The Bible reading was on 2 Samuel 11, detailing David’s darkest hour of sin and moral collapse. As the meeting drew to a close, a young brother said, “There is little doubt who you would rather be in this chapter: David or Uriah the Hittite.” It was said so matter-of-factly that it did not receive the attention it deserved.
Who would you rather be? David the king of Israel, sitting in the lap of luxury and satisfying every desire of his body? David the king who by subtlety is able to cover his sin and escape with no apparent scar? Or would it be Uriah who is defrauded of his wife by the very man for whom he is fighting? Uriah who is duped into carrying his own death warrant in his own hand to Joab? No doubt the wags of Jerusalem told many a story of his “simplicity” and “blindness.”
Who would you prefer to be in 2 Samuel 11? Think about it before answering? Self assertiveness and aggressiveness are esteemed by society. A man who can manipulate others is considered an effective “manager” and a success. A man who is loyal and devoted, a man who is trusting and naive is considered to be a liability. A man who is wronged by another and does not retaliate is viewed as weak and a failure. Who would you rather be? Are you willing to be wronged by your brother? To be taken advantage of and hurt?
Grief, tears, and heartache never departed from David’s house from that day forward. Uriah, although slain at the wall, is listed among the mighty men. Who would you rather be?
The articles which comprise this month’s edition of Truth and Tidings bring this issue into focus. John Slabaugh’s article, “Jacob,” reminds us of the values which both Joseph and Jacob espoused in Egypt. They would far rather be thought of as shepherds which were despised in order to maintain separation. Jacob, in his death and blessing, testified that the prospects in Canaan were far better than those in Egypt.
Articles on the “Rapture” by Joel Portman and on “Heaven” by Albert Hull, direct our attention to “a better country, that is, an heavenly,” which shapes our values.
Tom Baker has recounted something of the work of God in the Los Angeles area of California. It fittingly depicts how the grace of God can change and revolutionize thinking and lives. The gospel, whether to middle class suburbia or to the inner city changes priorities and lives.
The principles espoused by the article, “Hedges,” remind us of why we live as we do: to display the character of God to our own generation. Our brother Jim Smith has contributed an article on our High Priest and Advocate to complete the issue.
Who would you rather be?