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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

My review of Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith! Excellent read!

Bathsheba: A Novel (The Wives of King David)

About the book:

Bathsheba is a woman who longs for love. With her devout husband away fighting the king's wars for many months at a time, discontent and loneliness dog her steps--and make it frighteningly easy to succumb to King David's charm and attention. Though she immediately regrets her involvement with the powerful king, the pieces are set in motion that will destroy everything she holds dear. Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God--and David--forever?

With a historian's sharp eye for detail and a novelist's creative spirit, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the passionate and emotional story of David's most famous--and infamous--wife. Smith uses her gentle hand to draw out the humanity in her characters, allowing readers to see themselves in the three-dimensional lives and minds of people who are often viewed in starkly moralistic terms. You will never read the story of David and Bathsheba in the same way again.

My review:

Bathsheba, the third book in the Wives of King David series, is a compelling end to a great trilogy. It's not an easy task to take something that happened in the Bible that is complex but true in all of its shameful detail, like the story of David and Bathsheba, and then make it believable so that the reader can see how it may have happened. 

I have to admire the author for writing this book and making it compelling. I couldn't stop reading and I already knew what happened from reading the Bible. I loved the other two books in the series, but I think this last one was the best. It had to be tough to write. 

I found the way everything was set up very compelling. It makes more sense to me now why there was such a rift in David's life after that event. Yes, Nathan the prophet had said that the sword would never be taken from David's house, which meant there would be strife in the king's home and death. I understood that fairly well, but now it makes more sense to me given the entire story. People lost faith in David because of the adultery he'd committed and as a result his followers and the military were more easily persuaded by Absalom to go against their king. 

The particulars regarding how everything transpired was brought to life for me through Ms. Smith's fictionalized account of this famous couple's story. Sin is never rewarded even if God redeems it and uses it for His glory in the end, like the fact that Jesus descended from David and Bathsheba's second child. 

I could see David was in an emotional place where he was vulnerable to temptation when he saw Bathsheba. He was restless and wanted a wife he could be close to after his favored wife's death. He stayed back to grieve the loss of Abigail when he should have joined his men in battle, and did this several times. There are so many details that contributed his bad decision to commit adultery. Then once he had done it, the ramifications continued to pile up until someone's death was the only way to resolve the situation. He didn't want Bathsheba to be stoned as the law required because of what he'd done. At the same time, even that desperate attempt to cover up his sin hadn't fixed the problem. 

David's sin was always before him and made him sick from the worry and guilt. Fear sapped both of them of strength and robbed any peace they'd had. Anxiety about what could be done if they were found out permeated every thought. The consequences of his sin were far-reaching. Even though Bathsheba had agreed to be with David that night, she had been reluctant to do so, yet she still fell. David was a very handsome and charismatic king and many people were drawn to him. 

When David had Uriah killed I really identified with Bathsheba's conflicted emotions and pain. I understood--wrong as it was-- why he thought Uriah's death in battle was the only solution. I felt for Uriah because he was truly a good man and trusting servant. He was innocent and his only real fault was being a warrior with a beautiful wife. I could see how David's men lost even more respect for him when everything came out. 

The grieving that David did over his sin was well done. I felt his agony. I could almost see him stealing away to write some of the Psalms as a way of dealing with his guilt and sorrow. I loved how he truly recognized the calamity he had brought on his family by following his fleshly desires. 

I also loved the way the author showed Bathsheba's anger and conflicted emotions about the situation she'd found herself in. I could see how she hated what happened and her life at that point, yet at the same time she worked through the pain and loss. She was a strong woman and I could see why she was David's favorite wife. She was also beautiful on the inside. 

The story of David and Bathsheba is a great example of God making beauty come from ashes and joy from mourning. Not because the sin committed was of no consequence, but the Grace of God is powerful enough to cover all sin and restore any life if there is true repentance. There are always consequences, though, and this story shows that while God had forgiven them, there was still a plethora of long-lasting repercussions that existed. The ramifications resulting from their transgression had to be dealt with on a regular basis, but God saw them through it when they called upon His name. 

Bathsheba was published by Revell and released in March 2011.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In reading the review of this book, I think its gonna be one of best reads on Bathsheba. I love Fiction about Bible Characters....Can't wait to read this one.
Thanks for your review....
Blessings....Joy Hannabass

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