Day 39

Bathsheba



2 Samuel 11:1-17, 2 Samuel 11:26-27, 2 Samuel 12:7-25, 1 Kings 1:1, 1 Kings 1:5-31

BY Guest Writer

Editor’s Note: Some passages in Scripture deal in subject matter which might be especially painful for some readers. Though many of the wounds we receive in this life are deeply personal and unimaginably painful, when they appear in God’s Word, we are reminded that He sees them. Whenever sin is addressed in Scripture—whether through teaching or story—it comes to us in the context of God’s unwavering commitment to bring an end to all evil in this world through the finished work of Christ (Revelation 21:3–4). We are praying for and with you as you read.

One of the most scandalous stories recorded in Scripture involves King David and Bathsheba, the wife of one of his trusted warriors. David’s sexual sin against Bathsheba is condemned by Nathan and confessed by David himself. His blame has never been in question. Often called “an affair,” Bathsheba’s involvement is less than clear, however. Helpfully, Scripture offers valuable context to help us navigate the culture of that time. 

Scripture records a detail that tells us something important about Bathsheba; she was bathing to cleanse herself after her monthly cycle (2 Samuel 11:4). For women practicing the Jewish faith, this was commanded, to bathe after monthly menstruation. This is important because it tells us that Bathsheba had chosen to obey the commandments of the covenant and honor Yahweh. We know Bathsheba lived protected within the city because David was able to see her bathing on her rooftop from the comfort of his own home. 

Let’s take a minute to remind ourselves that this woman wasn’t a character in a story or an actor in a movie.  Bathsheba was a real woman, living in the ancient Near East under the militaristic, political, and cultural control of King David. Bathsheba had real fears, life pressures, and hopeful expectations. Like us, Bathsheba was likely both strong and fearful. Like us, she probably wanted to make a life, build a family, and care for her friends. She likely worried about her future and her reputation. 

I imagine Bathsheba never envisioned the turn her life would take. She would lose her first husband and bury her first son with David. Sadly, much of Bathsheba’s story is shaped by what was likely the hardest season of her life, when she was swept up into the center of scandal, shame, and heartache. Though the circumstances may be different, I suspect many of us know this sting. And in the midst of that kind of turmoil, we can all be tempted to wonder things like:

Where is God? 

Why has He allowed this to happen? 

Can He redeem even this?

But Bathsheba’s story wasn’t over. God wasn’t finished working in and through her. Heartache wouldn’t have the last word—not for Bathsheba, and not for you or for me. Mercifully, Scripture records other instances where Bathsheba would help lead, influence, and shape God’s story for His people. Scripture attests to her humility before the Lord and her bravery before King David, as she advocated for her son Solomon take his God-appointed place as king of Israel (1 Kings 1:11–40).

Where Bathsheba looked forward in faith, we have the unbelievable privilege of looking back in gratitude. Because of Jesus, we can be confident that even the darkest days and the most heart-wrenching circumstances can be redeemed. If the cross brought everlasting life, then nothing in our lives can be so ruinous that God can’t use it for our good and His glory.

Whitney Capps is a national speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her first book, Sick of Me (B&H Publishers) and bible study, We Over Me (LifeWay) both release in March 2019. Whitney is the founder of Simple Seminary, a place for the everyday gal to learn theology. She and her husband, Chad, are raising their four boys just outside Atlanta, GA. You can connect with her at whitneycapps.com or on Instagram, @whitneycapps.

Post Comments (28)

28 thoughts on "Bathsheba"

  1. Janee Chanet says:

    I have know this scripture for years and I knew that this was apart of David’s not so flattering tells. And as much as I remember this story of David’s betrayal .. murdering and adultery. This is the first time I realize that The scripture doesn’t indicate that David even liked her, and that perhaps she had no tangible way out of it. When David found out she was pregnant he tried to cover it up by attempting to get Uriah to go home and sleep with her. He didn’t even want her or their child at that point. And as far as his miserly over the child being struck … that felt more like him not wanting the guilt of a child dying because of his actions….. sometimes I think we forgot just how human the Davids, Abrahams, and Moses of the Bible really were. But it shows us God still loves us , redeems us, and never forsakes.

  2. Monica Davis says:

    I always wondered why her name was Bathsheba and she was taking a bath #frivolity

  3. Afua Tobigah says:

    For the first time I see Bathsheba in the story, she is no longer the woman with whom David had an affair with. For the first time I see Uriah, dedicated servants, he is no longer the man whose wife was taken by David. It is good to consider people’s whole story than using one event to describe them

  4. Churchmouse says:

    Gina, praying for your healing journey to be steady and sure as you continue to trust in the power and love of our God. I’m sorry for all you’ve gone through but so grateful you see and walk in the Light of His mercy and grace.

    1. Gina Snow says:

      Thank you

  5. Gina Snow says:

    As someone who is still reeling from the trauma of rape and also dealing with the aftermath of infidelity in my marriage, this day’s reading hits painfully close to home. I’ve committed terrible sexual sin against my God, my husband and myself. And then I’ve suffered (and am still suffering) from someone committing sexual sin against me. I don’t know why I’m so entangled with the stinging burns of sex twisted and distorted by the enemy. But I’m slowly healing from the wreckage. Sisters, I’m not sharing this to wave around my story. I hope I can encourage you that even in the deepest and darkest places, His light of grace and mercy is still there! And I preach this to myself because the hard days are so so hard. I am interceding for you all in your walks.

    1. Natasha R says:

      Thank you for sharing your story Gina. I’m praying for you. ❤️

    2. Jennifer Anapol says:

      Thank you for sharing! I pray that God would continue to heal you and bring something good from your story.

    3. Kelsey Tomlinson says:

      Friend, I too have walked through this. It’s been five years, but it’s still painful and a HARD part of my past that is still so present so many days. Praying that God lifts that guilt through the cross. That you feel made new and redeemed by Jesus. ❤️

  6. Robyn says:

    Other innocents in this situation may well be the other soldiers who died alongside Uriah in battle. David’s sin had far-reaching effects into families other than his own.

  7. Candice Lofton says:

    Readings like these are so hard. I wonder how the author was so careful as to leave all traces of Bathsheba’s reactions out of the narrative but still present as omniscient, having all the intimate details of it? We may never know. Our sweet baby would have been here in January. God had other plans. As Bathsheba’s pain is mine, may her joy be mine as well. God restored to her tenfold not only with a son, but with a son who’s rule was legendary, even by historical and political perspectives.

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