Wile teaching 2 Samuel 11 and 12 in Gospel Doctrine today (as a guest teacher), I wondered what David might have said to Bathsheba when she was brought over to meet him. “You know, my wives and concubines, they just don’t understand me.” That’s my guess.
The story begins with unchecked lust and then turns to appalling adultery in which a big celeb goes after the wife of one of his valiant soldiers. She becomes pregnant, so David tries to cover up his sin. He tries to get the husband to come home from battle and spend some time at home so people will think the baby is his, but that fails. Then David, once a man of God, a leader in Israel who had prophesied and authored beautiful scripture (and would yet author scripture), chooses to cover his sin by murdering the husband, Uriah. Did Bathsheba have any idea that she was marrying the man who had killed her beloved husband? There’s something of a creep factor in this story.
How far are any of us from becoming another David? Are we humbly aware of the dangers we face when step into the world? Have we begun each day prayerfully seeking the Lord’s help to be delivered from temptation? Are we mentally prepared for what we must do when we encounter our own Bathsheba moment? It may not be a moment that appeals to sensual pleasures; rather, it may be an unexpected temptation thrown our way that appeals to our greed, our ego, or some other weakness. These temptations will come. We will each have our temptations that could cause us to fall unless we are prepared and decide ahead of time that we will not give in but swiftly turn away. Should we fall, human experience and the scriptures teach that the only safe step is to quickly come clean and face the immediate pain of repentance rather than trying to cover up our sin, which only adds to the problem and magnifies the pain that we will one day face. In David’s case, he lost it all and did terrible harm to many through his sins.
How tragic and frightening.
I still wonder exactly what he said when they were introduced. I also wish that Bathsheba had been taught by some of the great Young Women’s leaders we have today. Might have helped her recognize the danger a little earlier before she got caught up in the excitement of being pursued by the leading rock star of Israel. Might have also helped her be a little more careful about her bathing arrangements. Or was something less innocent going on the whole time? Ah, humanity. We can be so disappointing.