the virtue of Uriah
Having set the contrast between David and Uriah in the last blog, I would like to expand on Uriah’s virtue. You see it so clearly in his response to David. Explaining why he did not go home to be with his wife (and cover up David’s sin) Uriah says:
“The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” (2Sa 11:11)
Uriah was called back to inform David of what the battle was like in the expectation that once back in Jerusalem, he would take advantage of his own bed being so close by. However, what Uriah shows is that while he was involved in battle, that it was inappropriate for him to be involved in civilian affairs. Much like what Paul told Timothy:
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2Ti 2:3-4)
What Uriah did was something that I think is a bit unusual for us today. (Which doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be usual, just that it isn’t.) He was willing to continue sharing in the sufferings that his fellow soldiers and commanders were enduring. While we may not have blamed Uriah from taking David up on his offer, Uriah’s adamant reply indicates that he saw things differently. The question is “Do we?”
In the spiritual battle that we are engaged in, do we insist on our own luxury and comfort or are we willing to forego “our rights” in order to help others? In the book of Acts chapter 4, the early Christians sold properties and houses in order to help those fellow Christians who had needs. In that way none of them was needy. Those that sold were saying the same thing as Uriah was “if others must dwell without comfort, I will to”
A side note on the helping of others. We get into trouble when we think of peoples wants as their needs. I have no doubt that the issues were temporary ecomonic one, still the ‘needs’ were what were met not the wants. If a family is hungery and you can feed them, then do so but you might draw the line at their new leased car, Air Jordan shoes, mobile game device and the like. If a person does not have cable, cell phone, and a good looking car, they will not die!
We should be less attached to the comforts of this world and more attached to the world which is to come. Many of us have a great deal more than we need. (Emphasize that last word: NEED) It is not wrong that we have more and many of the Bibles characters were wealthy. We certainly don’t want to improvrish ourselves to the point of being in need of others help too but if we were to downsize our lifestyle and help our fellow Christians in their needs, I suspect we would find more peace.
We should take care of our needs and those of our family, we should be willing to help support those who have needs in their lives starting with our fellow Christians first and we should help suppor those who preach the Gospel (not necessarily those who stand on TV and plead for money for their own ministries. Find those who are actually doing it…plenty around).