You Can Overcome Suffering: Bathsheba


Little is known for certain about Bathsheba (the fourth woman mentioned in Jesus’s genealogy)and her relationship with King David. I highly recommend reading the Jewish Women’s Archive for a Jewish perspective on this complicated woman.

For certain, we know:
  1. She was beautiful (1 Sam. 11:2)
  2. Her father and husband were elite members of David’s vanguard. (2 Sam. 23: 24)
  3. Her grandfather, Ahitophel, father of Eliam, is one of the king’s wisest counselors (who later betrays David in allying with Absalom. (2 Sam. 15–16).
  4. David impregnated her and created a situation guaranteed to kill her husband.
  5. The child of her adultery–a crime she alone would have been killed for–died

How did all of this come about?

Cleansing herself from her monthly period, Bathsheba bathed on her roof. David should’ve been at war, but stayed in Jerusalem on vacation. He saw Bathsheba. He lusted. He slept with her.

In those days, and probably still today, denying a king his desires would result in big problems. For all intents and purposes, David raped Bathsheba. The result–a pregnancy.

Only there was a problem. Her husband was at war, and everyone would know she committed adultery.

David summoned her husband home, but Uriah had integrity. His men fought for their lives. He could not indulge his sexual impulses while they suffered. With no intimate relationship between Uriah and Bathsheba, the adulterous couple had a problem.

David had a solution.

He sent Uriah to the front and told his generals to place him in the heat of the battle. He died for his king never knowing the king had betrayed him with Bathsheba.

Now married to the beautiful Bathsheba, everything would be foolproof. Except one cannot fool God.

The consequences for Bathsheba in this tryst
  1. David raped her.
  2. He killed her husband.
  3. Her baby died.






Can you fathom the grief? Bathsheba had everything–influence, prestige, beauty, marriage.

One man’s lust ruined it all.

How about you?

  1. Have you been abused? Sexually, emotionally, physically.
  2. Have your children died?
  3. Have you been widowed?
  4. Have you born shame inflicted on you by others who remain unscathed?

Think of Bathsheba. She endured all the above, yet she went on to be the queen mother of Solomon. She grew to no longer be the victim, but an influencer as she fought for her son and his right to the throne. She later is listed as the fourth woman in the genealogy of Jesus.

Our pasts hurt us all. What are we going to do about it? We can moan and remain a victim, or we can rise up and conquer our misfortune. It’s your decision. Coupled with the power of God, we are more than conquerors through him who loves us. (Rom. 8:37)

Prodigal Lives

Pearl, too, faces abuse and rape and bears the burden of her sin and the sins of her parents.

Never do I write in hopelessness. You need to read the book and discover how she overcomes.


  1. Carol, I really appreciate the way you correlate biblical women to 21st century Pearl. Because of his treatment of Bathesheba and the aftermath, David isn’t one of my favorite biblical people. I have to remind myself that God called him “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22). Excellent blog!

    • Carol McClain says:

      I understand your feelings about him. My main stumbling block had always been Jacob. It’s amazing how God uses us in our sin and weakness.

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