The Reading: 2 Samuel 11:1-27
“Bathsheba … the wife of Uriah the Hittite” (v.3) RSV
This week we come to the fourth of the five women mentioned by Matthew in his ancestry of Jesus. This woman is not actually named, but there is no doubt as to who she is: “And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah” (Matt. 1:6). This wife was called Bathsheba.
If you read today’s reading you will have part of the story of this sorry event in David’s life. Bathsheba was beautiful but married. However, King David, who should have been out fighting (v.1), was idling his time in his palace. Consequently the devil found work for idle hands; he saw Bathsheba bathing on a nearby roof and invited her over. An adulterous affair ensued and soon there was a pregnancy. To make matters worse the problem was compounded by David effectively causing her husband, Uriah, to be killed at the battle front.
However, God did not dismiss David and Bathsheba forever. There was an immediate consequence, namely the death of their child. There were also long-term consequences: David would always live by the sword, and his son Absalom would rebel. However after David was confronted by the prophet Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-15) and after he repented, the couple produced a second child. This time the child was going to be special in the history of Israel and in the lineage of Jesus, for his name was Solomon (2 Samuel 12:24)!
It never ceases to be amazing how God can weave our sins into his fruitful purposes. Bathsheba continued to be an influential wife. When David was old and dying she and Nathan made sure that David’s desire for Solomon to succeed him actually came to pass (1 Kings 1:11-31). Once again sin did not need to be the end of the story. Repentance opens up new possibilities. We should be heartened by such a recurring theme. Nothing is too difficult for our God. There is always a future and a hope.
Thank you Lord for the women of faith who have done great things for the Kingdom. May they be my challenge and inspiration. Amen.
1 Read David’s Psalm of repentance after his adultery.
2 Which sons of David nearly got the throne instead of Solomon?
2 Samuel 15:10, 1 Kings 1:5