“And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah…”
Prepare to Listen. Light the pink with two purple candles. Prepare to listen with this reminder: Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised.
Prayerfully Read 2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. 3David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, ‘This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ 4So David sent messengers to fetch her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. 5The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, ‘I am pregnant.’ … 26When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. 27When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
Bathsheba. The name is well-known even though it’s not used often in Scripture. Even after her marriage to David, she’s most often referred to as ‘the wife of Uriah,’ as in Jesus’ family tree. We don’t have her story; we only have David’s—his undisciplined lust and power that made her a victim. However, God lifted her up and she now lives on as one of five women in Jesus’ family tree.
Her role in the story is passive. David’s is active, as the verbs reveal—he saw her, sent for her, lay with her. He disregarded her married status to Uriah, one of David’s best soldiers. He commanded her attendance in his room and, with her husband away and unable to protect her, Bathsheba had no choice but to obey. Since her side of the story isn’t told, we don’t know what she thought and felt. David used his power to take what he desired even though she didn’t belong to him.
There is only one time when Bathsheba was active, and the only time she spoke. A few months later she sent David a message with two words (in the Hebrew), ‘I am pregnant.’ It was a risky message. As king, he could have her killed. Instead, he killed her husband and married her. “But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.” No words of judgment against Bathsheba. Always referring to her as ‘the wife of Uriah,’ even in Jesus’ family tree, is an indictment against David, not Bathsheba, and an indictment against all those who sin against unprotected and vulnerable women. It should cause us to reflect on our desires and how we exercise the power we have over others.
What new did this story reveal to you about God today?
Respond in Prayer
For all women who are treated as sex-objects, whose voices are silenced, whose desires are ignored, to you, Oh Lord, I pray. Amen.
Live Obediently. Be disciplined to avoid lust and greed.
 Uriah is named as one of David’s top 30 soldiers in 1 Samuel 23:24, 29.
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Reading my Bible has been central in my life since I received my first Bible at 8 years of age. My decades of reading, studying and teaching the Bible gives my devotions a unique and enriching perspective. Reflecting on Jesus' family tree enriched my understanding of Jesus and the salvation he offers.