We find her in 2 Samuel 11: 1-26, a sub character in the story she’s most notably known for–Scandal.
Scripture tells us Bathsheba was beautiful, and a military wife—the wife of one of King David’s elite Soldiers, Uriah. Because of the prominent, well off status of her family, we can assume she grew up in a godly home, and more than likely known many of the royal family members.
While the story of her affair with King David perpetuates, there’s really so much we don’t know about Bathsheba. How old was she? How many siblings did she have? What were her hopes and dreams, or favorite coffee creamer? We can only guess about many more things.
Was she the kind of military wife that wore her husband’s rank—power hungry?
Had she spent her whole life being told how beautiful she was, and that she could’ve done way better than Uriah?
Maybe she was truly lonely, missing the attention, affection, and warmth of her husband who was often at battle.
Perhaps she felt pushed aside, like her life and plans didn’t matter.
What if Bathsheba was looking for happiness? Perhaps married life with Uriah wasn’t all it had been cracked up to be.
Besides, saying no to the King could mean possible death. Gulp.
While Bathsheba’s consent to David may have been with a twisted arm, we can infer that when push came to shove, even with the possible threat of death for rejecting the King, Bathsheba chose to disobey God. She sinned, just like we sin.
It’s so easy to point our finger, but she was a woman, a human like us experiencing life’s let downs and unmet expectations. We’re all one bad decision away from sharing a similar story with her.
However we regard Bathsheba, taking a closer look at her life can teach us many things about living a life of faith.
Eventually she became the mother of five sons, one of which, King Solomon, would be known as the wisest King ever to live. During Solomon’s reign, Bathsheba would become Queen mother, and King’s advisor.
Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs, and his famous verse Proverbs 22: 6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and in when he is old he will not depart from it,” suggests Bathsheba did a good job raising him to love God.
There are many scholars who believe Bathsheba is actually the author of, or at least the inspiration for, Proverbs 31, the chapter on the characteristics of a Godly woman, wife, and mother.
Later, in the book of Matthew, we find Bathsheba included in the lineage of Jesus Christ! What an honor for a woman with scandal attached to her name.
God seems to have a different way of acknowledging, remembering, and redeeming Bathsheba.
He’s taken her mess, and turned it into a message. I love when God does that, and I bet Bathsheba did too.
We simply have to allow Him to redeem our sin and shame, as it appears Bathsheba did.
What advice would this woman who fell so hard, yet rises with grace, tell us?
I think she’d tell us to:
- Know God’s word. Read the Bible. Even if it doesn’t make since, read it, and pray the Holy Spirit helps us understand.
- Apply God’s Word to our life. Actually do what the Bible says.
Jesus says in Joh 14:15 if you love me, keep my commands,” or follow my Word
- Battle Buddy Up. In life, who has our back? Who can be a sounding board for us, offering Godly wisdom?
Bathsheba doesn’t seem to have them at the beginning of her story, but by the end, she’s learned the value as she is now advising her own son and other women through Proverbs 31.
We need Godly relationships. Proverbs 27:17 says iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Sharpening isn’t always a pleasant feeling, it’s a must.
Jesus followers were never meant to walk their faith alone.
I think she’d then hold our hands, look into our eyes and say “Redemption. Allow God to redeem your story.”
Bathsheba knew about redemption and many of us do as well.
While redemption doesn’t excuse us from the consequences of sin as we see later in her story when her first son dies, and family feuds ensue. Yet, in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, a promise in Romans 8:28.
Quite possibly, redemption is the greatest lesson we’ve learned from such a scandalous woman. Hope overflows!
God. Can. And Will. Redeem.
Praise the Lord!
Hannah Conway is a military wife, mother of two, middle school teacher, best-selling author of The Wounded Warriors, Wife, and speaker. Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists and turns sure to thrill, and encourage. Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My book Therapy. She and her family live in Tennessee. Keep in touch with Hannah on her website.