In II Samuel Chapter 11, we read the whole grim episode of how King David committed both adultery and murder. Most people I know seem to think those were grievous sins, but in King David’s case, was pardonable because King David had lived a life with a perfect heart towards the Lord God. Well, those were indeed grievous sins, but I wonder if any of us had noticed all the blackness of cover-ups that had to take place also? Do read II Samuel Chapter 11 for yourself, too, in order to have some context.
First, Uriah was listed as one of the mighty men of David. He was a bold, loyal and trustworthy soldier of David. This did not deter David from first trying to cover up the fact that Bathsheba was pregnant with David’s child by calling Uriah from the battle and trying to get Uriah to go home and sleep with Bathsheba his wife. Of course Uriah, being the loyal soldier that he was, refused to go home, sleeping with the other servants instead. David resorted to sending a letter to Joab with instructions on how Uriah was to be killed, and he sent the letter by the hand of Uriah himself, perhaps knowing that his loyal Hittite soldier would not even think to open it. Sounds familiar so far?
Next, we need to notice that Uriah wasn’t the only one to be killed. Some others had to die with him also, because you don’t normally storm walled cities all by yourself, no matter how great and valiant you might be. Did David know this? However, the fact that others of David’s loyal soldiers would also have been killed with Uriah did not deter him. This happens when we in leadership start to delude ourselves that we have a “right” to our positions and that those positions carry “privileges” with them. Laying off a Department? Or are you just trying to get rid of one person and the others happen to be “collateral damage”?
Third, Joab was also complicit in David’s sin because he refused to protest to David about the enormity of what he was being told to do in the letter, which he could have done if he were truly a commander who cared for his men. He would have risked David’s ire and possible execution if he were indeed a great commander. Sadly, Joab sought to cover up the murder, and for himself giving orders that the rest of the army would have known to be murderous, by quoting history, something utterly irrelevant as how Abimelech had been killed by a woman throwing a millstone on his head at the siege of Thebez. David perpetuated this by sending back a “message of encouragement” for the troops to fight harder and more bravely, and not let “…this thing…” displease any of them. That message was of course totally and utterly irrelevant and thoroughly wicked.
In conclusion, how often do you “cover up” for each other? Is “covering up” an act of love? Would it not be better for all of us if we always seek that which is true, right and just? What do you think?