Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 363

wronged, might take revenge for himself by taking the life of the king or by leading the nation in revolt.

Every effort that David made to hide his guilt was unsuccessful. He had betrayed himself into the power of Satan; danger surrounded him, and dishonor more bitter than death loomed before him. There appeared to be only one way of escape—to add the sin of murder to that of adultery. David reasoned that if Uriah were killed in battle, the guilt of his death could not be traced to the king. Bathsheba would be free to become David’s wife, and he could avoid suspicion and maintain the royal honor.

Uriah was made the carrier of his own death warrant. In a letter sent by David’s hand to Joab, the king commanded, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.” Joab, already stained with the guilt of one murder, did not hesitate to obey the king’s instructions, and Uriah was killed by the sword of the Ammonites.

David Temporarily Becomes the Agent of Satan

David’s record as a ruler had won the confidence of the nation, but as he departed from God, he became for a time the agent of Satan. Yet he still held the authority that God had given him, and because of this he claimed obedience that would pose a threat to the soul of his commander if he cooperated. But Joab had given his allegiance to the king rather than to God, and he transgressed God’s law because the king commanded it.

When David commanded what was contrary to God’s law, it became sin to obey. “The authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1), but we are not to obey them contrary to God’s law. The apostle Paul explains the principle by which we should be governed: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV).

Joab sent news to David that his order had been carried out, but it was so carefully worded that it did not implicate either Joab or the king. “Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”

The king’s answer was, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another.’”

According to custom, Bathsheba mourned for her husband an appropriate number of days, and at their close, “David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife.” He who would not, even when his life was in danger, use his hand against the Lord’s anointed, had fallen so far that he could wrong and murder one of his most faithful, brave soldiers, and hope to enjoy the reward of his sin undisturbed.

Happy are those who, having strayed from the right path, learn how bitter the fruits of sin are, and turn from it. God in His mercy did not leave David to be lured to complete ruin by the deceitful rewards of sin.

How God Intervened

It was necessary for God to step in. David’s sin with Bathsheba became

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