Bathsheba, Wives of King David Series #3
Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, are followers of Adonai. Though Uriah is a Hittite, he not only follows the law to the letter, he believes that the God of King David is the only One that deserves man's praise. Uriah is a member of the Mighty Thirty that protect the king and are part of David's inner circle. It is a life that takes him to the battlefield often, and leaves Bathsheba alone. She misses him when he is away, and resents that even when he is home, his mind is often on military matters.
Lonely, missing Uriah, and no children to occupy her time, Bathsheba fills her life with the keeping of the feast and the purification rituals that Uriah insists she keep even in his absence. One such night, she is taking a bath, alone, and King David spots her from his fortress. With all the men gone to war except for him, the king is restless and bored. But when he spots Bathsheba bathing from his rooftop, he seeks to find who she is. Will the resulting events cause God to turn His face away from David and Bathsheba forever? Will David ever be able to atone for his sin and be restored in the faith to the Lord who gave him everything he has?
This is the final novel in the saga that is the Wives of King David series. I was anticipating Bathsheba'a story, and I was not disappointed. While Smith had to "imagine" a lot of emotions and actions on Bathsheba's part, I did enjoy getting a different perspective than the wide range of possibilities out there. We don't know a lot about Bathsheba's spiritual beliefs from the Biblical perspective, nor do we know how things really happened between her and David. But Smith gives us a glimpse of what could had been, and I have no complaints about the slightly romantic portrayal between David and Bathsheba. It could have finished sooner with the event of Solomon's birth, but it was nice to walk with David to the end of his life. A satisfying conclusion to the series.
February 27, 2013
Always enjoy Jill Eileen Smith's books. This book told about the possible feelings of David and Bathsheba that I had not considered. Good read and thought provoking book.
January 22, 2013
Open your eyes anew to an inspiring Biblical story
One would not necessarily think that the story of David and Bathsheba would be an inspiring one, filled as it is with temptation and sin and murder. However, Jill Eileen Smith has breathed new life into a story recounted through the ages.
Bathsheba is a story rich in contrasts, from loneliness to love, from passion to grief, from the depths of despair to the healing hand of God. Smith has opened my eyes to a deeper understanding of David and Bathsheba's story. These Bible characters have been cloaked in all-too-human frailty, and it was difficult indeed to watch their downfall as displayed through the power of the author's pen. Yet what I truly admire about this book is that it is not one that wallows in the depths of our human condition, but instead rises through the power of God's grace as He forgives sin that should have been punishable by death. Adultery is a sin that, at the time, was to be punished by stoning. Yet although God does punish them through the loss of their son, he also restores what was lost and offers his tender mercy. In the past when contemplataing this Bible story, I had only ever considered how the loss of their first son was such a horrible punishment for their sin; however, I'd never considered that on the other hand there was an element of mercy, for a King's son born out of adultery would have been subject to the vilest of bullying and torment and would have never had a chance to fulfill God's purpose for his life. This book doesn't provide easy answers, but instead allows you to wrestle with the issues of their sin and the consequences. Although the story may be familiar to you, the book is entirely engaging and will keep you turning the pages.
Prepare to be entertained, moved, and inspired by a fabulous story that will stay with you long after the last page. I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
February 2, 2012
A Beautiful End to a Great Series
David's love (and sin) with Bathsheba has long been one of the most intriguing relationships in Scripture. In one night of senseless passion, God's golden-boy--the chosen shepherd/king--makes a decision that leads him to commit the two most despicable sins of any culture: adultery and murder. How could our hero, David, do such a thing? And how could a righteous God forgive him...let alone allow David to continue as Israel's king? Jill Eileen Smith takes us beyond these questions to struggle with the object of David's sin, Bathsheba. Did she enter the king's bed willingly, or was she simply acting in obedience?
Jill Smith has been one of my favorite writers because of her careful attention to historic accuracy and detail. She remains meticulously true to the biblical account, and because of her cautious respect for Scripture, I trust her interpretation of the characters she portrays. When one reads biblical fiction, it's always important to remember that the story is indeed FICTION. However, because of Jill's intense study, I believe she embraces the fullness of the biblical characters' strengths and weaknesses.
For these reasons, David's torturous mourning over the loss of his wife Abigail makes his longing for love believable. We see a powerful, yet lonely man, surrounded by people. Bathsheba, too, is a believable young wife, yearning for her warrior husband, who has been called away to war more than he's been home. The adulterous encounter is not sensationalized or unnecessarily dramatized. Jill masterfully draws the reader into these main characters' emotions, then allows them to become deeply flawed, broken and then forgiven.
Though this book is the last in the series of three, it can stand alone. But true biblical fiction readers will definitely want to read all three books describing The Wives of King David as seen through the heart and mind of Jill Eileen Smith.
May 10, 2011