Thursday, June 16, 2016

David & Bathsheba: A Story of Reconciliation

The true story of David and Bathsheba is one for both the perpetrator and the victim.  You can see the mercy of God working on behalf of both of them, the perpetrator and the victim.  Indeed, his mercy is new every morning for each of us.  We do not know the evil that lies within each of us that may one day surface.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness. It also provides an illustration of reconciliation, and how it is very relevant for our day and time. 

I have no doubt that Bathsheba used her pain as a stepping stone to secure a better future for her son, Solomon, as demonstrated by Nathan when he confronts David with the offense.

Rape is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as the unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent.
This is the reason Bathsheba is referred to as Uriah’s wife because it’s the description of her heart when David seized her from her home.

The issue of the bath that Bathsheba was taking on the rooftop. This was not a routine bath for she was undergoing a purifying ritual after her menstrual cycle as noted in II Samuel 11:4 which reads as follows:

And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.

The word washing in Strong’s Concordance is Hebrew 7364 rachats: to wash, wash off or away, bathe as noted in II Samuel 11:2.

The Lineage of Bathsheba

And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

Bathsheba’s lineage tells a lot about the relationship her family had with Saul, and why David both loved and hated her. Not only is Uriah listed as one of David’s mighty men (II Samuel 23:39), but her father is Eliam also spelled Ammiel. Using the cyclopedic index in my bible leads me to II Samuel 9:5 which reads:

Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.

It was Bathsheba’s brother who gave refuge to Saul’s family after his death, and David’s subsequent ascension to the throne. Eliam is also listed as the son of Ahithophel in II Samuel 23:34, who was one of David’s counselors, and Bathsheba’s grandfather.
Ahithophel counseled Absalom in II Samuel 16:21 to take his father’s concubines, which he did in the sight of all Israel.  Could it be that Ahithophel sought revenge for the way Bathsheba was treated by David?

Looking at II Samuel 11:26-27 Bathsheba was given time to grieve for Uriah, and was immediately taken to David’s house where he married her, and bore the child. In II Samuel 12:14 Nathan tells David that because of his behavior, he has given the great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, and the child will die. It was after the death of the child that David goes into comfort Bathsheba. The only comfort a victim wants from a perpetrator is “I apologize, please forgive me.” In II Samuel 12:24 she is now David’s wife.

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May you grow in the nature of Christ in Jesus name, amen.

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