Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Well, welcome back to Words of Life. I'm very excited about this week's character, Beth Sheba. Last week, we started a new series with Lieutenant Colonel Helen Starrett studying 12 women in the Bible with incredible stories. Today's episode is so action packed. We're going to go ahead and let Helen take it from here.
Welcome. Today, we join the soap opera titled Midnight Passion. Beth Sheba's is a tale of seduction, intrigue, murder, and loss.
This is not a TV script. It is a story of two people, a king and a woman in the lineage of Christ who shared a midnight passion that brought on a string of heartbreaks. You'll find her story in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. The setting is characterized by idolatry, disobedience, violence, suffering, captivity, and bloodshed, when it could have been a time of victory and obedience to God. Instead, in those days, Israel had no king, and everyone did as they saw fit. The land and people asked for a savior. The people decided they could not live with the judges. They demanded a king.
Everyone else had one. Why can't we? God knew it was not the best for Israel, but He gave them what they wanted.
Why? The people were not seeking God's will when they begged for a king. God warned there would be severe consequences because a king would abuse his power, and the people would suffer. God gave them their king.
There were moments of triumph, greatness, failure, and selfishness. God was waiting to send a king of kings. He would come from a very unlikely relative, Bathsheba. When we hear the name Bathsheba, we know she was a beautiful woman, but she was mixed in a tangle of adultery with King David. After Saul's death, David became king. He enters our small screen with a history, a shepherd turned king, giant slayer, psalm writer, a man after God's own heart. So what happened? This is a story about people being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person making wrong decisions.
The season is spring. Kings lead their men to war during this time, but for some unknown reason, David remained at the palace. He was neglecting his responsibilities. So let's meet Bathsheba. During a restless afternoon, David finds himself on the rooftop, spying on a beautiful woman below him in her courtyard.
It would have been so easy for David to mind his own business. Instead, his eyes and his imagination run wild. He was ruled by his passion. Let's break it down. This is temptation. He saw, he stopped, he sinned.
This is where the controversy begins. Is Bathsheba culpable? Some say she was intentionally bathing in view of the palace. Others say this was a ceremonial cleansing outlined by Jewish law.
Makes no difference what. David sent his men to find out who this beautiful woman is. They report back to him. She's the granddaughter of one of your most trusted counselor, the daughter of one of your mighty men, one of your best fighters, and the wife of another of your mighty men, Uriah, one of your good friends. He was considered to be in the inner circle of honored soldiers. David had selected these men to serve with him. The information did not seem to affect David at all. He saw what he wanted, and he took it. David was selfish. He did not seem to care about Bathsheba's virtue or reputation. David summoned her.
Go get her. He was no longer thinking was his kingly head or his godly heart. This was a powerful man using a powerless woman. He coveted another man's wife. He sent. He took.
He lay. Where is Bathsheba? Back to the controversy. Did she know why she'd been summoned? Perhaps there were news of her husband Uriah. Some scholars believe she was summoned and just could not refuse the king. Others argue she was an active participant.
We do know that we will see the consequences later in this story as a result of this interlude. When she learned the call to the palace was not about Uriah, did she have choices? Did she have the courage to remind David that she was married and so was he? We don't know how she felt. We do know what they did. David and Bathsheba committed adultery.
David slept with her. He knew it was wrong. He acted on feeling and impulse rather than thinking. If he had thought about this, he might have seen the cost was so much greater than he wanted to pay. Let's make a list of what this midnight tryst did. Unwanted pregnancy, the murder of a trusted friend, a dead baby, his daughter raped by his son, one son murdered by another son, a civil war led by one of his sons, a son who imitates David's lack of self-control and leads him and much of Israel away from God.
I must confess, this account is difficult for me. People want this to be Bathsheba's fault because we only want to see David as a man after God's own heart. No matter what, Bathsheba's actions cannot be changed. Bathsheba returns home. A month later, David receives a message.
I'm pregnant. This message puts him in a position of responsibility. We now come to the next segment of the soap opera and watch as it plays out. David is the mastermind of the crime and cover-up about to take place. When David heard this news from Bathsheba, he should have repented. Instead, he hid his sin. The whole idea of hiding sin is deceptive. Our sin is never hidden from God. The real question is, are we prepared to face our sin? The only answer to hidden sin is confession and repentance. We need to learn not to reason with sin. It will go away. It will never go away until we confess. We come to the great cover-up. David thinks he can fix this problem.
One bad choice led to another, and the slippery slope of sin quickly became a swamp of sin. David sends for Uriah. Remember him? Oh, it's Bathsheba's husband. David is pretending to be very concerned.
He's a friend, and he is the king. To save his own skin, David offers Uriah an evening with his wife, hoping that when she turns up pregnant, people will believe the baby belongs to Uriah. What David did not count on was Uriah's integrity, and he did not take David up on his offer and stayed with David's servants at the palace. David was not where he should have been, and it led him to make additional poor decisions. Uriah's loyalty added to David's disgrace. Now, we come to plan B. David gets Uriah drunk.
This plan also fails. Now, we have a desperate change in plans. Now, David is preparing to break the sixth commandment. He sends a letter to his military official, leading the war, instructing him to put Uriah at the front lines, assuring that he will die. Power corrupts, and David sinks to a new low. David receives a message.
The mission is complete. Remember when we started this study, I mentioned God's warnings about the consequences that would occur when the Israelites received a king? He will selfishly take your sons, Uriah, and your daughters, Bathsheba. So, where is Bathsheba? When she learned of Uriah's death, she mourned for him.
And now, the problem is solved. After Bathsheba's mourning was over, David marries her. She bore a son.
David thinks problems are solved. Bathsheba belongs to him. He's no longer an adulterer. As a matter of fact, he could be considered honorable since he married a widow. What David has done displeased the Lord.
What did he do? Too many wives, stolen wife, illegitimate baby, drinking parter, planning a murder. Notice it does not say Bathsheba displeased the Lord. The burden of sin belonged to David.
My mother used to say, be sure your sins will find you out. We cannot hide from God. Now we move to David's accountability and the consequences for his sin. God did not allow David to continue to hide his sin.
He sends Nathan to tell David a parable about a rich man and a poor man. He makes David realize the magnitude of his own sin. When David realizes he is the man in the parable, he had to confess his own sin before he could find forgiveness. David confesses his guilt and openly begs for God's mercy. Our God is rich in mercy, but he does not remove the consequences of sin for David and Bathsheba. A baby is born, becomes ill. David begged for God to heal the baby, but he dies. Extraordinary redemption is given to David and Bathsheba. Another son is born, Solomon. I believe in this instant, the birth of this baby would be the final symbol of God's complete restoration in the lives of David and Bathsheba.
This is not a soap opera. David redeemed David and Bathsheba in the same way he can transform any mess we create in our own lives. This week, may God show you the extraordinary in the ordinary.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-28 04:44:25 / 2023-03-28 04:48:58 / 5