Although there are many, many things I could write about today, I’m going to settle for something short but pithy. It’s some insight I picked up about a specific scripture in Sacrament meeting this morning. The speaker was talking about how often the little decisions we make can have a big impact on our lives and on the lives of others. He went on to tell how although we all knew about David’s sins of sleeping with Bathsheba and then sending Uriah, her husband, to the battlefront to be killed, we don’t’ always think of the “little” decision that preceded this.
However, in 2 Samuel 11:1, we read, “And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.”
Aren’t kings supposed to go into battle with their men? Why did David tarry still at Jerusalem? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know that in the second verse of that chapter, we see David eyeing Bathsheba as she bathes on a nearby rooftop. He finds her beautiful to look upon, and before we know it, he has lain with her and she is “with child.” David summons Uriah home so that he will lie with Bathsheba, thus hoping to extricate himself from this sticky dilemma by claiming Uriah to be the father of the child. It doesn’t work; Uriah is too noble to “do this thing.” Consequently, David sends him to the forefront of the battle where he is killed. David then marries Bathsheba.
The sins are pretty big ones, adultery and murder, and this morning’s speaker made me wonder if they would have occurred had David gone off to battle instead of sending Uriah and others while he tarried. A small decision had major consequences for several people’s lives, including innocent ones.
Here’s what really got me this morning. Almost as an afterthought, the speaker said (paraphrase), “Don’t send your family off to fight the battle without you. Don’t send them to church while you tarry at home.” Wow. That seemed profound to me. I looked around at all of the people sitting without spouses and all of the children sitting with just one parent and wondered if the spouses/parents who sent them realize the big and long lasting ramifications of that decision.