Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Week Twelve - When Bad Things Happen

               While I love the story of Abigail, I think I enjoy the story of Bathsheba just as much.  Hers is another story of a life changed by the actions of others.  She never dreamed that morning as she prepared to bathe that her life was about to change.  She was happily married to Uriah, a loyal soldier, and busy caring for her home when the messenger came knocking at the door.
               “King David bids thee,” he said.  And who was she to deny such a command?
               From my studies, it seems Bathsheba knew King David personally because her grandfather, Ahithophel, was one of David’s trusted advisors who later betrayed him.  We might put forth the suggestion that he based his betrayal on his unforgiveness for what David did to his granddaughter.  But that aside, Bathsheba answers the king’s call, and her life is forever altered. Many paint her as complicit in David’s sin, but God never points to anything but David’s responsibility. 
               After the murder of her husband and the death of the ill-conceived child, the narrative moves to the birth of Solomon where God’s word states, “And the Lord loved him” (2 Samuel 12:24).  From there, the Bible goes silent about Bathsheba and Solomon for many years until we come to 1 Kings.  I believe this is where we begin to see the depth of her character.  As we come to the second part of her story, we find her as a woman trusted by the prophet, Nathan.
               As Adonijah schemes to take David’s throne by deceit and force, Nathan comes to Bathsheba for help.  Nathan not only knew her grandfather as a trusted advisor but also saw her character through the many upheavals of the kingdom.  He knew Solomon should be crowned king and uses Bathsheba’s influence to move David to set things straight.
               Again, like Abigail, Bathsheba is used by God to help David make a wise decision.  Bathsheba’s name means appealer.  And indeed, God used her in this way, not only in securing the throne for Solomon, but also in her motherly wisdom to the young king.  She is the mother of Proverbs 31 instructing her son on what to look for in a good woman, how kings should act, and how to rule with mercy.
               You know, bad things can happen to good people. But the amazing thing is, good people don’t become bad because of the bad things that happen—usually they become stronger and wiser.  And that is what I think happened with Bathsheba.  She behaved herself wisely and worked to make the best of a bad situation.  Her wisdom shines through to create for us an example of how to face bad situations and to keep our heads!  God was at work in her life moving her to be in the right place at the right time for His glory.  We can believe He is doing the same for us.

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