Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Advent: Bathsheba's Love

Bathsheba's Love

Big Idea: Though Bathsheba experienced heartbreak from David’s rash sin, rather than letting the  consequences of sin define her, she chose to speak out with love.

Commander takes soldier’s wife, kills husband

My husband is a military man. Codes of conduct ensure trust between military members. Integrity is a core value. Taking a soldier’s spouse for your pleasure is never right and does not engender trust.

David should never have let this happen. Hollywood’s story of David and Bathsheba implies she was a seductress. But honestly we don’t see that in the Bible.

What we know about Bathsheba

  • Her grandfather, Ahithophel, was one of King David’s advisors. (2 Samuel 15:2)
  • Her father, Eliam, and husband, Uriah, were both part of David’s Mighty Men, an elite fighting force. (2 Samuel 23: 34,39)
  • Both Uriah and Bathsheba carefully followed Old Testament practices of purity
    • Uriah wouldn’t sleep with his wife while preparing for battle. (1 Samuel 21:5)
    • Bathsheba bathed for purification after menstruation in desert conditions, probably using a water basin. (Leviticus 15). It was not a leisurely bubble bath.
  • The Bible does not say Uriah and Bathsheba had children. They may have been newly married.
  • Bathsheba was summoned by the King. She may have felt she couldn’t refuse him.
  • When Uriah died in battle, Bathsheba mourned for him. (2 Sam. 11:26)
  • When Bathsheba lost her baby, she mourned. (2 Sam. 12:24)
  • After the death of her husband Uriah, David made her his 7th wife. (2 Sam. 11:27)
  • David was chastised by Nathan the prophet for his sin. Bathsheba was not. (2 Sam. 12)
  • David’s private sin had grave consequences for his family and kingdom. It bred open sexual sin by his sons, and a divided political world. (2 Sam. 13 and following)
  • Her second son was Solomon, considered the wisest man in the world. (2 Sam. 12:24)
  • David promised Bathsheba Solomon would be the heir to the throne. (I Kings 1:13)
  • She was an advocate for her son, Solomon, reminding David to hand him the throne. (I Kings 1)
  • Bathsheba spoke to King Solomon advocating for what she felt was right. (I Kings 2)
  • She is most likely the Proverbs 31 woman. Most scholars believe “King Lemuel” was Solomon sharing advice from his mother, Bathsheba. It was about how to act as a king, to value women, what a woman of value is. I am sure Solomon realized that is what she became! (Proverbs 31)

Love out of heartbreak

I believe young Bathsheba, though she did not protest against David, was taken advantage of. She was a voiceless victim. David paid dearly for his sin, but Bathsheba was affected too. The consequences of sin affect more than the individual. They affect those around them too. 

She was heartbroken losing her husband and then her first baby. She must have been heartbroken with David how his grown sons acted in public, trying to destroy the kingdom and openly sleeping with other women in David’s family.

In time, Bathsheba found her voice to be an advocate for family, for politics, and for women by presenting the picture of the Proverbs 31 woman. Indeed, her advice in Proverbs is loving and wise.

Why was Bathsheba in Jesus' genealogy?

Bathsheba was the fourth woman mentioned in Matthew 1 as part of the genealogy of Jesus. Each one was a surprising part of Jesus lineage.  In fact, Uriah, the murdered husband of Bathsheba, is also mentioned.

Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). Matthew 1:9 NLT

Jesus was remarkably equally God and equally man. He came to take on flesh and understand mankind, so He could conquer death and sin. These flawed human beings in Jesus' genealogy show us he took on flesh as we know it, with all the gnarly baggage it entailed.  In all the scandal and emotional scars of David and Bathsheba, He took on the family baggage of human kind.  He gets us. He walked as one of us. 

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. I John 1:14 NLT


Lessons from Bathsheba

  • Love your spouse.
  • Love your children.
  • Even after being a victim, or making a mistake, find your voice and act honorably.
  • Stand up for what’s right.
  • Be an advocate for others.
  • Know that with God's help you can overcome your family baggage.
  • Jesus came for families like yours and mine.

The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.  Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.   Proverbs 31: 1,8,9 NLT


Up next: Mary: The Dark Days of Winter
Previous post: Advent: Joy for Ruth



1. Have you suffered at the brunt of someone else’s sin? Have you gotten involved in something wrong because you felt you could not say no to someone more powerful? How has this effected your life? Reflect on the example of Bathesheba.

2. In learning more about Bathsheba what new aspect have you learned about her life? What can you admire about her? How might her example be helpful in your walk in life?

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