PART 38 – IN MEMORY OF URIAH (21/2/20)
“…And Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.” (2 Samuel 23:39)
Inclusions like this help to authenticate the word of God; why would anyone include the name of someone whom David murdered unless it was a true account of history?
After David committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, he had him killed in order to cover up his sinful behaviour.
Let’s end this study and our series ‘in memory of Uriah’ the man of God. We glean something of Uriah’s character from how he behaved when David called him back from the war in order to manipulate him; David wanted him to sleep with Bathsheba, his wife, so that he, and she, could cover up the fact that it was David’s child; the whole thing is disgusting and God keeps it in His word because we can all behave like this if we are not wary!
However, Uriah is a man of godly character and principles. We read,
‘Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house. David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?” Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.’ (2 Samuel 11:8-13)
Here are three things we learn from Uriah
1. Solidarity (deep unity and concern)
Uriah has great solidarity with God and the army who are at war ‘staying in tents’. His conscience will not allow him to indulge whilst His people are under conditions of war. People who are effective for Jesus have deep solidarity with Him and His people. Their hearts and lives are bound up with concern for God’s glory and the good of their spiritual family. Here are two texts that exemplify this,
‘Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.’ (Romans 12:15)
‘Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.’ (Hebrews 13:3)
2. Remain on active duty
Uriah, although he was called home from he battlefront, still identified as being on active duty. This side of heaven and Jesus’ coming again, all Christians are at war. David, in this account had failed to go to war and Uriah’s attitude confronts him and all of us. David, inspired by satanic powers, is seeking to disarm and demobilise Uriah. Likewise, the enemy wants you to be distracted, disarmed, at peace, comfort, complacent so that, like David, he can deceive you… Let’s take up the armour, take up the weapons of our warfare and be alert.
3. Doing the right thing will not always be respected - even by good people!
Uriah’s solidarity and conscientiousness led to his death! David had him put in the heat-of-battle where he was slain. Obedience to God’s word, as seen in Jesus’ life, will sometimes be despised, even by people who claim to love God! All of us, if we are to be fruitful, must be prepared to suffer for doing right.
It’s sobering and helpful to remember that David was not just a great king who inspires us, he was also a failing sinner who inspires us to look to Christ for our own salvation and empowering.
Let’s end our devotionals with an encouragement to fix our eyes on Jesus,
‘Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ (Hebrews 12:3)
During this week's devotionals, we are being encouraged to be 'mighty warriors' for Jesus. However, it's important that we understand that doing great things for God is to simply - do all we can, with all we have, where we are, by God's grace. To this end let's meditate on and memorise Philippians 4:13.
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use - a note on your phone, a post-it on the fridge...
Include the reference (book/chapter/verse) throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day - a habit is best formed by doing this at the same times, and places each day.
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION - THE 'COME TO JESUS DAILY METHOD'.
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions, what I call the 'come to Jesus daily method', to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... to stop you from writing - it's between you and God. In meditation, I encourage you to write in the first-person, speaking to God - "I see that you are...I sense you speaking to me about...I pray for...."
GOSPEL- What does God, through this text, say to you about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does God, through this text, say you about Himself – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does God, through this text, say about you, His church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does God, through this text, say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything else that you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – DAVID'S MIGHTY WARRIORS (FOR THE WEEK OF 17/2/20)
What is the scariest thing you've ever done and why did you do it?
Introduction (Please read this intro to the group)
This week we are finishing our series in the life and times of King David. We finish by looking at his 'mighty warriors'. David was a great man of God, however, he depended on the support of many people. Behind the scenes of any success, there are usually numbers of faithful friends, colleges and family. In the words of the Beatles, we truly do 'get by with a little help from my friends'.
I want to thank every one of you for your love, prayers and sacrificial service that make Community Church what it is and will become.
Please read and discuss 1 Chronicles 11:10
In what ways do you, or could on, seek to give 'strong support' in church, in the home, at work?
How could you, as a group, support one another more effectively?
How do you need support in your life at the moment? Who could you approach about this?
Please read and discuss 2 Samuel 23:20-23
What are the kinds of 'lions, pits and snowy days' that we encounter?
Do you have any past or present examples of taking faith 'jumps' for God?
This story could easily become a 'self-help' message - "face your fears and have a can-do attitude". To keep us from this danger, we want to be 'gospel-centred' - appreciate what Jesus has done for us, how this changes us, before we talk about what we do for Him - He's the hero! How is Benaiah's act (with the lion) a picture what Jesus has done for us? How does knowing Jesus enable us to become more like Benaiah?
PRAY - IN GROUPS OF 3-4
Note - At the moment, please get into smaller groups every week when you meet, and, preferably, in the same groups each week.
Share anything from your life or the bible study that you'd like prayer for.
Share any encouraging things that God has done in your life recently.
Pray for students' mission week (see this week's church news for prayer points)
Pray for provision in the church, specifically for our upcoming gift days on 22, 29th March.
Please look at the church news together.