Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I'll bet you thought I was going to make some statement about the underdog getting the chance to win every once in a while, didn't you? That the little one who is oppressed can rise up and sink the big tyrant? Nope, not this girl.
I'm reflecting today on the later David. The one who seemed to have forgotten that he was handed that rare (oh, really incredible rare) instance of seeing victory over a large terror, a force that dominated with sheer power and threat. The David who, somehow, became his own version of Goliath. The David that grew out of jealously and selfishness. The David who stole Bathsheba.
She was a military wife, Bathsheba. From time eternal, the military wife has been just as much a warrior as her husband; but without the benefit of packing heat. In this particular case, B was in substandard housing (shocker, right military folks?) It was really stinking hot and she needed a bath. At that time, and in that location, the only place she could take a bath was on her roof. It was probably the most secluded spot she could find; out of view of everyone. Well, everyone except the palace but come on who up there would be looking down here at the little people? Please.
Well, David was looking. And didn't stop looking, apparently. You would think that his other wives (6? 8? hard for me to count. And the 'concubines' didn't even get a name mention in the bible...ah, slave owners...) would have a problem with his little peep show. HA! Just kidding. Like their opinion would have counted for anything.
So there is David. Up there on his thone, with every.single.thing any other man could possibly want. And then some. But he sees something else that someone has, and decides he needs to take it for his own. I'm not referring to B - she is a person, not a thing. By this I mean Uriah's joy. He didn't have much, Uriah. He was a hard working soldier, faithful and loyal to his king and country. His belief that he was fighting for the side of good kept him going through it all. I imagine him saying to himself 'its for the greater good. what I am doing really matters - the work is really really hard but doggone it, I have so much respect for the king and his leadership, then I will keep working and not complain.' He could have never imagined that the king on his throne would ever covet what he had.
But David sure did. And he tricked Uriah into believing that he mattered a great deal, that he was doing something worthwhile and gosh, could he do it even more? Of course Uriah did, and that was the end of him. He had so little, but even that was seen as better than what David had, and so David won. The little underdog had become the Goliath, stomping around and taking whatever he wanted. How does it get to that point? How do people fail to see the damage they are causing by just using terrorism to get what they want? The wreckage, of course, continues.
Bathsheba mourned the loss of her husband, we are told, then moved her pregnant self to the palace. (YES! I KNOW! PREGNANT!) As is fairly common in the bible, we don't get the B backstory. But as a woman, I put in my own thoughts. This guy was in charge of her entire world, right? He comes to 'visit' and what are you going to say? You know he could kill your husband and family (we dont know if she had other little ones. I'm just guessing.) so you go along with his ridiculous request. Again, 'go along with' is not accurate. No means no, if we are BC or AD. Then he offs the husband anyway, so he can own you forever and outright. Yes, I also get to say 'own'. You have more than one wife, you go from 'husband' to 'slaveowner'. Anyhoo, Bathsheba gets the raw deal on this at every angle.
B has to live the rest of her life with her attacker. Her baby from the David assault died after 7 days. So on top of it all, she had to grieve for her husband and her new baby. She gave him another son named Solomon, of whom you may have heard . The original wise guy. Is often known as the smartest man who ever lived. And yet, 700 hundred wives and a few hundred concubines of his own. It boggles the mind.
Bathsheba is known throughout recorded time, inexplicably, as a harlot. A loose woman with no morals, bashed by everyone. Somehow, she has become the one who takes the fall in the history books, the punchline to jokes. And David goes on throughout history known as a) the poor little shepherd who whacked the big mean bully and b) the insanely hot guy as intrepreted by Michelangelo.