“The shoe is on the other foot now!”
The last Daily Devotion I wrote had David fleeing for his life from the murderous rage of King Saul. In contrast, David’s murderous actions against Uriah are cold, calculated, planned. In modern legal terms, it would be described as ‘with intent’ and ‘a significant degree of premeditation’. How the wheel turns!
“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (John Dalberg)
As an absolute monarch, David had absolute power, which he abused for the purpose of his own sexual gratification. The text cleverly juxtaposes David and Uriah. David is the Divinely anointed king over Israel, scheming to have Uriah killed. Uriah is a foreigner, a Hittite, a soldier, whose sense of military honour and high standards shine out. A spanner is thrown into the works of David’s scheming!
“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” (Jean-Baptiste Karr)
The abuse of power continues to be rife today. Barely does a week go by without more appalling revelations of sexual misconduct… in politics, in sport, in entertainment, in the church…
“There, but for the grace of God go I.” (John Bradford)
While we may be thankful that we have not been subject to such extremes of human behaviour, many of us will have been affected by bullying (at school, in the workplace or even at church), or felt stifled by domineering family members; we may even admit moments when we have behaved poorly towards others.
“He can twist her round his little finger!”
In reflecting on abuse of power, we should not omit to consider the abuse of the position of weakness, echoed in this last proverb. Many of us, individually or as a church, will have sometimes felt used.
Sometimes, in our church, we use the following prayer of confession.