie,
      I am blessed - thanks for spreading the love.



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