Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bathsheba Week One

First, can I say, we had a wonderful time on Tuesday.


I so enjoyed the ladies who attended. The diversity of experience was refreshing and their perspectives on motherhood taught me so much. I have recorded our time together so that everyone who desires may participate, even if it is just to listen to other women who might be experiencing situations in their own lives that we can all relate. I'll be posting that shortly.

Our introduction to Bathsheba was her role as communicator of culture, values and morals. She was a mother to a son; a mother who was preparing her son for greatness. We talked about our own experiences with mothering sons. Of course, at the end of our session, I stopped recording…and as God would have it, it is then that the most pearls of wisdom dropped to the table. Next time, I vow to record until ladies are leaving from the building. It is impossible, I think, to capture and share the wonderful experiences that come through each of us. There is way too much. Hopefully, though, I can capture just a little that we might learn a lot.

I'd promised to post a daily exercise to support the bible study. My goal is that each of us would get into the daily practice of reading the word. It is through the word that our faith grows. However, yesterday just got sooo daily for me.*smile

So, today, I'll post both Day 1 and Day 2.

Day 1:

The Scriptures of Bathsheba--Part 1.

Her stories are found in 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings.

But, here are the verses that contain her name:

  1. 2 Samuel 11:1
    [ David and Bathsheba ] In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
    2 Samuel 11:1-3 (in Context) 2 Samuel 11 (Whole Chapter)

Reflection: The story begins with a time of war. We are introduced to this dynamic woman at a time when she is alone, her country is in peril, and her husband is leading the troops into danger. David stays home during a time where tradition would have had him leading his troops. Instead, it is Bathsheba’s husband who is at the helm as one of David’s top warriors and generals.

Think about warfare figuratively, and literally. Our family goes to war for our country—Iraq/Afghanistan. Our family goes to war spiritually—addiction/illnesses. A serviceman once told me that the best way to win a war is to fight. Simple. Fight. Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the full armor of God. Why?

Because, it is when we are choosing apathy in our lives that the enemy can enter the ranks of our army. Proverbs 13:6, Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

For David and Bathsheba, I think it’s ironic that the Word puts it this way:


For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD's commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite. (1King 15:5)

What I know to be true is this: We all have an “except in the case…”

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This seems like its David’s issue. But, as I told you, Bathsheba was a well-respected, upstanding woman. This was no casual affair for someone who has casual affairs. This was her “except in the case…” just as it David’s. This one hit her hard emotionally, spiritually, physically. How do we get through our “except in the case…?”

Please read Psalm 51 .

I could and should stop here. But, this is my fear: You will casually read Psalm 51 as if you’ve read it a thousand times. You won’t let it minister to you as it should. Even if your “except in the case…” is over and forgiveness and grace has been extended and accepted, Psalm 51 is breath-takingly touching. I know I’ve got my cases, and each time I reflect on this Psalm, I am forced to weep with Gratitude over the Extension of God’s Grace. Usually, I must stop my study for the day, if it starts with these verses.

If you are not going to allow Psalm 51 to minister to you in your hard spots…keep going through these verses. Why? Because, what I want you to see is this: David may prayed Psalm 51…Bathsheba lived it. The ensuing verses about her will, I pray, minister to you in such a way that you will see that your “except in case…” situation is not your ending. It may be your defining moment. It may be your moment of reckoning with the Lord. It may even be the sticking point in your life.

It is NOT YOUR INTENDED END.

It is your brokenness. It is the chip in the fine china that is you. But, it can be and it should be allowed to be your transition to allowing your self, your spirit and your mind to be transformed into the woman God has already created you to be.

So, and I say this kindly and with all affection, if Psalm 51 is not yet enough to move you. Maybe the entire story of Bathsheba can, please continue with me.

If Psalm 51 is the song of your life, you could have written it yourself, then come with me anyway and let’s relate to Bathsheba’s come back as the VIRTUOUS WOMAN.

  1. 2 Samuel 11:3
    and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
    2 Samuel 11:2-4 (in Context) 2 Samuel 11 (Whole Chapter)

Reflection: David knew full well who Bathsheba was. What he is asking is about her reputation as it were. During this time, women were identified by the male protection over her life. So, when the man puts her in the context of her husband and her father he is saying: “She is the wife of a warrior and the daughter of one of your most loyal citizens. She is above reproach and upstanding.” We will understand later that Eliam is the son of David’s Royal Counsel, Ahithophel the Gilonite. In other words, “Man, leave her alone, she is not consort material. She is someone worthy of respect, not one who could be or should be easily disrespected.

If someone were to inquire about you, what would be said?

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  1. 2 Samuel 12:24
    Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him;
    2 Samuel 12:23-25 (in Context) 2 Samuel 12 (Whole Chapter)

Reflection: What is happening here? This is called Grace. Up until this point, Bathsheba is called the wife of Uriah. In fact, as she gives birth to the son conceived in her adulterous affair with David, it is written that the son born to Uriah’s wife with David was struck ill and died. That is the Consequence of Sin. 2 Samuel 12:24 is Grace. There are two things I want you to note: In the Consequence of Sin, we are called by our actions. In Grace, we are called by our name.

What is your name:

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What are you called by:

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Secondly, Bathsheba is being rebuilt by the LORD. He has given her a renewed life: she is once again beloved wife, and a mother of a son beloved by the LORD. He is re-crafting her clay vessel. She may not be bone china yet, but she is taking shape once again.

Prayer:

Lord, it is so hard to read the Proverbs 31 woman without feeling that we are somehow falling short. LORD, I thank you that these are the words spoken by a woman who was not perfect, but was being made in perfection, in maturity, intimately by your hands. It gives me great hope to know that you said I will be made perfect in your good time. I can rest in the knowledge that you are offering me Grace, and you are calling me to good purpose.

Thank your for the story of Bathsheba, Lord.

Thank you for perspective.

LORD, thank you for being intimately involved in my story.

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