Nevertheless, for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem, because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.1 Kings 15:4-5
David had done all things right in the eyes of the Lord except for the time when he met one specific woman. But who is she in the life of David, what is she famous for, and why now?
Let us find out how Bathsheba is People Just Like You.
Bathsheba’s Back story
In the spring, a perfect time for the kings to go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites besieged Rabbah.
But David was home in Jerusalem, wondering how to pass his precious “me time”. The Bible did not say exactly why he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. But that was the start of a chain reaction of sin he committed that changed history forever.
Because of being in a place where he should not have been, he saw from his roof a beautiful woman bathing, and he didn’t mind looking away from her. King David sent messengers and commanded for this woman to come to him, even though he was told she was ALREADY somebody else’s wife. The “wife of Uriah”. He laid with her and she got pregnant.
Bathsheba had no choice but to keep this little secret for herself and the king…
see the full story in the Bible: 2 Samuel 11
King David went to the rooftop of his castle to have a fresh evening air. When he looked around the city, somewhere along the lines of houses that surrounded the palace, he saw Bathsheba taking a bath. She has been purifying herself from her monthly uncleanliness. He looked and saw that she was the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. Lust of the flesh came rushing in David’s heart. So he sent someone to find out about her. The man told him that she is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.
(Eliam was one of the mighty men of David’s army. He was the son of Ahithophel, the chief counselor of David. Technically, Bathsheba was surrounded by strong people. But it didn’t stop the inevitable choices of this two main character of the story to occur.)
“Bathsheba couldn’t say no.”
Bathsheba has just finished purifying herself from her monthly uncleanliness (or we commonly call them menstrual cycle) when a messenger of the king came to her house and asked her to come with him.
In the king’s bedroom, Bathsheba was terrified. She couldn’t reject the king because she was powerless. All she could do was to obey what she was told.
King David, someone who Bathsheba should be trusting with her life because she knew he was a follower of God, became the source of her distress. She couldn’t move from the grip of the king. Her hopes for rescue slowly died with every disgrace she was put through that night.
After the incident, Bathsheba was sent home as nothing has ever happened. Was she a toy for the king? She wouldn’t know.
“Bathsheba kept her pregnancy a secret.”
She could have easily told someone about the king and what he has done to her. But she kept it all to herself, until a few months later and she found out that she was with child. Bathsheba left a note for David telling him about it, hoping he would do the right thing as the king of Jerusalem should bravely do. Instead of admitting he has wronged and repent, he made it even worse.
David asked Joab to send him Uriah the Hittite. The king was stalling and tried to convince Uriah to lay low from the war for a while and go home. Maybe sleep with his wife (to cover the pregnancy of Bathsheba from being linked to David) and then continue the war the next day. But in the morning, David found out that Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all the king’s servant and did not go home.
The king asked Uriah why he did not come home that night.
11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”2 Samuel 11
At least Uriah had more sense. Even though he was not a pureblood Israelite, he was more concerned for his people. And Uriah was more of a man of character than David. The king could have been out in the field defending the Israelites but instead, he sent everybody else to do the attack and he stayed away from war to do his selfish agenda.
In the last attempt to persuade Uriah to go home to his wife, David asked him to stay for one more day and will send him back the next day. He agreed. Uriah ate and drank with the king. It made him drunk and he was sent out to go home. But the next day, he was found on the same spot outside the palace.
King David was furious because the more Uriah delay and foil his plan, the lesser the chance to keep his little secret concealed.
So David, to shove away his conscience, sent Uriah back to the battlefield with a note for Joab.
15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
It was already a felony that he slept with someone else’s wife, but to try and bury it with someone he didn’t want in the equation is a whole lot of serious crime. Most especially in the eyes of the Lord.
Joab saw the letter that same day and tried to obey the king’s order. So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell.
Moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
“Bathsheba mourned for her husband.”
Joab withdrew from the battlefield when he saw that his task was done (Uriah was planned to be killed accidentally). He sent messengers to tell the king about the updates of the battle.
18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle.2 Samuel 11
19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you,
‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’
If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”
David acted as if he had nothing to do with the incident.
25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”2 Samuel 11
Bathsheba heard the news. She didn’t know what happened but when she knew about the death of her husband, she mourned in silence.
“Bathsheba mourned for her son.”
After the period of mourning, David sent Bathsheba back to his palace and made him one of his wives. Soon after, she bore a son.
But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David. He told the king:
“There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.2 Samuel 12
4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
David became furious and cursed the man to die. But when he asked Nathan who the man was, he answered it was David himself.
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!2 Samuel 12
This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.
9 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.
10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
The prophet Nathan tried to warn David that what he did was not of the Lord. David realized his mistake and eventually turned back to God. But the sin he committed with Bathsheba will not be tolerated.
11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”2 Samuel 12
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”
After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth (a sign of mourning) on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
On the seventh day, the child died. David noticed that his attendants were whispering and asked if the child was dead and they confirmed. He got up from the ground, washed, put on lotions, changed his clothes, and went to the house of God and worshipped. Then he went to his own house and requested food, and he ate.
The attendants were curious because David mourned the death of the child instead of after.
22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept.
I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’
23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
Bathsheba had recently lost her husband and now her son was taken away from her. But she was powerless against it because she knew the sin she has committed it will not justify her reasons.
Bathsheba conceived and bore another Son.
The birth of Solomon.
24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; 25 and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.2 Samuel 12
Bathsheba gained a voice for herself.
David in the book of 2 Samuel, after the incident with Bathsheba and the death of their first son, the king took the time to correct what he did wrong. He mustered the entire Israelite army (after Joab sent a message to King David to take charge of the rest) and went to Rabbah, and he attacked and captured it. He took the crown out of the king’s head and it was placed on his own head. King David took over the land of Rabbah. He made the people do his weaponry and did it to all of Rabbah’s town and people. Over time, he conquered more and more land under him. He became powerful beyond the land of Jerusalem.
But when David got old, and Solomon grew older, someone else whose name was Adonijah declared himself as the new king. David was clueless about what was happening in his kingdom for he was too old to even keep warm under his blanket.
5 Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.” So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him.1 Kings 1
6 (His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)
Adonijah was supported by Joab and a priest named Abiathar. He sacrificed flocks to seal his self-proclaimed position and invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon.
Bathsheba knew all of this from Nathan the prophet and she was told to go in to King David to speak for her son Solomon to be king after him.
15 So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him. 16 Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king.1Kings 1
“What is it you want?” the king asked.
17 She said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the Lord your God:
‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’
18 But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it. 19 He has sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep, and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he has not invited Solomon your servant.
20 My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.”
Nathan came through the door and confirmed to the king about what was happening in the kingdom without his knowledge.
But because of Bathsheba, her son Solomon had given the right to sit on the throne next in line to King David. He was declared king by David himself and most of the king’s priests. Solomon became more powerful, wiser and greater than King David ever was. And no one after has ever surpassed him.
We Reflect on Bathsheba because:
Bathsheba was voiceless.
She was silenced by the power above her. It made her voiceless even though she was surrounded by powerful people that should be supporting her. But she ended up muted and haven’t done a thing about it.
Most of the time we are silenced by our own rights. We cannot talk back to someone with the power to manipulate us. But God gave us His word and it should be enough to overcome the hands that forced us to block our voices.
She lost her dignity, then unexpectedly widowed from her husband and her child was taken too soon. Bathsheba learned the hard way that sin, even though somebody forced her to do so, can lead to consequences. She could have said no to David and run for her life when she had the time, but she let him do whatever he pleased with her.
Do you know someone who ran for his life because he knew this was sinning against God? Yes, Joseph in Egypt when Potiphar’s wife seduced him into sleeping with her. He said “NO” and didn’t bother to think what would the queen do to him.
Just like us, we suffer from sin. It doesn’t matter what choices we had but there will always be consequences if we do not run from them.
Bathsheba stumbled but she got up.
But whatever the consequences we suffer, there will always be salvation if we confess our sins to the Lord and He will end our anguish.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23
He is the God of Second Chances.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.2 Peter 3:9
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:17
Stick to God’s plan.
2 “I know that you can do all things;Job 42:2
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,Psalm 33:11
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11
God loves us.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Do not let your silence limit you from who you are. Come back to the Lord and repent for your sins because He is faithful and just to forgive us. He is the God of Second Chances. If He did it to Bathsheba and David, He will do it to you!
God gave Bathsheba a voice. A powerful one to make the will of God take place. If she did not speak up to King David, Solomon would not have become the greatest king that Israel ever had. God’s words would not have been accomplished.
The Lord knew that Bathsheba had it all along.
It only took one voice.
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