Bathsheba 2

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The sex was sublime. Extraordinary. Words could not qualify the sex. It was just pure magic. Keturah’s description had not prepared her for the reality. She had lost count of the number of times she had climaxed and she didn’t feel a pinch of guilt. No ma’am! It was totally worth it.

She spent the entire evening and the next day with him. King David was not only an amazing lover, he was also affectionate and for those few hours, he had made her feel like his queen. Even hours after she had returned to her aunt Miriam’s house, she could still feel some post-orgasmic thrills run through her body.

The Igbo’s say ‘nwata rie ihe o ji muru anya, o wee hie ura’ translated into ‘When a child eats that which kept it awake, it falls asleep’, with Bathsheba, the reverse was the case. She wanted more of him. She spent hours imagining the King sending someone to fetch her, painting pictures of hours spent indulging in the most intense of all pleasures.

That month, her period was late and this time she knew…she was certain she was pregnant. Using the guard who was Edna’s friend, she sent word of her condition to the king.

At first, the king was thrown into mild panic. The woman was beautiful and the sex had been mind blowing but she was another man’s wife. Their affair had been a momentary weakness on his part. He had allowed his member over-rule his thinking. She was another man’s wife and did not the God of Israel forbid covetousness?

The more he pondered on the matter, the more befuddled he was, till a thought occurred to him. The next day, he sent messengers to Joab, his commander in chief who was leading the soldiers to war, asking him to send him Uriah.

The man had plain features and was almost simple minded, the King thought, struggling to keep up his poker face as he conversed with Uriah, at the same time wondering what had made Bathsheba, a woman of almost insatiable sexual appetite marry such an insipid looking fellow. He asked him questions about the war and how Joab and the others were coping, effectively delaying him till it was dark outside.

“Are you married?” the King asked, tilting the conversation away from the war.

Uriah looked surprised and pleased that the King was picking such interest in him. “Yes Sir.”

“You should spend the night with your wife,” he suggested amiably. “I’m sure she misses you.”

But Uriah didn’t go back to his house. Instead he slept at the servant’s quarters. When the news got to the King, he summoned him.

“Why didn’t you go home?”

“Ah my King,” he began, his face flushing with embarrassment. “I couldn’t bring myself to go home. I felt so guilty.” His lisp seemed more pronounced as he plodded on, “My commander and the other soldiers are camped out in the open, the ark of the Lord is out in the open fields, who am I then to return home to a warm bed and my wife’s embrace.” He shook his head. “Sorry my King, I couldn’t bring myself to go home.”

The King nodded, pulling his beards thoughtfully. He was almost impressed, the man might be a dolt but his heart was in the right place. What to do…what to do…what to do… he thought. He cleared his throat, “I am your King and I permit you to go home to your wife.”

Uriah bowed his head. “Thank you my King.”

But that night, he stayed back at the servant’s quarters and even the next day after the king had plied him with wine, he refused to go home, instead staying back at the servant’s quarters.

The next day, while he got set to return to the war camp, the king asked him to deliver a letter to Joab.

‘My commander,’ he wrote, ‘I trust you are in sound health. I have a task for you and I hope you carry it out with the utmost subtlety. I need you to set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle and abandon him to his fate. I need him dead.’

Joab and David had come a long way and he wasn’t just a faithful commander, he was also the king’s very dear friend and he carried out his instructions totally.

Bathsheba mourned her husband. Of course, she couldn’t help but feel relieved that she was finally free but then she had to keep up appearances. And when her mourning period ended, the king made her his wife. By then, her baby bump was no longer a mere speculation. It was real and in everyone’s face. She was a Queen and nobody dared voice their suspicions out loud.

Six months after her husband’s demise, she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. The King was ecstatic but God, the big man on top was displeased so much so that he sent Nathan the prophet to talk to David.

After the usual exchange of greetings, Nathan the prophet who always seemed to be in a hurry went straight to the point. “This is what God says,” he declared, “Because of this evil you have done, killing Uriah and taking his wife, I will bring evil against you. I know you have done it in secret but I will punish you before the entire Israel. I will take your wives and give them to your neighbor and he will lie with them before the entire Israel.”

As he spoke, the King fell on his knees, his head bowed as tears streamed down his face. “I have sinned against you oh God. Forgive me.” He wouldn’t get up, instead he knelt, weeping and begging for forgiveness. He wept so much that God felt pity for him.

“Nathan,” God called.”Tell him I have forgiven him.”
Nathan drew in a deep breath of relief. He was glad to get this whole mess over with. He liked and admired the King and had felt sad that he was the one God had sent to give him such a horrible news.

“You will not die.” He drew the king up from the ground and helped dust his body. “God has forgiven you but that child will die.”

After Nathan left, the child, that beautiful innocent child took ill and for days, David fasted and prayed. He was optimistic that God would have mercy on the child and spare him. For days, he lay on the floor, his only food was the never ending tears. On the seventh day, the child died. None of the servants could bring themselves to give him the news, if the child’s sickness could break him thus, how then would he react to news of the child’s death.

As he lay there, he noticed a lull in the fury of activities, there were no longer the pitter patter of hurried feet as the different physicians attended to the child nor the cloying scent of incense and different herbs being prepared.

The realization hit him with a jolt. The child was dead. He rose, washed and ate.

The story does not end here. Not really.

I’m not telling the story of Bathsheba, the slut or cheat. I am telling the story of Bathsheba, an ancestress of Jesus Christ.

After her first child died, she was devastated. People grieve in different ways and she grieved in the way she knew best. Now, I’m going to say it exactly the way the Bible says it, ‘David comforted Bathsheba and went in unto her and lay with her. She bore a son; Solomon.’

I bet you now understand what I meant when I said she grieved the way she knew best. Now, King David had other sons older than Solomon, sons who should have probably inherited the throne, but his love for Bathsheba was so strong that he promised her that Solomon would rule after him.

In my mind, Bathsheba is a strong black woman, a go-getter and she made sure the king kept his promise. It wasn’t easy because by then, the king was old and his older sons were ready to enthrone themselves in his place, but like they always say, behind every strong and successful man is an even stronger woman. Bathsheba made it happen so as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this period, let’s all raise a glass to Bathsheba, an ancestress of Jesus Christ.

Please, do drop your comments. Thanks a lot and Cheers to the holidays and to the reason for the season; Jesus Christ.

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