Bathsheba: Our past does define our future.
Read 2 Sam. 11-12
“But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord…And she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the Lord loved him.”
Of the five women mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1, Bathsheba is the one that is perhaps the most surprising, for the story of Bathsheba tainted forever the reputation of David as a man after God’s own heart. The story begins with David remaining behind in Jerusalem when his armies went out to battle. The statement in verse one indicates he placed himself in the situation because of his failure to fulfill his duty as a king. Instead of the hardships of the battlefield, David remained in the comforts of the palace.
The events of the story are familiar. Capture by the beauty of a bathing Bathsheba, David sent for her and committed adultery. Stricken by the fear that his immorality would be revealed, David sought to cover his tracks by having her husband brought back from the battlefield so that Bathsheba’s pregnancy would be attributed to her husband. But her husband proved more noble than David for he refused to enjoy the pleasures of marriage while his fellow soldiers were in the battlefront. Thus, David orchestrated Uriah’s death on the battlefield. This is the tragedy of sin. Sin often leads to more sin as we try to conceal our guilt. But what man cannot see, God does. As David reflected upon what he had done he was overwhelmed with his guilt (see Psalms 51 for his confession). Nevertheless, as we see throughout the pages of scripture, sin always reaps disastrous consequences. Consequently, God pronounced the judgment that the child conceived from the affair would die at birth.
But where there is judgment there is also the offer of grace and here is where the story takes an unexpected turn. After the death of their firstborn, Bathsheba again conceived and gave birth to a son named Solomon. In a remarkable twist of grace, the child born out of adultery, murder, and death would be used by God to build the dynasty of David to its greatest level of achievement. Solomon would extend the borders of the kingdom beyond what any other king would accomplish. His fame and wisdom would become renown in the Ancient Near East. In terms of national, political, economic, and spiritual impact, Solomon would exceed the works of his father. Where David penned songs, Solomon would write books. While David built a capital, Solomon would build a majestic Temple. While David brought stability to the nation, Solomon brought expansion. This is where grace overcomes the deepest sin. Bathsheba’s inclusion in the genealogy of Jesus serves as a reminder that no matter how great our failures and sin, when we seek God’s cleansing forgiveness, he not only will forgive our sin, but restore us to a position of complete favor. The sins we commit in the past never have to define how we live in the future. God’s grace means that it does not matter what happened in the past, it only matters what will happen in the future. Each new day we are given the opportunity to start fresh in a renewed relationship with God. David and Bathsheba are a testimony that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (2 Cor. 5:17). We can, and should, learn from our past mistakes but we are never defined by them for the grace of Christ brings complete forgiveness and full restoration. Are there things in your past that you regret and are ashamed of? Rather than let the past failures define you, let the grace of God define your future.