“It was spring, finally warm enough that I could go to the rooftop and take a bath. This was my custom, to perform my purification after my monthly time when I could be alone, at peace. Suddenly someone was banging at the entrance to our house. I hurriedly dressed and wrapped myself in my outer garment; my hair was dripping.”
As I answered the door, I thought maybe it was my husband, Uriah, whom I believed was with Joab and his army. However, two messengers stood there, demanding that I come with them! I had no idea what they wanted, and all I could think was that something had happened to Uriah. It did not matter what it was, no one disobeyed the King’s messengers.”
“I remember that I was trembling as they ushered me into the palace. I followed them, my curiosity almost as strong as my fears. The soldiers never said a word, they just kept leading me through the palace, and I finally realized we were heading toward what had to be the Kind’s private chambers. When we entered the room, King David was standing there, alone. He was dressed simply, in a tunic. I was surprised that he did not wear his robes, not even an outer garment…just standing there like any other man. I fell to my knees and bowed my head to the ground, ‘My Lord’, I said. I had no idea what else to do. The men silently left the room. I was alone with King David and I began to shake; my heart pounded so hard that I thought I would faint.”
“‘Woman’, he said in a low voice. ‘Tell me your name?’”
“I whispered, ‘Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite. He is a soldier in your army, my Lord.’”
“‘You are truly beautiful, Bathsheba,’ he said. ‘I have been observing you from the roof of the palace.’”
“My heart stopped. I shuddered as I realized he had been watching me bathe. I gasped, and I knew immediately why I was there. I also knew that I had no choice but to do as the King commanded. David extended his hand and motioned for me to stand. As he headed deeper into the apartment he said, ‘Come’.”
“When it was over he left the room and told me to dress. I obeyed and I heard him call for the messengers. They came and escorted me back to my home. I did not see him again for several weeks. My worst fears were soon confirmed; I realized I was with child and I sent a message to King David.”
“The next thing I knew, my husband was home! I was happy to see him but I was also terrified; I knew in my heart what had happened. I knew David wanted us to make love so that everyone would assume the child I was carrying would be Uriah’s child. But Uriah was a loyal soldier. When I invited him into my bed, he refused, saying he would not take pleasure when the rest of the men were carrying out their duty. He slept on our porch where everyone could see that he was not with me.” Tears streamed down her cheeks as she whispered the next words, “David murdered him.”
Bathsheba paused, overwhelmed maybe, from the hard memories. Taking a deep breath, she composed herself. Still beautiful—poised, as a woman in her position would need to be, she calmly explained in a matter of fact way that she had come to terms with her past. “I have given it to the Lord. My husband, my baby: the consequences I had to deal with. David looked down on me and thought I was beautiful, but it was all ugly. David married me and he repented, but his actions caused so much ugliness. It was as if he opened the door to evil and violence, and it reigned in his family, our family, until they were all gone. Even our son Solomon paid a price. God blessed him but the seeds of evil took root in his life as well.”
“Now, many years later, I look up toward God and I see true beauty in all He does. Through it all, I have learned that God’s ways are far above our struggles. He kept his promises to David and he allowed me to be a part of his plan. He sent his son to save the world and that is truly beautiful.
2 Samuel 11:1—12:25; I Kings 1—2; Psalm 51
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