What happened to Bathsheba?

I can’t understand why David in Psalm 51 says “Against you, you only, have I sinned”. It seems to me the person he let down most was Bathsheba. But why doesn’t she get a mention in his apparent guilt as expressed in this plea for mercy?

As I think about how ineffective I am as a Christian I often think about how I let people down. I can’t get into this “I’m off to heaven so I’m alright” bit and I often feel like I would feel more at home with the let down people, who according to some people’s interpretation, are destined for the more warmer climate of ‘down there’. If we sin against another person, whatever that sin is, we destroy another chance for them to have confidence in the gospel. Is that right?

Then in Matthew 18 v15-17 Jesus tells those who have been sinned against to go and tell the culprit. What did Bathsheba do? Did she say to David “With God on your side I assume you will get away with this?”

God’s grace was once again exploited.

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  1. Yes, in Psalm 51 David is concerned about his guilt in relation to God. I guess the point is something about the seriousness of sin against a perfect and holy God.

    But he didn’t forget about or abandon Bathsheba. In 2 Sam 13:24 it says David “comforted his wife Bathsheba” – so she gets full status as his wife (whereas before she was referred to as “Uriah’s wife”) and he feels concern for her – which is not something very often portrayed in the relationships between Old Testament men and their wives (though that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist). Then God made Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, who he loved (same verse). In a society where women’s status would be related to who they were the mothers of, this would have helped her significantly and also made her part of God’s plan, not someone used and thrown on the scrapheap.

    Bathsheba suffered a lot because of David’s sin. She was subjected to abuse of sexual power, she lost her husband and then her baby. The story is terrible. But it’s also ultimately about how God takes really terrible situations, where people have let other people down horrifically, and against all the odds he brings in some sort of reconciliation and healing. We need to believe in that. God’s original favour to David was exploited, but God’s grace, after the event, I don’t think was. It was about healing and restoration, not “getting away with it” and it extended beyond David to those around him.

  2. Thanks for the comment. The more I read into the account of what went on I see all sorts of possibilities as to what sort of people David, Bathesheba, Solomon etc were. 1 Kings 2 v13 – 25 is an interesting read. Was Bathsheba deliberately causing problems here? Was she still bitter over how she had been treated in the past? The plot is somewhat complex and could easily realte to a mordern day soap. I’m not sure how Bathsheba was treated. You mention she was called david’s wife but then in Matthew C1v11 she is again called Uriah’s wife (would it depend on who she married first???). I do believe that God can bring good out of suffering but I also struggle with that belief because it makes us accept horrific situations, pain and suffering, does that mean God “gets away with it”?

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