In the story of David and Bathsheba, we have a very interesting person who seems to get the short end of the situation. But I often wonder if this is the only way to look at this portion of text. I say that because Uriah the Hittite represents one of my greatest fears.
Before I explain my views on this portion of text, let me give just a bit of background information about myself. My father had 5 brothers. I lived in the house with my dad and my oldest male cousin who was 12 years older than myself. So you can say almost all of my childhood was one of feeling very protected, affirmed, and loved. I was my dad's only child so I was destined to be treated a certain way, better known as spoiled. With this many men in my childhood I was destined to not only get most anything that I wanted, because if one uncle said no, another uncle would either say yes, or find some way to compensate by offering something else that I might want. For example, if one uncle would not give me ice cream from the gas station up the street, all I had to do was to come back and make an announcement that I didnt get any ice cream. This would be followed by the men having conversation about why I was denied ice cream or what ever it was that I wanted. And not much time would pass before another uncle would invite me to go for a ride with him, only to end up at Kay's Ice Cream shop which had a whole bunch of flavors on display for me to choose from. This understanding of how men treat those they care for and love has framed my understanding of relationships in general. It has also set the bar for how I measure the behavior of men as an adult.
Growing up in a small town, during a time when people actually sat around and communicated with each other gave me a lot of insight from the perspectives of my aunts while they were stringing and breaking green beans or something. And many times, I got to hear the conversations (while I was supposed to be playing in the yard and not listening) of my dad and his brothers talking about community issues, political events, but also to hear a lot of conversation about women and relationships. By the time I got to be a teenager, my dad started to really talk to me about relationships directly. And those conversations helped me to understand how and why he treated some of the women that he dated differently from others.
Now back to Uriah, in 2 Samuel 11, we are told the events that lead to his death in the hottest battle. But before he died, he was given a chance to go home to his wife. Now upon reading the story, this was not as any favor to Uriah, but it was truly a set up to cover up what was going on with David and Bathsheba. So this is where I am going to talk briefly about Bathsheba's perspective, and how it reflects one of my greatest fears.
We really dont know anything about Bathsheba and Uriah's relationship. We have no idea what Bathsheba shared with King David about her relationship or home situation. We are not given any insight into the pillow talk that Bathsheba had with Uriah or with King David. So what we have to go on are just the facts that are presented in the text. I have heard it preached from a lot of different angles, and most of the time those angles portray Bathsheba as having negative behavior and motives, which I am not completely sure are presented in the wording or the tone of the text. But I am not going to debate that at this time. I want to really get to a woman's perspective of Uriah's decision not to go home to his wife.
Human behavior is very telling. Regardless of what a person says, their behavior tells the much larger portion of the truth. This frame of logic is how we are going to view Uriah's decision to sleep outside and not go home to his wife. I am going to simply say that he didnt want her, he didnt want to go home to her. He was a soldier who knew that he could die in battle any day, and he is given a chance to go home for a few nights to his wife and he would rather not, and says that it is his loyalty to the other soldiers who are not able to have this same opportunity to visit home.
A man in love, doesnt usually, really doesnt operate like that because love makes a man want to take every opportunity to spend time with the woman that he loves, even if it means returning to battle and his death the next day..... That is even more justification for him to take the opportunity to spend the night with the woman he loves. A man in love is caring and attentive, and willing to do his best to make sure the woman that he loves is happy. It was not as if Uriah was sneaking away to visit home, but he told to go home. Now we dont know if he suspected something, or even if he had heard gossip, because that is not given to us in the text, all we have is the excuse that he uses to not go into his home to his wife.
So can you imagine what that must have felt like for Bathsheba? Her husband is in town, but is sleeping outside with servants and refusing to come home to her. This is rejection, neglect, and disregard. Those are the things that a woman will get from a man who does not love her. So imagine Bathsheba being married to a man who has so little affinity or interest in being a husband to her. You might ask, so does this validate the theories that she was intentionally trying to be seen bathing? I dont know. But what we do see is a married man who declares more loyalty to the army and to the king, than to his wife, or even a desire for her.
To be in a relationship marriage with someone who does not love you and who does not want you is a miserable way to live out your days. Having to pretend to family and friends that everything is ok when there is no real love or passion is hurtful and draining. God's plan for marriage is for it to be the most loving and nourishing experience that affirms both the man and woman, in such a way that their bond is both spiritually and naturally strong. So when we see Bathsheba move on with her life after Uriah's death, I cant help but to think that she must have mourned his death, but that she must have also been relieved to not have to any longer pretend that she was loved and cared for my a man who really didnt want to come home to her. With Uriah out of the way, Bathsheba was free to be loved and cherished.