Saturday, February 1, 2020


There is an interesting story in the Bible that has so many layers to it that I hesitate to even share it with you. But, I think there are some great truths that you, as widows, can gain from it so I’m going to relay it and trust that God will speak into your hearts. The names David and Bathsheba are familiar to just about everyone all over the globe....
In fact, in 1951there was a major motion picture released entitled David and Bathsheba with a totally non-biblical portrayal of their story and it was a big hit. Maybe some of you have seen it as it is still played on television. Hopefully, we can set the record straight on that version too.
The story is recorded in the 11th and 12th chapters of 2 Samuel. Basically it recounts how that King David, during a time of battle when he should have been with his men, was home and strolling on his balcony when he spotted a gorgeous woman engaged in her ritual bathing. (The Law required ritual washing at the end of a woman’s menstrual period.) His heart filled with lust for her and he commanded his men to bring her to him after which he raped her and sent her back to her home. Subsequently, she realized that she was pregnant and sent word to David.

David arranged for her husband to be put into the thick of battle where he would be killed and after Bathsheba’s mourning time was over, David added her to his harem. They had a son and at some point the little boy became sick and died.

Before we continue with the story, there are some important points we need to ponder. Most interpretations of this story are told from a 21st century point-of-view with no regard for the customs of the time in which the story is set. Many people think this beautiful young woman was stark naked in plain view for anyone to see. But, customs for this ritual, or any bathing for that matter, were different in the ancient world, as they are in some parts of the world today where private baths aren’t possible. They bathed with clothes on or with a robe or sarong wrapped around them so that they are never completely exposed. It was most likely her exquisite beauty that prompted King David’s lust for her. Many ask, “Why did she submit?” This isn’t 2020, ladies! As many authorities have stated, King David was the most powerful man in a monarchical society and she felt powerless to resist. It could end in her death to defy the king. The Scriptures tell us that she was brought to him and he slept with her. She most likely felt trapped and helpless.

After her husband’s death the Scriptures tell us that Bathsheba grieved, a deep grief. Now she’s a pregnant widow, which was an especially vulnerable position to be in. At this point David brings her into his household and she becomes a part of his harem. 
King David may have thought that everything was now back to business as usual. But God was greatly displeased with him and, because David chose not to repent, God sent his prophet Nathan to confront him. David finally acknowledges his sin and asks God for forgiveness. But there are consequences for wrongdoing. And sometimes those consequences are far reaching.

A few months later Bathsheba gave birth to their son who died soon thereafter. Everyone’s attention was focused on David’s grief. But what about Bathsheba, the grieving mother? Was she left to cry alone for her precious first- born son and sort through her emotions that were totally raw from all the events of a few short months? It is left to conjecture the devastation of soul that Bathsheba must have felt. Even though Bathsheba was the innocent party here, she too suffered in David’s consequences for sin. Rarely, ladies, do our sinful acts, even those committed “in the dark” result in consequences for us alone. No sin, name any sin you might – gossip, lying, anger, jealousy  - results in consequences for us alone. That is a solemn thought to ponder. By this time you’re probably wondering where God and His love and grace are in this sordid story.  Could God make anything good from the shambles that David has made of his life and family?

We aren’t told how Bathsheba felt about anything that had occurred. But the Scriptures do tell us that David went to comfort her. One writer said this about David’s comfort, “His comfort would be laughable if it were not so tragic in its inadequacy. To comfort her it says that he goes in and lies with her. What comfort was this? Nevertheless, God was at work and Solomon was conceived.” Ultimately Bathsheba becomes David’s chief wife. And it is Solomon who inherited the throne from his father, although he wasn’t the oldest son. There is no queen mother mentioned in the Bible that was held in more high esteem than Bathsheba. In fact Solomon put a throne for her along side his own. Now, this would be compensation enough for Bathsheba for all of the pain she suffered. But God wasn’t through with honoring her. Bathsheba is mentioned in the gospel of Matthew in the genealogy of Jesus Christ the Messiah, an honor every Jewish mother would aspire to. However, she is recorded as the wife of Uriah, reminding us of the whole story, of the pain and sorrow she suffered.

There are several references in the Bible to what is called double compensation or twice the amount one would expect or had earned. Remember the story of Job who lost all that he had, including his children. Yet, the Lord restored him double what he had lost because he continued to trust in God. In Zechariah 9:12 we read this, Come home, hope-filled prisoners! This day I’m declaring a double bonus – everything you lost returned twice over. Double compensation for that which was lost! This is exactly what God did for Bathsheba and exactly what He wants to do for you.

I don’t know the situations in your life. I don’t know how you’ve been misunderstood, mistreated, shamed, taken for granted or any of the other hurts that life may had dealt to you. Life for each one of us is a patchwork of experiences that make up the whole. But what I do know is that God loves you with an undying love and cares about every facet of your life. He sees your tears and feels your pain. Put your life into His control.
 Let Proverbs 3:5, 6 be your life verses, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding! In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. 

I’m sure that Bathsheba couldn’t make sense of what was happening to her or expect to ever be happy again. But she lived to be the queen mother to the wisest man who ever lived and in the lineage of our Lord. I implore you to make the choice to trust in God with all your heart. Don’t trust your own wisdom and your limited understanding. Acknowledge Jesus Christ as your savior and he and he alone will make your “crooked life” straight. He will give you double compensation for the losses you have suffered. Trust in the Lord!

Message by Shari Hervold