Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

OT Tuesday: Bathing Beauty

What could a girl do? Raised near the center of power in Jerusalem, Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam, one of the king's "Thirty", his mightiest warriors. In fact she had married one of the Thirty, Uriah. Bathsheba was raised with power, she understood power, and in ancient times power was something of which  women did not have very much. But they did have some...

The fact that Bathsheba's husband Uriah was one of David's prize mighty men probably meant that they were fairly well off, as evidenced by the fact that they lived right next to King David's palace. Close enough in fact that when she took a bath, the mighty king was able to get an eyeful. History doesn't record if Bathsheba knew that the King had eyes for her (especially around bath time) but there is no evidence that Bathsheba was stupid. She was raised among military men with high political power and was probably a guest in the palace on more than one occasion, so when David's servants came to Bathsheba and invited her up to the King's chambers for "a chat", and considering the fact that the King had sent his troops to war, including her husband, Bathsheba probably knew what the topic of conversation was going to be. 
David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.” (2 Samuel 11:4-5)

The uncleanness referred to here in scripture is a woman's monthly uncleanness, which indicates to us that when she said "I am pregnant" there's no question as to whom the father is. Immediately David hatches a plot to get Uriah to think the baby is his, so he recalls Uriah back from the front lines of war hoping he would sleep with Bathsheba and think the baby was his. I'm kind of confused as to why David did this, because as great a king as he was, fidelity to one woman was not his strong suit. He was already married to Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, and Eglah and that was all before relocating his seat of power to Jerusalem. After hitting the big city he married several more women and had numerous concubines.

Unfortunately for David, Uriah was an honorable soldier who couldn't allow himself the comfort of home and hearth (and wife) while his brothers were slogging it out in the field laying siege to the city of Rabbah, so Uriah stayed close to David acting as a guard. David even tried to get Uriah drunk so he'd stagger home and pass out there, but no luck, Uriah crashed in the palace with David's servants. David had enough. The next morning he wrote a letter to Joab, his commander in the field;
14 Now in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 He had written in the letter, saying, “Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die.” 16 So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 The men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David’s servants fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died. (2 Samuel 11:14-17)
David just compounded his sin of adultery with the sin of murder.

26 Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife; then she bore him a son. But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord. (2 Samuel 11:26-27)
Notice that there is no evidence of David mourning the passing of his friend.  David is soon visited by the prophet Nathan who was not the bearer of glad tidings.
Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” (2 Samuel 12:9-11)
Here's a hint for you who are new to reading the bible: when a prophet says "Thus says the Lord" what follows is a direct quote, and it's rarely complimentary. And true to His word, God insured that David's life was long and fruitful and very painful. You'll have to open your bible to see the personal horrors that David had to survive because of his sins, but unlike the son produced by this adulterous affair he did survive. And so did Bathsheba.

A few days after the visitation by the prophet Nathan the baby died, and David went to Bathsheba, now his wife, to comfort her, and soon she was pregnant with Solomon. Bathsheba became David's favored wife and she was able to convince David, with the assistance of the prophet Nathan, that Solomon should be his successor on the throne over his older brothers. Bathsheba, now Queen Mother, became an important counselor to her wise son and held a position of power in his administration. In 1 Kings 2:19 we are told that Solomon even had a throne built for her and she sat at his right, the position of power.

And while being adviser to the wisest king in history is a pretty awesome feat, it's nothing compared with her great-great grandson (many generations removed) who died on the cross, and is now seated at the right hand of God, our savior and King, Christ Jesus.

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