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Women in the Lineage of Christ: BATHSHEBA

Bathsheba


Who was she?


Passive. Innocent. Unaware?


Calculating. Manipulative. Vixen?


Scholars differ regarding her true intent and purpose. It is challenging to discern; there are not many specific things written about her character in the Bible. On the one hand, she could have been an unsuspecting woman going through her traditional monthly cleansing rituals, paying no mind or attention to where she was or who may see her. On the other hand, she may have been calculating and manipulative {with a desire to be part of the royal household}, putting herself on a rooftop while her husband was away at war, knowing the king would see her.


As I have read the story over the years, I have believed that Bathsheba minded her own business, and her life was interrupted by a king who thought she was beautiful and just had to have her. It always seemed unfair and even cruel of King David to do that to her. This also made me sad because after following David’s life, I didn’t want to believe He, as a man after God’s own heart, would do such a thing. You know, take a woman that wasn’t his, betray a faithful soldier in his charge, and then have him killed! Really David! COME - ON!!


As you may discover, there is much to be taken from this story about David. However, that will have to be a discussion for another day. Today, we consider Bathsheba. Her story can be found in 2 Samuel 11-12 and 1 Kings 1-2. It entails adultery and bloodshed, prophetic rebuke and tragic consequences, and the breaking and making of the throne. I am not a scholar. As I consider this story again - I don’t know which things are true of Bathseba. I do know, however, there is much more than meets the eye as we read and study the Word of God.


I enjoy taking a step back and looking at the whole story in light of who we know God to be at large when I read the Bible. He never wastes an opportunity to use our everyday life and ALL that it entails to bring about His plan and purpose. Sometimes it is from good things that were already happening, and other times it is through difficult, even terrible things that we, as humans, have done to mess life up. Either way, He is working.


Here we see that David - a man after God’s heart - was still after HIS heart, even after the mess he made by taking Bathsheba from her husband and then killing him. It never changed God’s love for him, either.


We see God’s love, power, provision, and greatness in Bathsheba’s life as He comforts, guides, protects, and provides for her after she finds herself pregnant, has to give up her child, and then remains in the household of the king as a new wife. I can’t imagine all the feelings and difficulties she was experiencing: such as brokenness, betrayal, grief, and more. AND THEN - He redeems the whole thing by providing her with more children, and not just any children, those that would continue the line of Jesse to our Messiah - Christ Jesus! She didn’t know all of this at the time - but - WOW!


It’s interesting to me that Bathsheba had very contrasting roles throughout her life—the earlier passive and hard to understand (2 Sam 11-12), the latter very influential and perhaps conniving - but with great purpose. (1 Kings 1-2). I see such a transformation in her.


After her early experiences, she grows and matures into her purpose as she fights for Solomon to become king over Adonijah, who was trying to exalt himself into the role. She becomes a powerful force, looking out for her family and what she believes is right and good for the nation as she approaches King David requesting he live up to his promise that Solomon would reign after him.


While questions about the details concerning Bathsheba’s character have been raised, one thing rings true: God works to bring about His plan and purpose in her life, David’s life, and in generations to come through it all. While the landscape of tragedy, devastation, and sin is included in this story, it is not a deterrent to what would come. It is but a mile marker on the road traveling toward the arrival of our Savior, Christ Jesus.


How often in our own lives are we unable to see the whole landscape? When difficult things happen, they can drag us down and restrict our view of God’s purpose for our life. We can learn from Bathsheba’s story that there is always more than meets the eye. We can trust that God is who He says He is. He knows and sees everything, has a plan, and a purpose, and HE LOVES US!


Thank you, Lord, for having a plan and a purpose to bring Jesus Christ. We pray with the expectation for You to reveal Your will and way in our lives daily. Please help us to trust You. Show us Your ways, Oh Lord, that we may walk in them. (Psalm 25:4 - paraphrase)

In Jesus’ name, Amen.



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