Two Had To Die

When reading the Bible I’ve learned to pay attention to the “side notes,” those added comments that seem as though they are only fluff, something inconsequential. Today’s MyDailyBible app devotional reading is a perfect example of that and is where the title of this blog post comes from. DailyPlan : one-year-tract : 2020-09-15 #Bible https://www.mydailybible.org/dp/esv/one-year-tract/2020-09-15.htm

One of the things I’m about to write about I discovered a couple years ago, the first I’ll mention only today.

In the reading from 2 Samuel chapter 11 is a Bible story every Christian has heard of. It’s about when king David lusts over, then seduces Bathsheba and then covers his crime by killing Uriah her husband. It’s a story told thousands of times and in thousands of ways but two of the “inconsequential” statements made in it are rich in profoundness.

2 Samuel 11:2-5 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”

Here’s a little “lagniappe” fluff in this story not related to my title. Bathsheba is the daughter of Eliam and the granddaughter of Ahithophel who is Eliam’s father. Ahithophel is a confidant, a counselor of of king David (2 Samuel 15:12). It is Ahithophel that in 2 Samuel chapter 15 betrays king David and sides with Absalom when he tries to take control of the kingdom by overthrowing king David. Maybe resentment and revenge for what David did to his granddaughter and her innocent husband were his motivation to betray David.

If you read the commentaries as I did this morning concerning 2 Samuel 11:4 you will learn that the “impurity” spoken of is of a woman ending her menstrual period. To show that the Hand of God is in this story, usually a woman is not fertile right when her menstrual period ends but it can happen. Oddly enough a “God Number” comes into play because male sperm can survive for up to “7-seven” days after having sex when a woman is normally fertile. Bathsheba’s name means “daughter of the oath.” In Hebrew, “to swear an oath” means literally “to seven oneself” (see Gn 21:27–32).

Anyway according to the commentaries and Leviticus, Bathsheba would need to bring 2 offerings to the priests to complete her cleansing,

Leviticus 15:29-30 And on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and bring them to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 30 Then the priest shall offer the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for the discharge of her uncleanness.

This is where the 1st part of my title comes from. Bathsheba had to bring 2 offerings, a sin and a burnt offering to complete her cleansings, “Two Had To Die.” But as I mentioned before, in reading this Bible account, another verse had caught my attention. It was like, “why did they throw that into the story?” At that time I looked it up. Today I noticed that it was another example of “Two Had To Die.”

2 Samuel 11:21 Who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Was it not a woman who cast a piece of a millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall?’—then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’ ”

It seemed odd to me that the mention of “Uriah the Hittite is dead also” was only a side note to all the detail given to this Abimelech who up until this point has had nothing to do with this Bible account. This Abimelech of which there are many in the Bible was the son of Gideon who was also know as Jerubbaal and Jerubbesheth. This Abimelech was very wicked. In Judges chapter 9 we are told how he deceived his 70 brothers, throwing a party only so he could kill them. The he would be not only the “son of a king” (Abi-melech) but a king of sorts in his mind. In the story of Judges chapter 9 it describes how he met his untimely end.

Judges 9:50-57 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and he encamped against Thebez and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower in the city, and all the men and women—all the people of the city—fled there and shut themselves in; then they went up to the top of the tower. 52 So Abimelech came as far as the tower and fought against it; and he drew near the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 But a certain woman dropped an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull. 54 Then he called quickly to the young man, his armor bearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, lest men say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’ ” So his young man thrust him through, and he died. 55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed, every man to his place.

56 Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father by killing his seventy brothers. 57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem God returned on their own heads, and on them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

There is so much to be learned in reading the Bible as verses grab your attention and you uncover the details of the peoples lives described in it. The Holy Spirit doesn’t cover up the flaws in the character of our Bible heroes like king David. While we are told in other places that David was a man who sought the “heart of God” we also are told of his failures and outright sins. David knew he deserved death because of his adultery and the shedding of Uriah’s innocent blood. David knew Bathsheba would have to bring 2 innocent animals to shed their blood to cover a sin she had no control over, a menstrual period.

Sin will harden you heart as it did David’s. He had to keep up his appearances of worshiping God even after his sins of murder and adultery to cover his tracks. Do you think it bothered David knowing Bathsheba would probably become overwhelmed with guilt and shame when she stood before the priest with her offerings for a sin she had no control over but had sinned grievously through adultery?

David wrote a psalm concerning how he felt betrayed by his close friend and counselor Ahithophel. Doesn’t it seem ironic that David felt betrayed by Ahithophel but doesn’t mention his betrayal of Ahithophel, Eliam and Uriah in the psalm?

NKJV – Trust in God Concerning the Treachery of Friends
Psalm 55:12-14
For it is not an enemy who reproaches me;
Then I could bear it.
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me;
Then I could hide from him.
13 But it was you, a man my equal,
My companion and my acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together,
And walked to the house of God
in the throng.

While the Bible paints in vivid color the flaws in the character of our Bible heroes it also teaches us the mercy and grace of Father God to all that will come to Him in repentance of their sins and would choose to walk with Him again. There is only one way that we can walk with Him and that is to do it His Way.

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

God isn’t agreeing with anything I say unless I am in agreement with what He has said.

All the heroes in Hebrews chapter 11 hall of faith have one thing in common. At some point they failed to agree with God but repented and decided to walk together in agreement with Him. The Holy Spirit uses that occasion to show us how God looks at His children when they choose to “follow Him.”

John 21:19-22 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”
22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.

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