There are plenty of people in the Bible we don’t often concentrate on. I mean, everyone know the story of the shepherd how slayed a giant, of the friendship between the shepherd and a king’s son, and the might warrior who became a beloved king. But you know that one part of David’s story we tend to gloss over, the part that shows he was human and let his human desires overrule him when he slept with a married woman? Yeah, there was another person involved in that story who had a story of her own, one that I’d never considered studying.
From her childhood, Bathsheba heard the stories of the shepherd turned King. A might warrior, a lover of God, a King for the people. But Bathsheba had been given her own prophecy. One that said she would not only be a tob woman, one of great beauty that men would desire, but also proclaimed she would be mother to a great man who would affect the future of Israel.
But the journey to that prophecy was not an easy one. Bathsheba married a man she loved. A man who eventually had to leave her to go to war. A young wife, she longed to give birth to Uriah’s son but that joy was taken away from her the moment the king saw her bathing in her courtyard and decided he wanted her.
After Uriah’s death, she lived as one of the king’s many wives. A solitary life amidst many people. The other wives either despised her or ignored her, and despite her elevated status, she despised the fact she carried the king’s baby and not Uriah’s.
Tragedy and grief connected David and Bathsheba, and she found herself becoming his friend. While she didn’t love him like she had her first husband, she began to forgive David for his indiscretion. She strove to raise her four sons in a manner that pleased God first and then the king.
After reading the first book in Angela Hunt’s Reluctant Beautyseries about Esther, I wondered how she would write an entire book about such a seemingly minor player in the Bible. But there was so much information in this book, which alternated between Bathsheba’s point of view and that of the prophet Nathan.
And once again, after reading Hunt’s book, I was driving to the scripture to read all I could about the mother of the wise King Solomon. Hunt did her research for this book and provides readers with all of the references she used at the end.
I grew up in the church, but Bathsheba’s story (both the fictionalized version and the one I re-read in a chronological Bible) is brand new to me. Proof that God continues to teach us through his Word.
Bathsheba loved one man who was murdered by the man she now called husband. A man who regretted his sin, who loved God above all else, whose family paid for his sins. Today, David is often referred to as a man after God’s own heart. But through her trials and King David, Bathsheba learned to place her trust and fail in her God as well.
And I’m looking forward to learning about another woman in the Bible, one many might view as the villain of the story: Delilah.
***Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.