Bathsheba

Bathsheba1

Chapter 11 of the book of II Samuel opens up in the spring when kings go forth to battle.  But for some reason, David stayed in Jerusalem (II Sam. 11:1).  Many speculate that he should have been in battle with his men.  What made him stay behind?  Could it have been that he was getting familiar with his life?  When we get familiar with our lives, we allow the devil to enter.  It’s a door that we leave opened for him.  We start to get careless and our guards come down.  Are we in a familiar state in our lives or do we aim for our higher calling?

David looks from a distance from his rooftop and he notices a woman bathing and she was very lovely to behold (II Sam. 11:2).   When we look at people of the opposite sex, it’s not the first look that will condemn us.  But it’s that second and beyond look that gets us in trouble.  David continued to look and then inquired about Bathsheba, sent for her and laid with her (II Sam. 3-5).  Matthew 5:28 says,“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Introduction

What type of woman do we think Bathsheba is?  We will study her life beginning with the tragic entrance in the Bible as she becomes a victim of King David.

One evening, Bathsheba was bathing after finishing her menstruation cycle.  She is portrayed by some critics to be one who was seducing from a distance.  But if we read the scriptures, she was bathing in the evening (verse two) not in broad daylight.

In Jewish customs, it was a tradition to bath after a discharge.  During the seven days of uncleanness, she had to keep away from everything because anything she touched was considered unclean.  She basically kept away from everything.  The Bible says in Leviticus 15:19, “And if a woman has a discharge, her [regular] discharge of blood of her body, she shall be in her impurity or separation for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.”

Bathsheba was probably glad to be rid of the discharge, bath, and get back to normalcy.  Little did she know that there was someone watching her.  I don’t consider her a seducer but an innocent person, in the privacy of her home, being violated.  Did she have a choice to decline from going with David’s messengers?  How do you say no to the King of Jerusalem.  King David was the most powerful man in the area.  Some may disagree that she had a choice to say “no” but we have to remember what timeframe this took place and how women were treated.  Men had authority over everything, including the women in their lives.  If she said “no”, this could have been a death sentence for her.  Did she not rely on her Lord?  How do we answer to authority of the Most High (God) and human authority?

Betrayal

The story doesn’t end here as she became pregnant from the lustful act (II Sam. 11:5).  As David thought of a plan to get Uriah to lay with his wife, Bathsheba, imagine what was going through her mind.  As the story unfolds, we see how David orders Uriah to be killed at war because he wouldn’t obey to go lay with his wife (II Sam 11:6-25).  Uriah was so loyal to his responsibilities that he would have felt guilty to rest for a few days and spend time with Bathsheba while the rest of the troops were fighting in the battle.

When Bathsheba heard of the news that Uriah was dead, she mourned (II Sam. 11:26).  In a short period of time she went through some of the most difficult situations a woman can go through.

  • Violated
  • Left Alone
  • Pregnant
  • Husband died in battle (ordered to be killed)

 

David tried to cover it all up by allowing her to live in his house and become his wife.  We can speculate why did she go?  Well, she was pregnant with his child and now that she had her whole life taken from her, maybe she felt her only choice was this one.  How would she forgive the one person who had the power to destroy her?  Nothing more is said of Bathsheba and the story turns to David.

Turning Point of Life – Repentance

In Chapter 12, we see how the Lord begins to deal with David through the prophet Nathan (verses 1-12).  I think David felt some guilt because of his action of taking Bathsheba as his wife, but he was still in denial up to this point.  As Nathan unveils the crucial acts that had taken place, David truly felt the shame, disgrace, and evilness that were done against Bathsheba and Uriah.  1 Corinthians 4:5 says, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”

God used the prophet Nathan to unveil David’s denial.  The Lord will use anything to bring you to a  point of self-crucifixion.  I call this the breakdown periods of your life; the time where your whole life seems to be tumbling down.  There’s no way of grabbing onto anything to stop it.  You finally stop at the bottom of the hole and you wonder, “What’s next?”  You think about what just happened to you and know the only way out is to call upon the Lord for help.

David truly repents and because of his repentance, God doesn’t kill him (II Sam. 12:13).  How do we know he truly repents?  Read Psalms 51.

Our God is a merciful God, but He doesn’t allow us to sin and not reap what has been sowed.  God forgave David, but He also tells him that He will rise up evil out of his own house (II Sam.12:11).    We see how God does what He says.

  • Bathsheba’s son dies (II Sam. 12:14)
  • Amnon raped his half sister, Tamar (II Sam. 13:14)
  • Absalom kills Amnon for raping Tamar (II Sam. 13:28-29)
  • Absalom escapes to a foreign land for three years (II Sam. 13:38)
  • Absalom returns (without any recognition from David) to Jerusalem and dwells there for two years before seeing David (II Sam. 14:28)

 

  • Absalom steals the hearts of the people deliberately and rebelliously.  Also tries to replace his father (II Sam. 15:6)

 

  • David’s flight from Jerusalem, with the mass of the people against him (II Sam. 15:14)

 

  • Absalom lies with one of David’s concubines (II Sam. 16:21-22).  To manifest his claim to be the new King, Absalom had sex in public with ten of his father’s concubines – which could be considered a direct, tenfold divine retribution for David’s taking away the woman of another man.3

 

 

  • The terrible battle in the forest of Ephraim, won by David’s forces, with Absalom killed in flight (II Sam. 18:6)

 

  • Even when the great king was dying, his son Adonijah was attempting to take the throne by force, and was later executed as a traitor (I Kings 1:5; 2:25)
Acknowledgement, Forgiveness, & Reconciliation

Something happened after the repentance of David in regards to his relationship with Bathsheba.  In II Sam. 12:15-19, we see David’s heart shattered and fully accepting what Nathan just prophesied.  He goes into deep fasting and praying for his son; The love towards this child is undeniable.  Does this love also penetrate to Bathsheba?  We see in verse 24, how Bathsheba allows him to comfort her, lay with her, and bears another son, Solomon.  The Lord loves Solomon and even gives him a special name, Jedidiah (II Sam.12:25).

Unlike Michal, David’s first wife, who became very bitter with David, Bathsheba took on the opposite approach.

This was a crucial point in David and Bathsheba’s life because he knew there would be much tribulation within his own family.  But he didn’t focus on the curse that God set before him.  We see in II Sam.12:20, where he gets up from the floor from mourning, washes up, anoints himself, goes to the house of the Lord and worships, comes back to his house and eats.  Talk about a focused, destiny driven individual.  He was determined not to allow this circumstance to get him down.  Throughout his life, we see David go through some really tough times, but in every instance he picks himself up, dusts his feet, and moves on.  Now, this is truly a man after God’s own heart.  The pressures of life will bring you down but what do we do to get up and keep on walking in the destiny the Lord has for us?

We can also see that even though there is not much said about Bathsheba’s trial, the little that is mentioned shows that she possessed a similar character as David.  We can see how the marriage was able to be reconciled and grow stronger.

If we look at our calculations, we can assume that from the time of the violating act up to this point, a year or so is past.  A transformation from grieve to love transpired.  Bathsheba wholeheartedly surrenders to the love that surpasses all understanding.  Colossians 2:2 says,“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.”

David and Bathsheba had three more sons, Shimea, Shobab, and Nathan (1 Chron. 3:5).  We don’t hear from Bathsheba until when King David is old and dying (I Kings 1).

Bathsheba Claims Her Throne

David is at his death bed and Adonijah, his oldest living son (I Kings 1:5), tries to overtake his father’s throne.  Because he’s the eldest he would be the next kin to receive the crown.  He declared himself king without the knowledge of David.  But we have to remember that the Lord loved Solomon and David promised Bathsheba that he would be king after his death.

Bathsheba and Nathan persuaded David to give orders that his younger son Solomon should immediately be proclaimed king. Adonijah fled and took refuge at the altar, and received pardon for his conduct from Solomon on the condition that he showed himself “a worthy man” (I Kings 1:5-53).2

We see the influence Bathsheba has towards David.  She immediately is allowed to enter his courts and discuss the situation; an authority that not every woman has in the kingdom.  The relationship up to his death grew very strong.

Bathsheba and Solomon have a special bond.  First, we see how she pushes after the promise that her son would be the next king.  Then, we see Adonijah approach her to ask King Solomon for permission to marry Abishag.  Adonijah could have asked Solomon himself or maybe ask Nathan.  But he goes straight to the one who would have the most influence, his mother (I Kings 2:13-18).

Adonijah asks to marry Abishag the Shunammite, but Solomon denied authorization for such an engagement, although Bathsheba now pleaded on Adonijah’s behalf. He was then seized and put to death (I Kings 2:13-25).2

David’s general, Joab, was killed in accord with David’s deathbed request to Solomon, and David’s priest, Abiathar, was exiled. Shimei was confined to Jerusalem and killed three years later when he went to Gath to retrieve some runaway servants.2

The Bible accredits Solomon as the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem, and portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power. Solomon is the subject of many other later references and legends.2

We see, again, the influence Bathsheba has as she enters the throne to speak to Solomon (I Kings 2:19).  He honors his mother; rises up to meet her, bows down to her, and causes a seat to be set at his right hand for her.  Others may have seen her as the poor woman who was raped, picked up by David, and talked about by others, but she rises up to be a servant of God and the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31!

The Revelation4
Acts 8:32, Isa 53:9 says, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth… He had done no violence. Nor was there deceit in His mouth.”

Why was the suffering of Bathsheba so silent? Christ is the Lamb and Bathsheba was the ewe, a fully-grown female sheep. She is His foremother and carries the characteristic of her son and Master who was led as a sheep to the slaughter and yet remained silent, but in her there was no violence nor deceit and she awaited only for God to resurrect and lift her up, even as to be seated on the right hand of Christ who is crowned King. God made no mistake in genealogical birthrights. She is divinely chosen to be the foremother of both the earthly father and mother of the Messiah.

Questions1
  1. In the beginning of the story, we see the word “familiar”.  In the Webster’s Dictionary the definition means, one who is well acquainted with something.  When we get too comfortable with a person, place, or thing in our lives, we tend not to grow in that area.  This is not always good for our growth because we stop progressing.  What area in our life do we need to get “out” of familiarity and grow?
  2. Do you think Bathsheba had a choice when David sent for her?
  3. How many times can we remember when we wanted to say “no” to someone but for some reason we stayed quiet and allowed the Holy Spirit to lead us?  How did it turn out?
  4. Based on Ed Young’s series of “In the Pit”, he mentions that we all are in either one of three stages in our lives; Pre-pit, In the pit, and post-pit.  As we look at Bathsheba’s story, how many times was she thrown in the pit?
  5. In what stage are you in (pre-pit, in the pit, or post-pit) and how are you handling it?
  6. This story brings up a lot of important topics in one: violation (rape), betrayal, loneliness, patience, forgiveness, repentance, restoration, and wholeness.  These are the steps Bathsheba took to restore her whole being.  What area do you need prayer in?

References

  1. Inspired by the Holy Spirit to Beverley V.
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathsheba
  4. http://www.patriarchywebsite.com/bib-patriarchy/bathsheba-truthful-account.htm

Heart


Examples of God’s Promises – Three Cycles God takes us through in response to receiving God’s promises made in faith.

  a. Promise 
  b. Problem 
  c. Provision

Promise: Bathsheba
Did she know she would be chosen by God to bring forth the next generation of sons to be the forefathers of Joseph and Mary?  We see in past studies that there were some women who clearly understood the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  But Bathsheba didn’t have a clear vision of it.

Problem: She endured one of the harshest situations from all the other women we’ve studied.  But she didn’t covet like Eve, she didn’t take matters into her own hands like Sarah, Rebekah, Leah & Rachel, she wasn’t aggressive to go after what was legitimately hers like Tamar.

She was wise in every situation like Noah’s wife, she paid attention and responded wisely like Rahab, she was obedient to the circumstances and listened to when God spoke like Ruth.  She handled things in a quiet way and never made any commotion about anything.

Provision:. Because of these attributes, God was able to work with and through her and allowed her to be:

  • Wife of David – A man after God’s own heart
  • Mother of Solomon – The wisest man on Earth and King of Jerusalem
  • Mother of Solomon – Joseph, earthly father of Jesus Christ,  came from his lineage

 

  • Mother of Nathan – Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, came from his lineage

Heart

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