Who was she?
Bathsheba was a young woman who had grown up in Jerusalem, the city where David was King. Her grandfather was one of David’s most famous counsellors and her father was one of David’s “thirty” – a group of some of his greatest warriors, and so she would not have been born into poverty by any means.
She also would have grown up knowing exactly who David was and, like David, her family would have worshipped and served God. Bathsheba grew into a very beautiful woman and married a man called Uriah, also another man from David’s group of great warriors. She wouldn’t have had a job but would have worked around the home, and once her and her husband began having children she would have become a full-time, stay at home mum.
However, during one particular period when her husband was away in battle, everything was going to change…
How did God use her?
One day Bathsheba was bathing (this would have been in an outside well within a courtyard of her home) and David noticed her from afar while he was taking an afternoon stroll on his rooftop (as you do!) Now David, as King, could have any girl he wants, but he thought this woman was so beautiful in that moment he only had eyes for her.
He had his people find out who she was, and even after knowing exactly who she was and who she was married to he still wanted her. So he sent his guys to bring her to the palace.
Now let’s be clear here, you don’t say no the King, and as a woman in old testament times, Bathsheba definitely wasn’t in a position to say no. She probably felt nervous wondering why the King wants to see her? Had something happened to her husband in battle? Had she done something to offend the King? But he’s also the King, and so I’m sure there would have been an element of excitement, the way anyone would feel if the King suddenly wanted them to come to the palace.
So you can imagine she’s probably a bit taken aback when she finds out he wants to sleep with her. And that is exactly what happens, and then sends her home.
That’s quite a day to have. You go from your bath to the Kings bed, to your home again in the space of several hours. I can imagine Bathsheba would have felt quite overwhelmed, with lots of mixed emotions.
And then to top it off a little while later she discovers she’s pregnant and has to tell David. This then results in David having her husband purposely killed in battle to try and cover up what had happened, and then he takes Bathsheba as one of his wives.
So she goes through quite a lot in a short space of time. Imagine trying to deal with all of that? You would be grieving for the loss of your husband, trying to deal with your guilt from the situation, and have to embrace a new husband.
Seriously, she was probably like “God, everything’s gone a little bit crazy… what do I do now?” Sometimes we can feel like that, some sin comes into our lives and things start to spiral out of control, and it can easily seem like God is never going to be able to use you for good now.
But guess what? He did use Bathsheba for good! Although she ended up losing the first child, she went onto be the mother of Solomon – the wisest king in the bible. In fact it was her wise words that influenced Proverbs 31, scriptures which most women look to as the greatest example of a godly woman.
Furthermore, she was so honoured and respected that when when she went to speak to her son, the King, he had a throne brought out for her to sit at his right hand.
What can we learn from her?
Bathsheba is an amazing example of keeping your faith, despite your past. She could have let the sinful nature of her relationship with David ruin her character and destiny, but she chose not to let it be the end of her story.
Regardless of what people may have thought of her and in spite of the gossip which would have spread, she made sure she was right with God and continued to move forward.
We can also see from her life that we can’t out-sin God’s love for us. It doesn’t matter what you may have done, God will still choose to give you a future, He will still choose to pour blessings upon you, which is exactly what He did when He gave Bathsheba her son, Solomon.
So just remember, no matter what you’re mistakes may be, you still have a story to unfold, you still have purpose and potential. And if your heart is still willing to serve God, He is still willing to give you immeasurably more than you could imagine.
“And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” Hebrews 8:12
You can read Bathsheba’s story in 2 Samuel 11