God is the author of history; it's His story. In God's sovereign plan, He "works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Eph 1:11). That's why some call God's providence "the hand of God in the glove of history." But how do the stories of our individual lives fit into God's story? Bathsheba must have wondered about that often as her dramatic life unfolded. And though she is associated with King David's greatest sin, her name appears prominently in the lineage of Israel's King-Messiah.
Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam, one of David's elite, mighty men (2Sam 11:3; 23:34-39). She married one of Eliam's comrades, Uriah the Hittite, who was also a mighty soldier in David's fighting force. Though scripture often refers to Uriah as "the Hittite," he probably bonded to David and became a proselyte, believing in David's God.
scripture's first reference to Bathsheba describes her as beautiful and the focus of King David’ s gave while he took an evening walk on his palace rooftop and saw her bathing. Her beauty transfixed him, and he sent someone to find out who she was.
Even after he learned she was Uriah's wife, David sent messengers to take her, "and she came to him, and he lay with her" (2Sam 11:4). This incident has fascinated Hollywood and spawned endless speculation about Bathsheba's culpability. Did she know David could see her bashing, or did she assume he was away in battle, as he usually was? Once summoned, could she have resisted David's advances, or was she merely a pawn in an ancient society dominated by men?
The Bible fails to blame Bathsheba, but it strongly condemns David. In fact, David would suffer the rest of his life for his lustful choice. So would Bathsheba, David's family, and the entire nation of Israel.
When Bathsheba sent word to David that she was pregnant, David hatched a plan so cold-blooded we can hardly believe he was "a man after God's own heart" (1Sam 13:14). His treachery proves that even the godliest people are sinners; and though God forgives the truly repentant, the consequences of sin linger on.
David summoned Uriah from the battlefield and encouraged him to return home and sleep with his wife. When Uriah nobly refused, David tried again the next nigh by getting him drunk. When that plan failed, David sent Uriah back into battle with a letter for Joab, the captain of David's army. The letter contained Uriah's death sentence: "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die" (2Sam 11:15). The plot succeeded, and Uriah was killed.
Bathsheba became a widow and mourned for her husband (v.26). When her mourning was over, she became David's wife and bore him a son. "But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord" (v.27).
Nine moths passed before David repented. The prophet Nathan's poignant confrontation led to his confession: "I have sinned against the Lord" (12:13). Nathan told David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die" (vv.13-14). The infant soon became ill and died, despite David's heartfelt intercession before God for seven days.