Christmas is almost here! So forgive me for talking about a very un-Christmassy topic.
Every couple of years, a debate breaks out on Christian Twitter on whether Bathsheba was a seductress or a victim.
"Wait a second, Erin. Bath-what? Who or what are we talking about?"
Bathsheba is mentioned in Matthew 1:6 as "the wife of Uriah," making her the fourth and final "grandma" of Jesus mentioned in Matthew's Begats. She is "famous" for being the woman with whom David, Israel's king, had a one-night stand while Uriah, one of David's most loyal soldiers, was away at war fighting for the country. (You can read this story in 2 Samuel 11.)
The reason a debate rages every so often about Bathsheba is that our modern sensibilities have questions due to some vagueness by the author of 2 Samuel. For instance...
I do not intend to settle this argument definitively for all time. But I will give you my opinion (and it is just that - an opinion). Hopefully, that will help you understand what I want you to see today as we wrap up this series.
I see Bathsheba more on the "victim" side of this argument for a couple different reasons:
"Well, Erin, if you are right and Bathsheba is so 'innocent', why didn't she turn down the King's advances?"
Maybe she tried, and it truly was rape (however the text doesn't indicate it was rape, like it does with Amnon's rape of his half-sister, Tamar, in 2 Samuel 13). But most likely, while she may have had a bit of fear, this was her king, to whom she was expected to honor and obey in all things. And so she gave in to her king's advances, despite the reactions raging in her heart and head.
If I am right, then Bathsheba was used. As king, David had a few wives already, yet rather than call for one of his own wives to come spend the night with him, he used Uriah's wife for his own pleasure. He didn't love her. He only wanted what he could get from her for one night. She was taken advantage of by a king who should have been out with his army.
Have you ever felt taken advantage of? Felt like you were only a means to an end, a project to be completed, or just a "thing" to be exploited? You probably felt worthless, unloved, or possibly even less than human.
I recall Christmas break during my fourth-grade year; a classmate called one Saturday inviting me to go sledding. I was shocked that this super-popular kid wanted to go sledding with me! So when he asked if my mom could pick him up, I didn't think anything of it and said, "Of course!" But as soon as we got to the sledding hill, my "friend" took off and spent the whole afternoon with another classmate, while I only had my little brother to sled with. And when my mom came to pick us all up, my "friend" said our classmate had already agreed to give him a ride home.
That's a very minor example, but my fourth-grade heart sure was hurt. I felt (once again) like I didn't matter. I was simply used as a means to an end.
If you've ever felt that way, or even feel that way right now, know this: God will not "use" you like that. You are not a means to an end to then be discarded when a better opportunity comes along. God is more faithful than the world's greatest husband. He is more reliable than the sunrise. He will never treat you like David did Bathsheba. Rather, He wants to invite you to be part of His family through His Son, and let you be part of the greatest story ever lived.
So this Christmas, may you realize that Jesus came for the exploited, to redeem your story, and call you into something greater.
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