When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband had died, she mourned her lord. But once the mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her into his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.
“The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: You shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed the child born to you must surely die.” Then, David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went and slept with her; and she conceived and bore him a son, who was named Solomon. The Lord loved him… (2 Samuel 11:26-27, 12: 13-14, 24, NAB)
In Bathsheba, we again encounter a woman who had very little control over the circumstances of her life. Women in biblical times had very little say about their lives. What they could control was their response to their situations. Unlike Michal, Bathsheba did not become a bitter, angry woman. Instead, she chose to love and forgive. She also turned to God and God rewarded her with a son who would be the next king.
Several years ago, my daughter did something that went totally against everything I believed and thought I had taught her. I thought I was responding in love and doing all the right things in response to the situation. Then a few years ago, I had a metanoia moment, when I realized I had forgotten the most important thing. I had not forgiven her, I had not forgiven myself and I had not asked or given God forgiveness. Although life had moved on there was still blackness in my heart. I had to forgive and ask forgiveness. Only then could I move on to true love and compassion.
At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem. One evening David rose from his siesta and strolled about on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful. (2 Samuel 11:1-2)
Read and Ponder: 2 Samuel 11: 1-27
Here we see the first signs of Bathsheba’s lack of control over her life. When a king summons a woman, even if she is married she had no choice but to go. We are not told Bathsheba’s feelings or reactions to David’s summons, so we cannot judge her, what we do know is that she had no choice. She was a woman in Biblical Israel, and had no say when the king summoned her. When a pregnancy results, Bathsheba does not become angry, she just notifies David of the situation then waits.
Later, after her husband is killed through no fault of hers and David summons her once again, she calmly goes. She does not chastise or condemn David, but willingly becomes his wife.
Questions to Ponder:
- Bathsheba, treated as an object, yet she looked beyond David’s failings. Do I bear grudges and condemn the transgressor?
- Do I turn to God and look beyond the failings of others?
Lord Jesus, help me to be more like Bathsheba and lovingly forgive those who have transgressed against me. Let me find my strength and compassion in you. Amen.
All for the Glory of God,
Excerpted from Women of the Bible: A Study by Christina Weigand.