“Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him…” (2 Sam. 11:25).
To me, as a child, hiding was the best part of playing ‘hide and seek’. The thought of being able to find a place where I could not be found was a simple delight to me. I used to get a great thrill out of not being found and walking away as the winner.
Sometimes, as adults, we still play the game of ‘hide and seek’. We engage in life and relationships wherein we believe that it is easier to run and hide when a situation confronts us. As the story plays out, we realize that hiding is not the best course of action. It only makes things worse. This can be observed in today’s Scriptural text.
Understanding The Text
In today’s text, we observe David’s two attempts to persuade Uriah to return to his home so David can provide a cloak for what he has done (vv. 8-13). When Uriah does not follow through with David’s command, David realizes that his problem is not going to go away easily. So he has to resort to finding another approach to casting his sin away from himself.
As the story continues to develop, we notice that this David is not the same David we once loved and adored. Something about becoming king and having an established kingdom changes David. Is it pride? Or is it the power that comes with being able ‘to have what you want when you want it’? Whatever it is, it has changed David.
David understands that his actions have compromised himself and his kingdom greatly. Like so many, he panics and begins to formulate a strategy to cover up his sin (v. 14-15). Instead of facing the potential consequences for his sin, David resorts to hiding behind his position in an effort to prevent political fallout. He sends a message to Joab with a command to set Uriah in a scenario that guarantees his demise. Surely, David is thinking this will deflect attention away from what he has done.
Joab executes David’s order and forwards the report of the operation’s success (vv. 18-21). To circumvent and blame for the strategy employed to accomplish the ‘victory’, Joab ends the message with seven words that seal David’s guilt:
“…thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also…” (vv. 21,24).
David’s feels a sense of relief upon hearing this report. He even rationalizes it by saying that death in warfare is commonplace. Such coldness. No compassion. No display of concern about the other soldiers (in addition to Uriah) who have also fallen while he himself is in hiding (v. 25). Who is this person? It is David. The man once described as ‘a man after God’s own heart’. The one who courageously stood face to face with Goliath has now become the one in hiding. However, David will soon learn that hiding is not God’s way of confronting sin.
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because as we look over our lives, we can notice a pattern similar to David’s situation. None of us are perfect. We contend with the sin nature and will continue to do so as long as we remain on earth.
What does this mean? It means that we are going to still sin. However, as children of God, we do not practice sin habitually (1 Jn. 3:1-10). We all may arrive at a place in life wherein we are weaker than at other times. Is this an excuse to continue in sin or to use this as a cloak for our sin? NO! As the Apostle Paul says, ‘God forbid’ (Rom. 6). However, this also does not mean that we go into hiding either.
We all sin. Period. But when we sin, instead of running away and hiding from God, we must run towards Him. While we may be concerned about the fallout we will face once our sin is exposed, we also need to consider how it will affect those within proximity to us as well. In addition, we need to consider the damage to God’s reputation (as well as, the Kingdom) caused by the optics of the situation. In other words, we do not suffer the consequences alone.
As a child, playing ‘hide and seek’ is a fun game. However, hiding when we sin is not a fun game at all. Sin exposes the area of self within us that we need to crucify daily until that area is brought under complete subjection to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. God never designed us to walk through life alone. He has given us His Holy Spirit and each other as well. True Kingdom living demands that we reach out for help with our Christ walk in our times of need.