A Surprising Mother Model – 5-8-16

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2 Samuel 12:24-12:25

This Mother’s Day I have chosen someone very different to speak on. In fact, in my research I have not found anyone who has ever chosen to use Bathsheba as an example for Mother’s Day, for some reason we are able to grant David forgiveness and restoration, but Bathsheba remains forever emblazoned in our consciousness as an adulterer. Today, I hope to change your mind on that and give you, “the rest of the story.”

For the most part we will skip the sordid details of adultery, and concentrate on the factors in her life that speak very well of her, and show how in reality she is simply a godly woman with a skeleton in her closet. For some strange reason most have ignored the fact she was a godly woman, and only remember the skeleton, why is that? Do we really believe in grace or not? Can you have a sordid past and become a hero of the faith or not? If God forgets our sins why can’t we?

Let’s begin by talking about her godly heritage, then we will briefly touch on the adultery with David, (if in fact it was adultery), and then her godly life after that incident, and we will close with an amazing insight into the Proverbs 31 woman, that will make your jaw drop.


She was born to a man named Eliam, (2 Sam 11:3) who is also called Ammiel in 1 Chron 3:5, both names mean essentially the same: God is my kinsman. We could just as easily say his name means, “I am a part of the family of God.” Biblical names often were prophetic and descriptive of a person’s life. Jacob was a cheater, David was beloved, Moses means to draw out – an apt description of the Exodus. It seems that Eliam was an OT example of a true child of God.

In 2nd Samuel 23 is a listing of David’s mighty men of valor. Men who excelled in virtue, and fighting skills, they became his most trusted allies, and confidants. Eliam is a member of that group.

2Sa 23:34 “Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,”

So Bathsheba’s father had a name that means God is my kinsman, and he was one of David’s most valiant and trusted soldiers. She was raised in a very good family, that doesn’t make her a saint, but all we are doing for now is painting a picture that includes the fact she came from a Godly family.

Two more important facts from her father’s life, the first is the man he chose for his daughter to marry. You of course know that he is called Uriah. More properly Uriah the Hittite. What you may not know about Uriah is that he also was one of David’s mighty men of valor.

2Sa 23:39 “Uriah the Hittite: thirty and seven in all.”

In all likelihood Uriah was a proselyte to the Jewish faith, perhaps inspired by the life of David to do so. Eliam’s as a devout Jew would have been very careful whom he would chose for his daughter to marry. (Marriages were arranged, and not through Christian mingle dot com) That he chose a Hittite speaks volumes to the character and nobility he saw in this man. The wisdom of that choice proves itself out as Uriah shows himself to be of more noble character than that of David himself, in the few brief glimpses we have of his life. Uriah is a Hebrew name that is translated, light or flame of Yahweh, or Yahweh is my light. One of the horrible ironies of the whole David and Uriah story is that David may have murdered a man he won to the Lord. Yet David is still known as the man after God’s own heart. Today what I want to suggest to all the ladies out there, is that you don’t have to have lived a perfect life to be very special in God’s eyes. It is not how you start out that matters, but how you end up. I believe very strongly that Bathsheba also was a very special woman in God’s eyes, not because she was perfect, but like David she was a woman after God’s own heart. Her family history tells us a little about the way she probably was raised.

The second fact I want to point out, about her father, is the name Eliam chose of his daughter. Bathsheba. Bathsheba means daughter of the oath. This is either a reference to the promise to Abraham, or some thanksgiving promise made to God by her father and mother. Either way it again shines a light on the genuine faith her father had. She was raised in a home that honored God, displayed bravery against the Lord’s enemies, and was a close confidant of one of the Old Testament’s greatest heroes. Birds of a feather do flock together. Eliam, was a man of God.

Next we talk about her grandfather:

Ahithophel, Her Grandfather:

Ahithophel is named as Eliam’s father in:

2Sa 23:34 “Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,”

You will note that Ahithophel is from Gilo and here in 2 Sam it is confirmed that this was the Ahithophel that was David’s counselor.

2Sa 15:12 “And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city, [even] from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.”

Ahithophel was said to be a very incredible counselor whose words almost seemed to come from God Himself:

2Sa 16:23 “The counsel that Ahithophel gave in those days was treated as if God himself had spoken. That was the reputation of Ahithophel’s counsel to David”

While it is true that Ahithophel later turned on David, for now I just want you to consider that his words, and the testimony of his life showed him to be a man of great wisdom that probably came from a close walk with God.

Also David describes him as a man of devout faith:
Ps 55:12 “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear [it]; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him.
Ps 55:13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend.
Ps 55:14 We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng.”

In that passage, which is also applied to Judas and Jesus, David is describing the shock that one who had worshipped God with him regularly was also the one who betrayed him. Lay aside the betrayal for a moment, I will get back to it. For now I just want you to realize what kind of life you must live for people (people like David) to say that when you speak it is almost as if God Himself spoke. That is an accolade of the highest order, and it can only come from a close walk with God. The closest parallel we find to this accolade is in the NT where we read the following:

Ac 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

In other words the crowd connected powerful speaking with closeness to Jesus.

So Bathsheba was born to a Godly man, and had a godly grandfather, (up until his betrayal of David). Doesn’t sound like the home the evil vixen we all think of her should come from does it? Consider also that her grandfather, Ahithophel, turned against David, many believe because of what he did to his granddaughter. David had sought her out, not vice versa. She was married to a mighty man of valor, and renown in the kingdom, and that was all tarnished, as was Ahithophel’s family name with what David had done. The bible says a good name is rather to be chosen than riches. With adultery all that was lost for Bathsheba and her family. I am not condoning what Ahithophel did, simply explaining a possible motive for why such a godly man would turn against David his friend and confidant and brother in the Lord. If David was the mostly guilty party and he did that to your granddaughter, and your family reputation, and all of a sudden there was another candidate for president what would you do?

I want you to notice also the fact that when the prophet Nathan goes to David to confront him, it is David that is charged with sin, and not one word was spoken about Bathsheba. David is punished, not Bathsheba. All the consequences of the adultery are directed at David and though Bathsheba will also suffer because of some of them, they are not said to be aimed at her. Consider also that when David saw Bathsheba he asked about who she was and was told that she was: A. Married, and B. Married to one of David’s most loyal soldiers. So when he called for her, after getting that info he was willfully sinning up a storm. He sent for her, the bulk of the blame needs to be laid at his feet not hers, and that seems to be the way God through the prophet Nathan laid out the events.

2Sa 11:27 “And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.”

2. Now let’s consider her actions after she becomes David’s wife.

Solomon, Her Second Son
2Sa 12:24 “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him
2Sa 12:25 and sent [word] through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD’S sake.”

(Jedidiah is the name the prophet gave him, and it means beloved of Jehovah. He was also given the name Solomon, which is the name he is most known for. Solomon means peace.)

“Now the Lord loved him…” Does that sound do you like God is still holding something against David and Bathsheba? No, quite the opposite. This was a marriage that wasn’t supposed to happen, and yet God crowned it with His blessing. Why? Perhaps to teach us all there is life after adultery or divorce. Not just life, but abundant life, if we surrender our lives to God. God chastised them for their sin, as a lesson to all, and He gave them a wonderful heritage after repentance as a lesson to us all. Bathsheba is not the story of a perfect woman, but the story of how great God’s grace can be in a person’s life. She is not the model of a perfect woman, but of a woman whose life was amazingly touched by grace, and how completely accepted she was after that touch, and that is what makes her a model mother. God took away her tarnished name, and the shame of adultery and told her and David quite clearly I love your child and am blessing your marriage together.

Bathsheba had three other children with David, and I want to show you something interesting about one of them in particular:

1 Ch 3:5 “And these were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon, four, by Bath-shua the daughter of Ammiel” (Bathshua is a variant of Bathsheba’s name.)

Did you notice the name Nathan there as one of her sons? Nathan is the prophet who confronted David, and yet David and Bathsheba wind up naming one of their sons after him! The man who confronted David in sin becomes so highly regarded by them, they name one of their children after him. That is clearly a byproduct of salvation: appreciation for those who rebuke you when you are going down the wrong path.

Stay with me, it gets better. We all know that Solomon is in Jesus’ lineage:

Mt 1:6 “and to Jesse was born David the king. And to David was born Solomon by her [who had been the wife] of Uriah;”

But did you also know another of Bathsheba’s sons are in the lineage of Jesus:

Lu 3:31 “Which was [the son] of Melea, which was [the son] of Menan, which was [the son] of Mattatha, which was [the son] of Nathan, which was [the son] of David”

(Luke’s gospel is believed to be Mary’s genealogy, and Matthew’s is believed to be Joseph’s)

Not just one of her children, but two of them are in Jesus’ lineage!

So let’s recap so far, Bathsheba comes from a very Godly family, two of her children are in Jesus’ lineage, her second son is proclaimed to be beloved of Jehovah, she names one of her children after the prophet Nathan.

Even if she is equally at fault with David in the adultery (which I don’t believe) she appears from the scriptural record to be a wonderful example of the acceptance and elevation of sinner from the kingdom of darkness, into His marvelous light. David had eight wives and perhaps as many as 10 concubines, God could have chosen from any of these women for the lineage of Christ, but He chose Bathsheba for that honor. He crowned her life with blessing, that is exactly what grace does.

When God saves someone He doesn’t just forgive them He elevates them. A robe, a ring, a fatted calf, a seat at the Father’s banqueting table. Bathsheba is the story of a woman with a skeleton in her closet who became a chosen member of the royal family.

She is not barely saved, but wonderfully saved, and so it is with all God’s sons and daughters. God doesn’t put a band aid on your heart, He puts a crown on your head. You don’t wear prison garb after you get saved, you wear the beautiful robes of salvation. It is about time we saw Bathsheba for what she truly was – a daughter of Zion.

Isa 61:3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Lastly since it is Mother’s day I want to direct your attention to Proverbs 31. I want to briefly touch on Bathsheba as an example of a Godly mother.

We all know that Proverbs 31 is the laying out in order of what an exemplary model of a woman of God is. Now let me tell you what you don’t know about Proverbs 31.

Pr 31:1 The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him. (NAS)
Pr 31:1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. (KJV)

Who is this Lemuel and who is his mother?

Prior to this 19th century Jewish and Christian authorities were almost unanimous in ascribing who the king and his mother were, more recent scholarship disputes that. Today I am going with the old school which says that Lemuel was a pet name for Solomon given to him by his mother Bathsheba.

In fact the Jewish authorities say that this was given to Solomon, by his mother Bathsheba as a reproof on his marriage with Pharaoh’s daughter. It makes sense because the chapter discusses Solomon’s two greatest weakness: wine and women. Verses 4,5 deal with the wine issue:

Pr 31:4 “Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves, gulping wine and swilling beer,
Pr 31:5 Lest, hung over, they don’t know right from wrong, and the people who depend on them are hurt.”

And verses 10 through the end of the chapter describe what a Godly woman is like that the king should be wanting to marry. So here in Proverbs 31 we have a mother, being a mother, and attempting to teach her son to live a Godly life, to find and marry a virtuous woman, and not one that simply appeals to the eyes. This is mothering at its finest.

All you women who have heard sermons about being a proverbs 31 woman, isn’t it amazing that it probably was written by Bathsheba. What a trophy of grace!

One more thing, Proverbs 31 is said to be a prophecy. How many of you have ever envisioned Bathsheba as being so close to God, he spoke through her. Bathsheba is not a perfect woman with a perfect past, she is a redeemed woman and an example to all the mothers out there who haven’t lived a perfect life. God can take you from the trash heap and put you in His lineage. Talk about a promotion!

 Are there any Bathsheba’s here today? You may yet be able to give birth to a Solomon and a Nathan….