The Thinking 

David and Bathsheba Revisited

April 11, 2016


Bathsheba oil painting on canvas by Willem Drost (1654). [detail]

Bathsheba, Willem Drost (1654). [detail]

REMEMBER King David? I know it was long ago, in different “cultural categories,” but remember how he spied the beautiful Bathsheba at her bath, as told in 2 Samuel, and how he was overcome by lust? He called the beautiful bather to his quarters. He made love to a married woman. She became pregnant and David wished to conceal his transgression.

David then conspired to send Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to the front lines, where he was killed in battle with the Ammonites. He took Bathsheba as his wife. So he was not only guilty of adultery, he was guilty of murder.

However, David was given the chance to repent.

There is the immortal scene in which the prophet Nathan visits the king and, by way of a parable, tells him what he has done and reproves him for his grave offense against divine law:

And the Lord sent Nathan to David: and when he was come to him, he said to him: There were two men in one city, the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many sheep and oxen. But the poor man had nothing at all but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up, and which had grown up in his house together with his children, eating of his bread, and drinking of his cup, and sleeping in his bosom: and it was unto him as a daughter. And when a certain stranger was come to the rich man, he spared to take of his own sheep and oxen, to make a feast for that stranger, who was come to him, but took the poor man’ s ewe, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. [2 Samuel 1-5]

David was outraged by the rich man’s sin.

To which Nathan responded:

“Thou art the man.”

These words shook the king. They awakened his conscience. David confessed his sin and asked for God’s mercy. Fortunately, Nathan was there to serve as a vehicle for God’s grace.

If David had lived today what would he be told by a prophet from the false Church of Jorge Bergoglio?

This Nathan would have said:

Not “all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of” me.

Marriage is “a dynamic path to personal development and fulfillment.”

Let me “make room” for your conscience.

“We need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations.”

 “Surely it is legitimate and right to reject older forms of the traditional family marked by authoritarianism and even violence…”

“The law of gradualness” is best in these matters.

Take part in the “life of the community.”

[See Joyful Jorge’s Amoris Laetitia. Nauzene tablets recommended.]

There could be more, but you get the idea.

David would never have gotten the chance to repair the damage. He might not have set right his relationship with God. He might have lived out his remaining days in a state of false joy.

— Comments —

Paul C. writes:

I don’t like it when God forgives murderers and rapists during their lives and lets them carry on normal lives.  David should have been removed from his kingship and made to suffer on earth.  Sure he could then enter Heaven after purgatory.  I suppose the idea is that repentance results in grace, and that is the point.  But I still don’t like it.

I expect I have a hard heart.

Laura writes:

God punished David. His infant son died and his wives betrayed him.

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