History should never be rewritten, but we can use what we know for certain, and then explore further possibilities, by using what we’ve learned about human nature. With a slightly different perspective, we can gain valuable new insights from a well-known story – in this case, David and Bathsheba. Here’s the highlights of what we know for certain. David wasn’t away at battle with his men, but instead napping and strolling at home. A beautiful woman named Bathsheba, was bathing to purify herself, most likely in the privacy of her home, and yet she was somehow within view from the palace. Finally, we know that her husband Uriah, was extremely dedicated to king and nation.
Uriah must have been a remarkable man, but can a man be too dedicated to his calling or work? Uriah was so dedicated, that he refused to partake of the good and permissible pleasures of life as a married man, while his fellow soldiers were suffering the realities of battle. I wonder how Uriah’s dedication to his king, affected his wife. Did Bathsheba feel ignored by the one and only man that was to cherish her, and did this leave her vulnerable?
Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam – a mighty man of King David, the granddaughter of Ahithophel – King David’s chief counsel, and her husband Uriah was close to David as well. She was connected. Was she aware that the handsome king hadn’t left the city? I would never suggest that Bathsheba was a seductress. Actually, I believe the opposite about her. Nathan the prophet implies that she was a lamb, an animal synonymous with innocence. Was this innocent so starved for affirmation and fulfillment from her husband, that she became exceedingly needy of receiving male attention? Most likely, Bathsheba had always been told that she was beautiful, and much of her self-perceived value may have come from this. With Uriah so distracted and choosing to stay away from Bathsheba, did she question her attractiveness? Did Bathsheba realize that David might be able to glimpse her soft curves while she lingered in front of her window? Surely, the man after God’s own heart, would never do more than look, would he? We know that David didn’t just look. The look, or being beautiful enough to attract a look isn’t the problem – it’s the heart motive behind attracting the attention or allowing the gaze to continue. Here’s where the spark of lust turns into an all consuming fire.
Obviously I can’t be certain that this depiction is accurate, but I believe that we can still learn something. Husbands, your first love should be for the Lord, and your next should be for your wife. She needs your admiration and emotional support. Wives, if your husband isn’t doing this, don’t seek this from another man, but instead lean into the Lord and allow Him to fill the void. Men, you were created to be visual – you’re going to notice beauty, but where does noticing lead you? Is there a second look, a longer look? Is your mind now playing with her? Know your triggers and weaknesses. Knowing them allows you to recognize danger and throw up your protective wall, before the temptation overpowers you. Are you lonely or unfulfilled in your marriage? Watch out. Are you over-committed to causes outside of your marriage? Watch out. Do you easily move to sensuality? Watch out.
There’s hope for all of us. God forgives a contrite heart, and He brings restoration out of the worst situations. In fact, God used David and Bathsheba in the lineage of Christ, and Bathsheba may have been the woman speaking to her son in Proverbs 31 – “charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised”. Perhaps these are wise words from a woman who has learned hard lessons.
Thank you for taking the time to read, react and comment. You are such an encouragement to me.