The Bible is a book filled with stories about the things real-life people do. Some of the real-life people in the Word of God hurt other real-life people. These stories reveal a dark side to human nature: the ability, even propensity, to inflict unmerited harm.
One of these stories is of King David, Bathsheba, and Uriah.
Uriah was an honorable man, away from home, engaged in war as a soldier in King David’s army.
In an unusual move, the king did not travel with his army; he elected to stay home.
At his home on the rooftop, David saw a beautiful woman bathing. He wanted her, and, as it is written, “he lay with her,” (II Samuel 11:4, NKJV).
The woman’s name was Bathsheba – Uriah’s wife.
Soon thereafter, Bathsheba sent word to the King that she was pregnant.
King David tried to cover their act and its result. He brought Uriah home from the war hoping that the solider would lay with Bathsheba so that the pregnancy would be assumed the soldier’s and not the King’s.
But David’s plan failed. Uriah was a faithful soldier – he would not lay with his wife while his comrades were at war.
So the King arranged Uriah’s death.
David wrote one of his commanders, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die,” (II Samuel 11:15, NKJV).
And it happened as Kind David planned: Uriah died.
In a world where we want and hope that right wins out, how does Uriah’s death make sense?
The author of one of the books of the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes, in trying to make sense of this world – its right’s and wrong’s – goes so far as to throw up his hands and proclaim, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity,” (1:2, NKJV).
What are Christians to think … to believe?
Is it all vanity?
Interestingly, Ecclesiastes give us a hint at the answer. Its author in the last two verses of the last chapter whispers the Christian’s hope: God.