My Bible reading today took me to the story of David and Bathsheba found in 2 Samuel 11. I truly, truly don't like that story. It's so disappointing. I just want to grab David, shake him and shout, "What were you thinking?!"
Since I'm sure most everyone is familiar with the story (if you're not, you know where to find it!), I won't rehash it. But there are some interesting tidbits to highlight and discuss.
1. David has absolutely no need for another woman in his life! He already had several wives including Michal daughter of Saul and Abigail. 2 Samuel 5:13 tells us he took more wives and concubines once he moved to Jerusalem. The man was surrounded by women. Oy vey, David!! Did ya really need one more!? (Don't even get me started on David's son Solomon and all his women!! Sheesh!)
2. David is told she's married after he spots her bathing. He knew it when he summoned her to the palace. I imagine he knew he was going to seduce her no matter what. Again, he is without excuse.
3. Uriah was truly a man of honor. I mean, as I was reading verses 6-13 this morning I was amazed at how admirable and downright appealing Uriah was! He wouldn't go home to the luxury of his own bed and wife while the other men had to sleep in tents and such. I wonder how many men would make that choice. And with a wife as gorgeous as Bathsheba, I'm gonna stick my neck out and guess that Uriah was pretty darn good-looking himself. Too bad his name is Uriah, otherwise I'd name a character in a book after him. But "Uriah" just doesn't do it for me, you know?
4. David, the beloved King, plotted out a murder-for-hire basically. By ordering Uriah to the front line, David was pretty much assured the man would die. This is the same David who wouldn't kill Saul because it was wrong, even though Saul was determined to kill him. My, my. How things change when we get a bit too full of ourselves and forget we are supposed to be men "after God's own heart." (1 Sam. 13:14)
5. David's wife Michal never had children. (2 Sam. 6:23) I know God has his reasons for that, but it doesn't seem quite fair that Bathsheba got pregnant after what was basically a one-night stand. 'Course that baby dies because of David's sin, but God does bless her with more children including Solomon.
The whole tale is just really, really sad and disappointing. But thankfully it doesn't end there. David goes on to repent and is revered even today. Jerusalem is called the City of David and in Revelation 22:16 Jesus himself says this: "I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."
What that tells me is that no matter how bad we mess up--adultery and murder are pretty doggone messed up!!--God can and will forgive us! He can and will bless us! So yeah, I see why God wanted this story included in his Word. It ain't pretty, but it's one of those "teachable moments" the Father can have with us, his children.