Okay, I really need some feedback today.
Next month I’m teaching an adult Bible study during our VBS program at church. (Let me interrupt myself to say I love the way our church does VBS! It’s a HUGE production, but it’s fantastic. They offer something for everyone and every age. Parents can minister or be ministered to; they can feed young hearts or be spiritually fed themselves. It’s great.) The class I’m teaching is on the five women listed in Matthew’s genealogy of Christ: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. My favorite part of teaching a class is doing the study and prep beforehand. I LOVE it! I’ve especially enjoyed creating this study because each of these women are so interesting, their stories so complex.
But I have some questions. I’d love to get your perspectives on David and Bathsheba.
Question #1: Was “the act” volitional on Bathsheba’s part or not? I’ve read conflicting sources. I’ve always thought it was not, that David’s taking her was a royally-sanctioned rape. Were subjects allowed to reject the king? If so, did that liberty extend to women called into his quarters? But some sources paint Bathsheba as a temptress who intentionally seduced the king. Some even suggest she and David knew each other, that they harbored a blossoming romance thwarted by her arranged marriage and subsequent seclusion as Uriah’s wife.
Question #2: Why did God choose HER to be an ancestress of the Messiah? Bathsheba was David’s eighth wife. He had other sons before and after Solomon. Why did God choose Solomon, and by extension Bathsheba, as the Messianic line? And, of all the women who contributed to Jesus’ family tree, why was she found worthy enough to mention in Matthew? How many women were left unnamed? And yet this woman, accomplice to adultery, murder and deceit, is clearly listed. Why?
I have my theories on the second question, but I’m really torn about the first. What do you think?
** As a clarification, in response to James’s comment below, the first question is just out of curiousity. I would like to know, but the answer won’t affect my study at all. My study focuses on the lives of these women with the main point being God’s grace. The second question — the why question — is the crux of the study. I’ll share more about my thoughts on this in a later post.