If you could do a perfect murder and it just improved everyone’s life, how is it wrong?
David and Bathsheba is a classic Bible story, this is the chapter.
He lusts after Bathsheba the girl next door, has an affair and she’s pregnant. Her husband uzziah is a soldier on active duty. David organises some R’nR hoping to give some plausible deniability to the babies fatherhood.
Uzziah is so damn noble he won’t sleep with his wife knowing his brother soldiers are dying in the field. David tries again, this time with alcohol, but even drunk Uzziah has too much self discipline to disguise David’s lack of it.
So, shockingly, David organises Uzziah’s death under cover of the battlefield.
It’s so neat, Bathsheba mourns then becomes his wife. Within their culture it has the appearance of David actually honouring uzziah by providing for his widow. The perfect murder
It’s not quite perfect though because the general, Joab has been corrupted by being involved in the scheme. He wasn’t told why he should organise a particularly dangerous mission for uzziah, but surely he would have figured it out in about 9 months…
The narrative quite cuttingly includes the cold way the death is handled in the reports from the battlefront – David has this horrible false reasonableness when he forgives the incompetent strategy that meant men, including Uzziah, were lost.
Likewise you wonder if Bathsheba surely would have suspected the neatness of it all.
But the man thing is, it displeases the lord.
Death comes to all of us. God is in charge of that. David the warrior king was the agent of so much death, but God remained king. King David was God’s servant.
But this death was different, David intended it for his own gain. Ironically, the only time David truly was Uzziah’s king was when he had him killed.
David cried to God in the song about his sin “against you only have I sinned”.
I still struggle with the fairness of this way of viewing it: I mean he’s also sinned against the guy whose wife he stole then killed, right?
It’s about being ethical. You can get away with things but you lose yourself if you can’t be honest to god. It’s not to disregard Uzziah’s injustice to say it’s a sin against God, it’s to magnify it.
Jesus says you are a murderer if you think of murdering. by the time it becomes action your heart has already become corrupt against God.
I’m in a funk, end of year burnt out ready to go on holidays before I can. My concentration is shot. In a funk is easy to give myself permission to be selfish and unloving.
I’m gonna work on staying fair even when there is not fair weather.