So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah. The king stood up to greet her, bowed to her, sat down on his throne, and had a throne placed for the king’s mother. So she sat down at his right hand. – 1 Kings 2:19
The story of Bathsheeba is a story of God’s redemption in the midst of great sorrow. A story of a woman who is the underdog- who is undervalued and unseen and yet- becomes an integral character and is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:6). Her mothering becomes a place of honor in the New Testament.
The story of Bathsheeba is complex. It begins when David sees her on her rooftop and schemes to have her. She becomes pregnant from this encounter and David’s ultimate solution to this problem of impregnating another man’s wife is to have her husband killed. She then marries David and gives birth to their firstborn child who dies days after giving birth. (2 Samuel 11). Grief upon grief.
In a matter of moments she went from being a married woman to a widow to a remarried woman to a grieving mother.
After the loss of her firstborn, she gives birth to a son named Solomon (2 Samuel 12:24-25) and “the Lord loved him”. This is the beginning of the Lord’s redemptive work through her life.
When David is old and near death, another of David’s son vies for the throne. The story of 1 Kings 1-2 is the story of Bathsheeba contending for the rights of her child. Her and Nathan work together to remind David of his promise for Solomon to become king. David listens to their appeal and in 1 Kings 1:30, David makes an oath to her that “her son” Solomon will become king. Bathsheeba goes before the king and advocates for her son.
Adonijah recognizes Bathsheeba’s influence over Solomon and tries to deceive her into making a request before Solomon that will secure his place as King and usurp Solomon’s throne. Bathsheeba doesn’t fall for this scheme, but there is a significant verse in 1 Kings 2:19
“The king stood up to greet her, bowed to her, sat down on his throne, and had a throne placed for the king’s mother. So she sat down at his right hand.”
Bathsheeba was honored by her son, the king. A woman whose own desires and rights were continually disregarded throughout her life becomes a woman of strength- a mother who advocates for her son and is honored by him.
Solomon goes on to write Proverbs and gives multiple exhortations to honor your mother (Prov 23:22), to not neglect her teaching (Prov 6:20), to care for her (Prov 19:26), and to obey her (Prov 30:17).
Not only does Solomon honor Bathsheeba as his mother, but she is mentioned as a mother in the genealogy of Jesus. She is one of 5 mothers listed in this place of honor.
A few takeaways from the story of Bathsheba:
- Continue to invest in your children. The work of mothering is tiring and can feel like there is little fruit in the midst of hard toils. But do not despise the work of investing wisdom, love, and care in your children.
- God sees you when you feel invisible. Bathsheba being listed in the genealogy of Jesus is extremely unlikely- but it is a reminder that God remembers. He sees. He knows the efforts and difficulties of mothering and He sees you in your working and He remembers.
- God values your work in mothering even if others don’t. We live in a culture that grows more subversive to children and to the work in the home. However, the work of discipling your children is good work. Work is not valued because of the income it produces but because of the fruits of righteousness it bears in our world. Do not grow discouraged if others do not see the value in what you are doing. You are sowing seeds of righteousness that God can reap a harvest of fruit from.
Your mothering matters in the Kingdom of God. The work of mothering will bear fruit you may not be privy to see, but it is valuable and priceless in God’s redemptive story.