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5 Lessons From Uriah the Hittite

In this article, we will explore the life of Uriah the Hittite and what we can learn from his life story in the word of God. So, grab your Bible, and let’s dig in…

The Bible has stories of people we usually don’t focus on because they don’t appear on the scene for long. I love exploring these individuals and see what we can really learn from them. I recently did one on Barabbas.

Another such person is Uriah the Hittite. He was one of King David’s army men and had a wife who we know very well as Bathsheba. And that’s who we usually focus on; David and Bathsheba. But what if there are some gold nuggets we can glean from the life of Uriah?

Let’s take a brief look of the story…

While Uriah was away fighting Israel’s enemies, King David got a hold of his wife and slept with her. She got pregnant and the king created a plan to get Uriah to come back home and sleep with her. David’s motive was to cover up the pregnancy by making it appear as if Uriah had made his wife pregnant.

Uriah the Hittite - 5 lessons

King David did not succeed in making Uriah sleep with his wife. He thus ordered that Joab (Captian of David’s army) take him to the front of the battle so that he would be killed by the enemy. Uriah died and King David took his wife Bathsheba to his palace and made her his wife.

You can read the story in 2 Samuel 11.

Who Was Uriah in the Bible?

We are limited by what we can learn about Uriah since he’s only mentioned. But we still can gather some basic information about him. Here are some FAQ that can help us out:

The Bible mentions two Uriahs. The first is Uriah the Hittite which you can read his story in 2 Samuel 11. Then there is Uriah the priest which is mentioned in the book of Ezra and Isaiah.

According to the Strong’s Concordance, Uriah means Flame of God or God is my Light.

The Bible makes it clear that Uriah was not an Israelite, but a Hittite. But his name suggests a few different things. One, his parents joined the Israelites and adopted their beliefs. Two, Uriah was half Israelite or three, he himself joined Israelite and converted to Judaisme; therefore he changed his name.

The Hittite was a tribe of people that lived between the Euphrates and Damascus. According to the Easton’s Dictionary, it states, “These Hittites seem to have risen to great power as a nation, as for a long time they were formidable rivals of the Egyptian and Assyrian empires. In the book of Joshua, they always appear as the dominant race to the north of Galilee.”

It’s easy to read 2 Samuel 11 and think that Uriah was just some random guy that happened to have a beautiful wife. Uriah was one of David’s mighty men that stayed loyal to him before he was even king. You can tell the closeness of the relationship, by the fact that Uriah’s home was in close proximity to the palace. So, David didn’t have just a random guy killed, but someone he knew and that served him for years. He could have even been a friend.

What 5 Lessons Do we Learn from Uriah the Hittite?

1.   Uriah was a Man of Fair Judgment

And Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” – 2 Samuel 11:11 NKJV

King David sent for Uriah after he had slept with his wife, Bathsheba, and made her pregnant. He asked Uriah how the battle was, and then sent him home to freshen up. David was hoping that Uriah would sleep with his wife, and others would think he was the one responsible for her pregnancy. Uriah did not go home but slept at the entrance of the palace. When the king asked him why he did not go home, he said that he could not go home while Israel and Judah were staying in tents and his commander and the fighting men were camped in open country.

Uriah was a fair and just man because he could not imagine going to enjoy himself while those he left on the battlefield were not enjoying themselves. He considered others before considering himself.

As Christians we should not be “me” focused, but always have a heart open and compassionate for others.

2.   He was a Bold Man

Uriah’s boldness was evident when King David told him to go home and he instead slept at the palace entrance. Even when the king got him drunk and sent him home, he still did not go home. He did not worry about what the king would say or do because he knew that his intentions for not going home were noble and honorable.

We don’t always have to agree with what our employers, mentors, or others in authority over us say or do. Especially when tell us to do questionable things or things contrary to the Word of God. We can decide not to do them and explain to them in a loving way why we will not. We should obey the things God tells us and when man asks us to disobey God, then we should boldly decline and give an honest explanation.

3.   Uriah was Loyal to the King

Uriah’s loyalty stems back all the way when he was one of David’s mighty men (2 Samuel 23:8–39). So, it was natural that when Uriah was sent back to the battlefield and told that he had to go to the frontline where the battle was hottest, he did not object or flee. He knew that he had a duty to fulfill to his king (a.k.a his friend) and country. He obliged and went to the position Joab assigned him. Unfortunately, that is where he met his death.

Uriah was focused on seeing Israel’s enemies defeated and were glad to serve wherever the king placed him on the battlefield. Even though this was a setup for his fall. He remained loyal to David from when David was fleeing Saul to the very end. Yet, David did not remain loyal to Uriah.

4.   He was Not Discerning

As much as Uriah had some good qualities he also had his weaknesses. He never stopped to ask himself why the king desperately wanted him to go home. He may have decided to sleep in the palace entrance but never wondered what was going on with the king. He let his trust in his friend blind him.

Uriah also did not question why Joab, his commander sent him to the front of the battle which was very risky. He obeyed without wondering why things changed after the king summoned him.

What we learn from Uriah’s lack of discernment is that we need to question when people around us start to act strange and out of character. Something could be going on and we need to know before it is too late. Unfortunately for Uriah, it was too late because he ended up losing his life.

It’s important as Christians to keep our eyes and use wisdom.

5.   Our Worst Enemies Can Be Those Closest to Us

When we think about our enemies, we usually see them as people who are out there who want to bring us down. We rarely think that they are close to us; our employers, colleagues, friends, or even family.

Uriah would never have imagined that King David would become his enemy who would plot to kill him. The king was Uriah’s secret enemy who had him killed so that he could marry Bathsheba. All to cover up his sin and shame. When King David slept with Bathsheba, he set himself as Uriah’s enemy. His plans toward Uriah from that point forward were evil. In fact, the prophet Nathan came to tell David that he had done an evil thing by killing Uriah.

Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. – 2 Samuel 12:9

Desperation can make people who are close to us have evil intentions toward us. We may not know that they have become our enemies until their real intentions toward us surface. What we can do is pay attention to when the behavior of others toward us changes or when we discern that something about them is off. If we are not sure, we can pray and ask God to give us a revelation of any bad feeling we have toward someone close to us.

The story of Uriah the Hittite is a very short one because he comes on the scene for a very short while. But we can learn a few things like the ones above which we can apply in our lives. As you meditate on Uriah’s story, ask God to reveal to you more lessons that you can learn.

If you would like to leave a comment please do so below! I would love to hear from you and learn what God is doing in your life.

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Robert Webb

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

That was a well done summary of the loyalty of one man and one bad decision of another. Adultery(sin) can have grave consequences that can last a life time. Thank God for his mercy through Jesus Christ.