Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 11
The best soldiers in David’s army did not often get the opportunity to relax at home. David asked Uriah why he had refused to accept that opportunity. Uriah replied that it was for the strongest possible reasons. He did not accept the difficulties of a soldier’s life to gain comfort or money. He did it because of those things that David himself had taught him.
The ark was the sacred box that was evidence of God’s promises to Israel. It stood in a tent; it had no permanent place in Israel. Once, David had cared deeply about that (7:1-2). He made a serious promise not to relax until it had a permanent home (Psalm 132:1-5). Now, however, David thought that he could relax (11:3).
The ark had no permanent place because Israel and its southern part, Judah, still were not at peace (2 Samuel 7:10; 1 Chronicles 28:3). Only recently, all its men had to leave their homes, to fight against a dangerous enemy (10:17).
Even now, Joab, the chief commander of David’s army, was camping with the other soldiers outside Rabbah. They were carrying on a war against a cruel enemy, Ammon. Uriah knew that his proper place was there. Until, at last, there was true peace, Uriah could not accept any comfort.
Once David had cared about these things. Now, in his desire to relax, he seemed to have forgotten them. So Uriah made a serious promise. As David lived - even by the life of David’s inner character, his soul - Uriah would not accept any comfort. In other words, this mattered to him even as much as the king’s life did, even as much as David’s relationship with God.
Next part: David gives Uriah too much wine (2 Samuel 11:12-13)
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