Bathsheba—

When we Fail to Keep our Promises, God does not

Please open with me to Matthew 1.

 

In our study of the lessons God has given us from the life of David His servant, we have come to a woman named Bathsheba. Bathsheba is only mentioned by name in the Old Testament (11 times). But for a very special purpose she is also found in the New Testament.

 

In America we celebrate moms in many different ways; but there is a list of mothers that God has honored in a most unusual way.

 

God has singled out and highlighted five mothers out of all those hundreds described in His Word. And He placed them in a special place—in the pathway through which Christ came. Please open with me to Matthew 1.

 

Have you ever studied the women with whom God chose to surround Christ’s coming to earth? I am talking about the highly unusual presence of five special women included in His genealogy in Matthew 1. It is interesting that no women are listed in any of the genealogical records of the Old and New Testaments except for Matthew’s. Matthew 1:1-16 lists five special mothers in the line awaiting the coming of the Promised One.

 

Women weren’t highly regarded in ancient times; they lived in a man’s world. This fact made life very difficult for them. God profiles these five courageous and gifted women because they were a part of God’s team. Their lives were part of God’s plan to bring a ray of light to herald the sunrise on the night of sin that had come into our world. Through their line, the promised Savior was going to be supernaturally born!

 

Five women in a long list of genealogical records, all of whom have something in common. Each of them, during their lifetime, were the subject of moral scandal. Each of them would be what we may call—stained by sin.

 

Matthew 1:1-6, 16 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. NKJV

 

Read and pray.

 

Bathsheba is a Hebrew name that means ‘daughter of an oath, promise, or covenant’. What is so interesting about that name is, that it belonged to a woman who didn’t keep her oath, promise, and covenant.

 

What comes to your mind when you hear that name Bathsheba? Most often it is the sin of adultery that David and Bathsheba together committed against God and their marriage covenant, oath, and promises.

  • But do you also think of Bathsheba’s loyal and faithful husband Uriah, betrayed by the king he served--as he was left to die under a barrage of arrows? Because Bathsheba failed to keep her promises…
  • Do you think of what it must have been like as Bathsheba watched the army of Israel bringing Uriah’s body into Jerusalem after carrying him back the 44 miles from where he fell in battle? Because Bathsheba failed to keep her promises…
  • Do you think of what it must have been like for her to have stood at the funeral for a fallen war hero and know that deep within her womb was the growing life whose conception prompted the murder of her own husband? Because Bathsheba failed to keep her promises…
  • Do you think of a tiny grave that held the infant son that died by God’s judgment? Because Bathsheba failed to keep her promises…
  • Do you think of how many times in the years that followed, when a place or person reminded Bathsheba of her youthful days of meeting and marrying her husband Uriah--and wouldn’t Bathsheba again remember why he died? Because Bathsheba failed to keep her promises…

 

So when Bathsheba (daughter of a promise) married Uriah (the Lord is my light) they became a wonderful picture of all the best that God offers us in this life. But after one very bad choice Bathsheba made, when ever we think of her we are reminded that when we fail to keep our oaths, promises, and covenants—God does not.

 

Bathsheba will always remind us that there are dire and inescapable consequences for sin.

 

So Bathsheba is forever associated with David and their sin. And that is because she failed to keep her promises. And because of the consequences that come from sin, Bathsheba was stained and her life marred.

 

But is that the end of the story? No, as we open to the New Testament we find one last mention of Bathsheba in a whole new light—the light of grace. Bathsheba’s name in the opening paragraph of the New Testament reminds us of the One who came as Paul says in Romans 5:20:

 

“… But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” NKJV

 

Bathsheba on this side of the cross is a forgiven sinner and a portrait of God’s grace.

 

Matthew 1 is the final mention of Bathsheba, the woman that became the stain on David’s record. Remember last time we saw that incredible postscript to an incredible life? Has God's Word stopped you yet and made you soberly think about where your life, habits, and secret thoughts are headed?

 

Listen as I read and emphasize again that one word God emphasizes for us.

 

1 Kings 15:5 because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. NKJV

 

God forgives the sins, and God forgets the iniquities. But the consequences and loss are recorded in the Bible, God’s forever settled in Heaven Word. Even here in Matthew 1 notice what God says and let it be a warning to flee sin and avoid lust all costs. If you and I don’t—it will cost us dearly.

 

None of the women—of all the women of the Bible—are more special than the five who actually open the pages of the New Testament. Who are they? They are the five precious wives and mothers tucked away in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Why would God place them there in that usually “men only” genealogical section? You will see, as you read this chapter, encouraging applications these women offer as a testimony from their lives:

 

  • Their lives give hope to those who have failed, and feel that it is impossible to ever go on and please God.
  • Their lives give comfort to those who ache with pain from wounds, sorrows, and hurts that God has allowed to invade their lives.
  • Their lives are an incredible source of strength to those who have a long struggle ahead. Knowing that God helped them, sustained them, and kept them going fosters confidence that no struggle will ever exceed His grace and power to uphold.

 

Each of these women we will look at over the next several days was stained either by her own sin, the sins of another, or the scandalous plots of others. Only one word can adequately describe what God did in their cases—grace!

 

First, we will consider the fourth woman in that list who is alluded to in Matthew 1:6. The reason Bathsheba is here in this chapter is to remind us of the doctrine of God’s forgiving grace. That doctrine reminds us all that we are like…

 

See the second part of this sermon tomorrow June 19th.

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.