(2Sa 11:11) “And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.”
The text verse is a clear indication of Uriah’s dedication to his king, to his general in the field, and to the other soldiers; and not last, but first, is his dedication to “The Ark” (which represents the Presence of the God of Israel in their midst); therefore, Uriah’s dedication was to God Himself. Uriah’s main duty; his focus as a soldier of Israel; his position in the king’s personal guard as one of the thirty-seven Mighty Men of Valor, was as a soldier to help win the battle that they were engaged in now. There was no way Uriah was going to indulge himself of the pleasure of his wife, while his God, his general, and his fellow soldiers were out in the field of battle; for being a soldier was his calling and his commitment.
The actions of Uriah to deny himself these pleasures while back home to speak to the king is a picture of the mountain peak of the dedication of the Disciple of Jesus Christ. Without this total dedication to Christ above anyone and anything, as was Uriah’s, a man cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The author of Luke records the word of Jesus on this subject (Lk. 14:26-33):
(26) “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
(27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
(33) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
The word “hate” has not to do with emotions; but, with order of priority. Christ is to be first, family second.
The soldier understands this when he puts on the uniform of a soldier. The order of his priorities begins with the President (the commander-in-chief), his orders, his performance on the battle field; then his personal relationships come last. So, it is in the Army of God; the soldier’s priority begins with God, the Commander-in-Chief; next, is his dedication to the preparation for the battle; and his performance on the battle field until the mission be accomplished is first; and then comes his personal life. This is what Jesus was saying in (Lk. 14:26-33). He was saying that the disciple was not to “hate,” as an emotion of utter disgust; but, was dealing with dedication of the disciple, as to the disciple’s priorities. Jesus plainly set forth the ground rules of the dedication of the disciple. There is a Consideration and a Cost to being a true soldier of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul added to the principle that Christ set forth in (Lk. 14:26-33) in (2Ti 2:1-5)
(1) “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
(2) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
(3) Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
(4) No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
(5) And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.”
The point to observe in keeping with the theme of this devotion is revealed in verse 4, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” The good soldier of Jesus Christ must not, “…entangleth himself with the affairs of this life.” This is exactly what Jesus was saying in (Lk. 14:26-33); family, finances and fame come second to Christ. Paul then gives the reason for this, “…that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” The fruit of true discipleship is in “pleasing” Christ, Who chose him to be a soldier. The good soldier cannot please himself; but, his attitude must be to please Christ, because he loves Christ, because Christ first loved him and gave Himself for him on the Cross of Calvary as the soldier’s Sacrifice, Substitute and Savior.
The type of dedication that Uriah the Hittite had in the text verse, and that every true disciple of Jesus must have, and will have, is the dedication of no compromise. Uriah had his priorities straight before he was tempted to alter the correct order. This is very important for the soldier of Jesus Christ to have in his mind. He must be prepared and ready always to implement his correct priorities when temptation comes to him. The temptation to alter the God-ordained priority for the good soldier comes in a multitude of faces. But, be assured that the temptation to alter the correct priority will be, as it was with Uriah, in three major areas; (a) lust of the flesh, (b) lust of the eyes, (c) the pride of life.
The flesh, where sin dwells in the soldier of Jesus Christ, tries the same tactics on the soldier of Jesus Christ as the serpent did in the Garden of Eden on Eve and Adam (Gen. 3:1-4). David, playing the devil’s advocate, tried to get Uriah to alter the priority list, by getting Uriah to forget who had called him to be a soldier; and forget the priority of commitment that Uriah had made when he became a soldier. This priority is to make his duty first in his life; but David tried to get Uriah to go down to his house to eat, drink, and lie with his wife (the affairs of this life). David was saying to Uriah, go fill yourself with the lust of flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life. In other words, David told Uriah to compromise his commitment of the soldier’s oath; which is to be a soldier above everything and everyone. However, Uriah refused David’s plea, and stood firm in his commitment of soldier-ship.
So, it is with the flesh of the soldier of Jesus Christ today, as well as in David’s day. The flesh is constantly trying to trip up the soldier of Jesus Christ with family, friends, finances, fame, and a million other faces. But, the true soldier of Jesus Christ will not compromise his commitment to be true to his Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ. The soldier of Jesus Christ knows when he leaves the battlefield, he is leaving where God is. The Ark, which represented the Presence of God on the Battle field in Uriah’s day, is still the same today. The Ark, or Jesus Christ, is in the His Holy Temple, the true disciple; for the true soldier is the temple of the Living God (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:16). When the soldier of Jesus Christ begins to feed his fleshy desires; then, he departs from his duty as soldier of Jesus Christ; he begins the path of compromise; and he turns from his commitment to Christ to be in the Army of God and to be faithful until the end (2 Tim. 4:7).
The words of Uriah in (2 Sam. 11:11d), “…as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing”; MUST be the words of the true soldier of Jesus Christ. Joseph would not compromise his commitment, (Gen 39:9) “There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
Soldier of Jesus Christ, it is not that you don’t have the flesh with you; for the flesh is with your until your physical death. It is not that you will not be tempted to compromise your commitment to Christ. But, when the soldier understands his commitment to Christ as a soldier in the Army of Jesus Christ; then, he understands he cannot compromise this commitment; for his commitment to Christ began with the choice of Christ of him to be a soldier (2 Tim:2:4b). It was Christ Who died for him on the Cross for his offence, and was raised for his justification (Rom. 3:24-25; 4:25a; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 1:7). And it was Christ that called him unto Salvation (2 Tim. 1:9; Jn. 15:16). It is God that has given the soldier, or the disciple, the Power of God dwelling in the soldier to perform the soldier’s duty (Phil. 2:13). It is God that ordained the works of the soldier (Eph. 2:10). And it is God that has secured his future in Christ (Jn. 10:27-30; Rom. 8; 29-39).
Again, the foundation of being a dedicated soldier, committed to the Calling of Jesus Christ, and a non-compromiser, is that God’s Love has been shed abroad in the heart of the soldier in regeneration and conversion (Rom. 5:5b). Therefore, Jesus said in (Joh 14:15) “If ye love me, keep my commandments” or since “ye love me, keep my commandments.” The soldier of Jesus Christ has been “chosen in Christ’; “called in Christ”; and “committed to Christ”; therefore, he is completely “dedicated” to Christ, and not to his flesh. Therefore, the title to this devotion, “What a Dedication!”
Reader of this devotion, it was not by chance that you have read this devotion. Question: Are you really a soldier of Jesus Christ? If so, is your commitment holding true to the Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ? Or, as you examine your performance, have you found that you have compromised your commitment, and allowed yourself to leave the field of battle and gone down to your house of flesh to eat, drink, and fulfil the pleasures of life?
If the latter is your case, do as David did; and that is confess your compromise, and turn back to God and to your duty as a soldier of Jesus Christ. The taste of Victory is on the battlefield; not back at the house of the flesh.