Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bathsheba: The Mother Who Overcame Her Sin

Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him (2 Samuel 12:24)

Then King David said, "Call Bathsheba to me." And she came into the king's presence and stood before the king. The king vowed and said, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, surely as I vowed to you by the LORD the God of Israel, saying, 'Your son Solomon shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place'; I will indeed do so this day." (1 Kings 1:28-30)

We know the story all too well.  The illicit affair between King David and Bathsheba resulted in the birth of a son.  David tried for some damage control by sending her husband out to war, back to the house hoping for a cover-up, and then out to the frontlines to get killed. (And we think we have seriously evil plots in our current movies.) David got his wish — Bathsheba’s husband was killed in battle, and David thought he had gotten away with it. Nathan confronted him and David repented bitterly.  But we never really hear how it all affected Bathsheba.  Their sin is well documented and the effects to David’s household long-lasting.  However, a son was born from their union and Solomon turned out to be a peaceable ruler whose wisdom was legendary. 

David's favorite wife Bathsheba was a remarkably powerful woman.  She intervened in kingdom affairs to have her son Solomon succeed his father as king.  Working with her chief adviser Nathan, Bathsheba warned David what was happening behind his back.  In a brilliant speech, she made him suspicious of Adonijah by describing the young man's support among the army.  She told him that almost alone among his children, Solomon remained loyal.  She appealed to his protective nature by telling him she feared for her own life.  And she astutely reminded David that he, not Adonijah, was king.

David roused himself from senility and swore to her that her son Solomon would rule as king. He ordered this to be announced to all the people. With the authority of a royal command and the backing of David's well-disciplined mercenary troops, Bathsheba outmaneuvered Adonijah in his attempted coup d’├ętat and secured the throne for her own son. After David’s death Solomon became king and Bathsheba accepted the title of Queen Mother - the most powerful position a woman could hold and the first woman in the history of Israel to hold this title.

This mother not only found forgiveness for her sin but walked in the strength of restoration.  She was instrumental in David’s life as king and raised a son who was the wisest of all.  The wisdom and sensitivity of Solomon has to be attributed to her investment in her son for David had little to do with his family.  It is possible that she, like many of us, learned a great deal from her failure and passed this along to her son. 

Bathsheba’s motherhood gives women hope that, regardless of the circumstances surrounding your life, God can redeem any situation.  Receiving forgiveness and being restored is the path to a powerful and influential life.  The most crooked path can be made straight by the hand of God.  You never know, you might just have the wisest person ever on the planet staring back at you from that high chair.

Scripture to Claim:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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