Thursday, July 8, 2010
Bathsheba: A King's Mistress
"Bathsheba was naturally stunning, and King David had a weakness for beautiful women. One day, Bathsheba was bathing beside the King’s home, likely because she had just had her period, and was conducting the ceremonious cleansing with the bathing. 'It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, 'Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" So David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her . And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, 'I am with child.'" (2 Samuel 11:2-5)
Sadly, David’s momentary weakness had a significant impact on everyone those around him. King David found out that Bathsheba was pregnant, but since her husband Uriah was off at war, he knew that he had to figure a way to cover his misdeeds. King David called Uriah back to the kingdom and told him that he needed to take a break, to go home and sleep with his wife; this would trick him in to thinking that the unborn child was his. However, Uriah being the brave soldier that he was, refused to go home while his men were in the trenches so he slept on the front steps of the palace.
King David was getting really mad and knew that he will not be able to pull a past one over Uriah. When Uriah was to return to the front line, David gave Uriah a letter addressed to Joab which told him to send Uriah to the front line, and ordered for the troops to withdraw from Uriah to let him to be killed. Sadly, Uriah was killed and Bathsheba was made a widow, and King David took Bathsheba as his wife.
However, King David could not hide from God, and God was saddened by the path that David was heading down. "Thus says The Lord, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul; and I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of The Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the Ammonites. 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.'" (2 Samuel 12:7-10 RSV)
David did repent, and he knew that he messed up big. God forgave him, but the child that was born out of the adulterous relationship died. David and Bathsheba did have another child, a son named Solomon, who replaced King David as king instead of Adonijah, who was an older son that he had with another wife.