Most students of the Bible are familiar with King David’s adulterous affair with his neighbor, Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). David was severely held accountable to God for his deeds. As a consequence of his sin, David’s child, a boy, died in his infancy. And his kingdom constantly underwent endless turmoils and conflicts within.
But, what about Bathsheba? Was she innocent of all this? Was not she, a married woman, also guilty of breaking the sixth commandment of God – “Thou shalt not commit adultery”? Was she not an adulteress? Did she not break her marriage vows with her husband? Why was nothing mentioned about her? Was she not guilty of capital punishment? Should she not have been stoned? Was there a double-standard here? As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” Right? Well, what about this? Here are my thoughts on the matter.
Why the Focus on David?
Why was David seemingly punished more deeply than Bathsheba?
Here are some possible answers (my thoughts, of course).
1) David was king of all Israel.
2) David was very popular and very charismatic both at home and abroad. Therefore, the name of God and Israel’s reputation was at stake. Israel’s culture, government and religion pointed to God.
3) David is an example for all of us that he was very much human and that all people sin. God is willing to forgive sin.
4) God did not want an illegitimate heir to assume the throne of David. That child would have been the second king of David’s dynasty, the third king of Israel. And on the descendant hereditary line of Christ.
5) Bathsheba represents both the world and the Church. How? Read on….
David’s Humility and Contrition
When David confesssed his sin and prayed to God for forgiveness, God heard him. In response to his humble reaction, Nathan, the prophet who brought God’s word about the affair to David, said: “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die” (2 Samuel 12:13).
Did Bathsheba, as David, admit her sin and asked God for forgiveness also? I do not know! Why the silence here in the biblical record of this event? Again, Bathsheba should have been stoned for her adulterous ways (Deuteronomy 22:22; Leviticus 20:10). So, did God extend His forgiveness from David to Bathsheba? I believe He did!
I believe when David asked God for forgiveness, he (David) also asked and took on the penalty of Bathsheba’s sin unto himself. I am certain that he prayed for Bathsheba to be spared. To me, this pictures Jesus Christ dying for the world’s sin and curse of death which has befallen all people since Adam.
One account in the New Testament depicts the religious leaders dragging a woman accused of adultery before Jesus Christ (John 8:1-11). Just like Bathsheba, this adulteress – guilty before the leaders of the city – was pardoned by Christ without her even asking for forgiveness! Why? Did she not break the law of God just as Bathsheba did? Yet, she was forgiven. Another adulterous woman forgiven. What is going on here?
God, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, is the forgiver of sin. Which brings me to my last point …..
Bathsheba, the World, and the Church
David, after his adultery, married Bathsheba. She was forgiven and continued alongside David in his kingdom.
As you may already know, the Church is to be the bride of Christ and she represents those who are forgiven.
Yes, the Church represents those who come out of a redeemed world. How? When Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of the world, the world became reconciled (Colossians 1:20; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19). The woman in John 8, represents this world, forgiven of sin without first asking or even knowing who Jesus was. Jesus did tell her to repent afterwards. Her life was renewed.
The same is true with the Church. All Church members were all previously guilty of sin and deserving death – as was Bathsheba guilty of sin, adultery, and deserving death.
Each church member in the Body of Christ has repented, responded, after being called to believe and accept Jesus Christ.
And, because of His death on the cross, the world has been forgiven before it even knew Christ – before the world acknowledged its sin. The world’s time is soon coming when it will see Christ and is offered the opportunity to repent.
In the meantime, Jesus Christ is now a Prince, espoused, and soon to wed the Church. As David saw the beauty of Bathsheba in his day, so does Jesus Christ see the Church – without faults (justified) – before His wedding – and will pronounce her beauty and innocence before all the world when He returns.
The Bride and Queen of Jesus Christ
Not only will the Church marry Christ, she will be given authority to rule with Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:11-12; Rev. 20:4, Rev. 20:6). This is a tremendous difference between the kings of ancient Israel (Bathsheba was not considered, queen of Israel) and the future ruler of the Kingdom. We Christians will rule the nations, rule with Christ over His creation and be queen with Jesus in the Kingdom of God on earth and perhaps beyond.
Many interesting and wonderful days are yet ahead for all us whom God has loved before we loved Him.