One story of David’s life and reign that is often talked about is his interaction with Bathsheba from 2 Samuel 11. You can read it in full here. Many questions are asked about this passage, perhaps none more emotive than that concerning Bathsheba’s consent: did she give it? Was she forced to give it? How does this all reflect on David?
There are, honestly, limited details given of this interaction in the text and so we need to be careful not to read into Scripture things that aren’t there with our own understandings and experiences. What happens, simply, in 2 Samuel 11.2-5 is that David
“…saw an especially beautiful woman bathing. He sent for her and had sex with her, and she became pregnant with his child.”
The source above has a much more detailed look at the nuance of the text here and seeks to answer the most emotive and uncomfortable of questions arising from this passage, but, for you and for me now, as Alan Redpath wrote, we have journeyed with David from relative obscurity to the pinnacle of national and spiritual leadership only to find him now fallen into the abyss of sin¹. As we move through Scripture and read of David’s life, faith, and victories, like the people of the day we slowly build a picture of a man that seems to be a perfect preview of the coming Messiah. Then, however, reading 2 Samuel 11 is like being hit in the stomach by a champion boxer. How does this leave us feeling?
When we build up other people as being a singular source of seeing Christ we are bound to be let down. I think of Psalm 73.26 and the truth that our flesh will fail, of Romans 7 and Paul’s self-aimed scything statements about what our flesh produces, and of Jeremiah’s words that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately sick (17.9). When we put all of our hope, trust, and faith in other people to show us the way, we fail because they too fail (cf. Matthew 15.4).
Instead of looking to David as the perfect preview, instead of seeking out others that we feel will make us more like the Messiah, we should be going straight to the source: to Jesus Himself.
We have His Word by which we are sanctified – John 17.17.
We have His Spirit to help and guide us – John 16.4c-15.
We have His Word that He Himself will come again – John 14.3, 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18.
Sure, have relationships, friendships, and mentorships that point you to Jesus (Hebrews 13.7), but remember above all else that it is Christ alone that opened the way to God (Hebrews 10.20), Christ alone who died for you (Romans 5.6), and Christ alone who shows us what God is truly like (Philippians 2.5-8, 2 Corinthians 4.4-6).
¹ – The Making Of A Man Of God (1962)