Monday, August 21, 2017

I Am Bathsheba: I Am Eve

2 Samuel 11:2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, 'Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?' 4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”
My name is Bathsheba. Like Eve, my sin is great but not as great as my mate's. David repented of his sins in a mighty way (Psalm 51), but I felt no need to repent. Why should I repent? It was David who looked upon me!

I lived in a house nearby. We lived luxuriously, not in a palace, but in an elaborate home right next to it. We had everything we needed, and then more. God provided well for us. I am a Hittite. My husband, Uriah. was a mighty man of valor in King David's armies (1 Chronicles 11:41). We were fairly well off.

Although, we were Hittites, we lived there peaceably in David's Kingdom. We were so accepted that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob became my God as well. Uriah not only fought for David, but indeed for God. Peace is what we wanted in this land of milk and honey. Peace could only come about by war.  Uriah was willing to fight for David and for Jehovah.

My role in the royal family came about slowly. I was happy for a short time. I had great things. God provided well for Uriah and me. My house was my castle. As fine things became ordinary, I looked over at David's palace. I wanted it. In fact, I craved to be one of David's wives for that is the only way to have that grand residence!! Alas, it was not that way. I merely passed by it and longed for it as I took my daily walk. God reminded me often that my home wasn't a palace but it was mine. I began to plan because the temptation was so great.

The palace was guarded well. I could not go in but longed to see what was inside. God reproached my longing. I dared not touch that palace for fear of wanting it even more. God, I believe, even said, "Do not touch," because I wanted to so badly! He warned me, against my desire for what was not mine, and that there were consequences for coveting for that I should not have. However, the beauty of the palace was great. It was a sight to behold, a citadel of knowledge with its libraries, and therein were the most delightful foods. However, they were not mine to partake.

Of like beauty was the king himself. David was a sight to behold. He was taken with wives, many times over, but I could still be one of his. As much as I desired the palace, I desired the king even more. Neither was mine to have.

My servant  man offered a plan to me. As we sat in the shade we often discussed the luscious fruit which I lived beside. Not only were they the palace and David, but power, prestige, and wealth. If only I could partake of this delightful fruit, it would be mine. I would then live in splendor as does the king. Sure, we would still serve God but have whatever we desired. We would be as gods in this beautiful new garden in paradise - the land where David reigned.

I implemented the plan. I first considered the consequences of the harm it would do, and a spirit silently spoke to me. Take what you can; you deserve all this. You don't have to worry about God because you are his child. The penalty for sin is death, but because this is right, the spirit said, "You won't die." I didn't think so either. After all, I could always repent later.

Mankind's first sin was a lesson for me. I learned from the Word that man's weakness is his eyes. That is the burden that all men bear. Perhaps I could have him want me because I am beautiful. I am told by all those around me how appealing that I am. Perhaps I could convince David to want me!

David's home was a short distance away. The palace was many stories, overlooking the beautiful homes nearby. My servants and I often saw David, standing on the roof of his palace, staring at the stars as if praying. Perhaps he was getting closer to God because he was after God's own heart. I know that he could see our rooftop because we could see him so well. The plan was set into motion!

A religious ritual, part of Moses Law, was ceremonial cleansing. I remember where it was written:
Leviticus 15:19 "If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening."
Being a worshiper of Jehovah, I have always strived to remain clean. I want to please God, and that is how we do it. We clean the outside, and hopefully by doing so, the inside will be cleansed as well. Was I ever mistaken!

David was supposed to be at war. I knew that because the king always led the battle, and Uriah was to be gone. My first scheme was to make sure that David stayed behind. This would provide the opportunity to be alone to tempt David, and have opportunity to share his bed - that bed that would soon be mine!

I prayed that David would stay behind. I found out later, that it was Baal who answered my prayers, but I thought it was Jehovah. How strange, I even heard him speak as he called me to his lair. Baal caused David to stay behind because unknown to me, he had a plan as well. It was to undermine Jehovah, and return this land to his own.

Well, David stayed behind, and by chance my monthly period ended. I called my servants to prepare my bath, not inside where it was hot, but in the cool air of the evening upon the roof. There I knew that if David came along, as was his routine, then he would see me and want what he did not have. Now I was clean on the inside as well as out, and was ready to sacrifice myself to David. Unknowingly, it was Baal to which I presented my flesh, but I was deceived in that.

I believe that because I washed - outside and in, that I was purely clean. I never thought that inside my soul, there was filth the water never touched. Those dirty things guided me toward uncomely things forthcoming. I was not evil by myself, but unwittingly served my other master. When I thought about it later, it occurred to me, that Baal cares little who I serve as long as it isn't God. With chaotic thoughts, I came to realize that it was myself I served. I made God jealous by serving myself as God. I had done as I pleased in spite of the warnings of spiritual death.

My servant said, "David is in his place." He slowly looked my way. He could see God manifested in heaven, but he still glanced toward me. As he did so, I could see his face. As he looked upon my fruit, he entered into temptation. He could have turned away, but Baal steered his gaze my way. He was mesmerized by my beauty. Baal promised me to him. He saw what all men saw,  but was privy to see what God wanted covered. It was those gorgeous fruits above, and the tender delicacies below - they were the fruits he wanted, and badly so.

As I washed the dirt from my flesh, and the mount of Baal below, David's lust abounded. He wanted me badly even thought the Spirit fought him. The choice was his. Jehovah always allows his children freedom, and freedom means sometimes Baal can convince. David told me later, that it was I who made it right. Perhaps for him that is true, but Baal beguiled me afore. I blamed Baal, and David blamed me. That is mankind's way.

Then David had his servants deliver me. As I walked beneath the olive trees so grand, I had thoughts of the wiley serpent, and wondered if this was wrong. Baal assured me that his fruit was pleasant to the eyes, and that it can be mine. I walked blindly into the palace as Baal covered my eyes.

I walked unsteadily into his bedroom, feigning that I was forced. I told David that I belonged to another, but David wanted what wasn't his. His wives were in their room, and now the luscious fruit was here. He could now touch, not merely look with lust. At that moment thoughts were turned to sin, as David reached out his hand.

I said "No, no!" with my mouth but my body reached out. My Spirit flew away as Baal removed my clothes. What was clean before, was not now. I should have waited seven days to satisfy God, but now here I was; as dirty as before. I didn't please God! I ignored that guilt. Baal helped me to do that!

Sin was conceived that day. He was conceived in our hearts as he was consummated with our flesh. He died when David repented, so we never mentioned his name. As my son born in sin died, I died too. Perhaps I misunderstood God. Baal never told me the consequences, but denied there was even any.

David was a man after God's own heart. He repented and God gave him new clothing. God bathed him with grace, and gave him a new heart. It was circumcised of its flesh. David wore new spiritual clothing, but his bride had none.

I may repent someday as David did. It will be between God and me. It's a personal matter. With God's grace perhaps he'll give the queen new clothes, as he did for David. For now, I make my own. They will never cover me entirely, but my nakedness below is covered. I made a garment for me, and for David, but David said that God''s garment covered him better. He said that he was covered by the death of a lamb which was slain for him. I assume he meant that one of our sheep gave up its wool. David told me that it was much more than that.

My name is Bathsheba. This is my story. It is not pleasant to confess, but I am Bathsheba - I am Eve.

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