A couple weeks ago I posed some questions about David and Bathsheba. The root of both was the same: why? Why did it happen? Why did they both go along with it? Why was she chosen to bear the next king of Israel? Why was that son chosen to be an ancestor of the Messiah? Why, of all the women listed in Matthew’s genealogy of Christ, was this woman listed while other women, more worthy and righteous, were ignored?
Lately the Dennis family has struggled with “why.” Regardless of what I say, how I say it or to whom, Ellie answers, “Why?” This may be a precursor to sassy adolescence or it may be the “terrible twos” coming late. Unfortunately, I think it’s neither. This isn’t a phase; it’s human nature. As intellectuals, we want to know the reasons behind everything. We long to have life explained to us.
Beyond explanations, we seek comprehension. Somehow we think if we understand the purposes, it will be easier to obey. If it makes sense, then we’ll find our responsibilities tolerable. Ellie believes that, if my reasons are good (from her perspective), then it’s okay; she’ll understand and obey. If my reasons are not good (again, from her perspective), then she’ll try to persuade me to change my instructions to align with her superior preschool wisdom.
But that’s the problem right there: perspective and position. Her perspective is not the same as mine because (1) we are not peers in wisdom nor knowledge and (2) I’m her mom. I am the one in authority. In the same way, our perspectives — yours and mine — are not the same as God’s. We are nowhere near as wise as He. And He is our God. He is the one in authority.
Rick used to tease me that the only reason we argued was lack of communication. I would just keep talking. And talking and talking, repeating myself and my arguments incessantly. I believed if he truly understood my position, then he would agree with me. If he didn’t agree, then obviously he didn’t understand what I was saying. So I would keep trying to explain. This practice didn’t garner his support and it won’t garner God’s. God wants obedience. Not explanations or arguments or reiterated demands for sensible reasons.
We’ve made a rule about why in this house. You can ask why only after you obey. Obedience must come first. Even then, no one is obligated to give a reason. Ellie can ask “why” until her face turns blue and my hair falls out, but I never need to give an explanation. That’s my right as her authority. It is also God’s right as our authority.
Now, none of this means we should never question God. Asking questions is the best way to learn! We can ask all we want, but we must remember our position and His perspective. He is not required to answer. His answers need not satisfy us and our thinking of what is a “good” reason. We can ask and we can learn, but in our searching for answers let us be humble and respectful, remembering He whom we serve and the power He holds. Let us remember who we are and how much we need Him, how much He has given us and how little we deserve.
It is with this attitude that I seek to dissect Bathsheba. I want to ask some “why”s and speculate on the answers, always remembering God’s goodness. In the next few days we’ll look at her life: her joys, her sorrows, her legacy and, of course, speculate about some whys. Victim or vixen? Whatever the conclusion we know that there is relevance in her story, otherwise it wouldn’t be included in Scripture. So, the ultimate question is this: what can we take from her life to bring glory to God in ours?