The story of David and Bathsheba leaves much to the imagination, allowing Bathsheba to be seen as either a clever opportunist or an innocent victim.
I am convinced that we draw our opinions of situations based on the grid we look through. Example: the popular book, now movie The Shack, implies that everyone goes to heaven. Everyone. Period.
I didn’t even see that when I read the book years ago or even when I watched the movie a few weeks ago. I believe it’s because that’s not the grid I look through. I wasn’t raise believing that everyone goes to heaven just because God loves you.
“For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
Salvation is about having a relationship with Jesus and choosing to make Jesus the most important part of your life.
But I digress. Back to the grid……
I believe that we all see the world through a grid that is defined by how we were raised, the troubles we have waged, the victories we have triumphed. It all influences the grid by which we look through.
As we discussed the story of Bathsheba, here at Breath on Paper, most of us saw her as a victim. Poor Bathsheba was simply on her roof taking a bath when King David, who was supposed to be off at war, saw her and summons her to his bed. She had no choice. He was The King and she was simply a woman in that day and time, being treated little better than property.
But yet others of us saw her as sudductive and manipulative, almost like a character from a harlequin romance novel. I mean, who goes up on the roof to get undressed and take a bath? Girl knew what she was doing!
As I thought on these two polar opposite views just within our group, it caused me to think about the grid that filters how we see life. Some saw her as a victim and others as an opportunist.
The Bible does not tell us.
As we begin interpreting her story in 2 Samuel 11, we are left to make our own conclusion. Even as we read further, clearly God blesses this woman! She became the mother of Solomon and was listed as one of only four women in the lineage of Christ in the New Testament. She was also the woman who taught King Solomon what a virtuous woman looks like in Proverbs 31.
But does this prove that her heart was pure from the beginning? Or was it because she repented and therefore God blessed her? Some say yes and some say no. YOU have to decide for yourself.
Why? Why wouldn’t God just tell us? Why would He want us to choose a verdict ourselves?
You know me, I have a theory….
Because I believe that we read the Bible through the grid that we have walked through…. I also believe that God wants us to relate to Bathsheba either way…arriving at the conclusion that He is still God and He still blessed her!
Let’s look through grid number one and say she was as pure as the driven snow. David was the sinner (and the Bible says that he was in this instance) and Bathsheba was the victim. She became pregnant from this act of David. Her husband was killed. And her baby died. That’s a lot of bad things to happen to one person. But God blessed her after that. Her caused all things (even the horrible ones) to work for good. She had another son that was the wisest man to ever live. She taught him well.
We all know the second half of Proverbs 31. A virtuous woman, who can find…and that list that we all aspire to hit a few each month. But look at the first verse of this famous passage.
Proverbs 31:1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him. (Lemuel is Solomon, his mother, Bathsheba)
Now let’s look at her through the second grid. What if she knew exactly what she was doing? She knew that all the men were off at battle and that the king came out on his balcony in the late afternoon to enjoy the view of his kingdom. What if… she purposed to catch his eye as she unclothed on her roof?
None of this changes what happend to her. She still became pregnant. Her husband was still killed. And her baby still died. But what if God gave her the same ending because she repented and turned her heart towards Him? He blessed her for her heart of repentance. My conclusion is…. God knew we would each read the Bible through our own grid. And it doesn’t matter. He wrote the Bible to minister to us regardless of what grid we look through.
There is hope and love, grace and mercy in every story told on every page.
It doesn’t matter what wonderful or horrible thing has weighed our perspective. The truth is that God loves us. He wants to walk with us in the cool of the day. And He longs to bless us.
We are His Princesses.
Today we’ve prepared 2 posts to conclude our thoughts on Bathsheba that share similar insights. You don’t want to miss the other, written as our leading lady, The Real Bathsheba – by Heather Whidden
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is eight years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 37 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.