“One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, ‘Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.” – 2 Samuel 11:2-4
First came the adultery, then the coverup. Involving deceit, lies, and eventually murder, David’s affair with Bathsheba is a familiar story in the life of King David – one, I’m sure he’d rather us forget. While it offers a clear lesson in what not to do, this story also highlights the incredibly high moral standard to which God holds those in authority.
Did you ever notice that despite the horrendous consequences of what appeared to be a consensual act, the Bible’s perspective seems to only condemn David? What about Bathsheba? She too, took part – didn’t she? After all, she was a beautiful woman, and beauty is a great power in a woman. Don’t kid yourself, Bathsheba was aware of that power when she bathed outside by the moonlight, knowing that the King was in town and her husband wasn’t.
Even so, the Bible lays the responsibility of this sin on David, showing that the person in authority is the one held responsible for the deed. David was the man in power. He was the King, and he had the major responsibility for this sin – no matter how cooperative Bathsheba may or may not have been. He used his power and authority over her to bring this sin to fruition and, therefore, he was held fully accountable.
Yes, it takes two to commit the act, but the one in power is always the most responsible.
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