Uriah replied to David: “The Ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. So should I go into my own house to eat and drink and lie down with my wife? As surely as you live and are alive, I will not do this thing!”
~2 Samuel 11:11
Uriah was a Hittite, a descendant of Canaan (2 Sam. 23:39).
Canaanites were the pagan inhabitants of the Promised Land that the Israelites were supposed to have exterminated (De. 20:16-18).
Still, Uriah’s house was close to King David’s (2 Sam. 11:2,3).
He was classified as a “mighty warrior,” (1 Chron. 11:26,41).
These facts, along with his conduct, indicate that he was also a Proselyte- a pagan converted to true worship.
The most outstanding thing we know of him is the zeal he had for fulfilling God’s law.
He went into war with the rest of his army, minus their commander-in-chief, King David.
Where was their leader?
Sleeping with Uriah’s wife (2 Sam. 11:4).
(I am leaving out a few details because the story is widely known.)
When Uriah’s wife became pregnant with David’s child, King David asked Uriah to come back home with the intention of making it appear as if the child were his (2 Sam. 11:5-10).
Uriah respected God’s law and considered his war mission to be holy.
To sleep with his wife while the rest of his army was in battle was unthinkable.
Furthermore, that would have prevented him from immediately joining them, because having a semen emission under God’s law made him “unclean,” (De. 23:9-11).
King David’s plan failed, and he sentenced Uriah to be killed in battle, sending the letter by Uriah’s own hand (2 Sam. 11:12-15).
Uriah had such a level of zeal for God’s law that it cost him his life, but the important thing is that he died faithful (2 Sam. 11:24).
David did not have to die for his own sin, but his son died as a consequence of it, and David did not know another day’s peace for the rest of his life (2 Sam. 12:9-14).
Uriah’s story leaves us with a thirst for justice that is not fully quenched and it helps us see that in this world, sometimes it does not matter how good or innocent we are, we are still subject to injustices.
There may at times be brothers in the congregation in important roles with many privileges who step all over one of the sheep they are supposed to care for (Acts 20:29).
The important thing for us sheep is to not judge or leave the congregation, but to continue serving God faithfully and leave justice in his hands (Rom. 12:19).