David and Bathsheba ~ Bible Study Questions

David and Bathsheba – Study One

Read 2 Samuel 11

1. What impression do we get of David in the first five verses?

2. What do we learn about Bathsheba?

3. How was Uriah’s attitude a contrast to David’s? (verses 6-13)

4. What was David’s first sin in this chapter? How did he compound sin upon sin? What could he have done differently at each step?

5. How did David seek to deceive others?

6. Who else was harmed by David’s sin?

7. What does this chapter teach about temptation, power, sin and deceit?


David and Bathsheba – Study Two

Read 2 Samuel 12:1-25

1. Why did Nathan begin with a story?

2. How did David’s reaction condemn him?

3. What were the consequences of his sin? Why?

4. How did David respond to the prophesy?

5. How did God show His mercy in the midst of His judgement?

6. Read Psalm 51, written by David in response to the revealing of his sin. What can it teach us about repentance and mercy?

7. How were David and Bathsheba remembered?

8. What can we learn from David and Bathsheba?

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Book Recommendation: Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith

Back cover blurb:

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.

Narelle: I really enjoyed Jill Eileen Smith’s fictionalised account of Bathsheba’s story. The story opens with Bathsheba’s struggle to overcome loneliness and disappointment over not providing an heir for her husband, Uriah. Uriah was one of King David’s mighty men who was often away at war, and Bathsheba didn’t have children to distract her from missing her absent warrior husband. We journey with Bathsheba as she makes choices that will ultimately have devastating and deadly consequences.

We also gain an insight into both King David and Bathsheba’s faith and relationship with God. We meet two people who, despite loving the Lord, are human and flawed like the rest of us. I recommend this book to those looking for a fascinating and insightful Biblical fiction story.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Hannah, David and Bathsheba Bible Study eBook giveaway

Narelle here. Today we are giving away free eBook copies of the leaders guide for our August Featured Studies of the Month.

All you need to do is visit our Smashwords page and use the coupon code GA39M at the checkout. The coupon code is valid today. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/210081

Smashwords may ask you to sign in or set up an account to enable the eBook to be stored in your Smashwords account. You can download the eBook in multiple formats including PDF, Epub and .mobi for Kindle.

If you’re wondering how to transfer a Smashwords eBook to your Kindle, please refer to my blog post How to read eBooks from Smashwords on Kindle Enjoy!

Book Recommendation: A Lineage of Grace (Bathsheba) by Francine Rivers

Back cover blurb:

2009 Retailer’s Choice Award winner! In this compilation of the five books in the best-selling Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers, we meet the five women whom God chose – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary – even scandalous – challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.

Narelle:  Francine Rivers creates a fictionalised back story for David and  Bathsheba, starting during David’s years in the wilderness before he became king, that sets off a chain of events leading to their infamous encounter at the palace. We know how the story will end and the intriguing fictional set up brings the characters alive on the page.

I loved the emotional intensity in the story as we journey with Bathsheba and gain an understanding of the decisions she made and the consequences that followed. I recommend this novella to those looking for a story about real people who make mistakes and struggle with their faith in the face of temptation.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read first chapter for FREE at Amazon.com

Solomon: A wise king who broke the covenant

by Narelle Atkins

King David appointed his son, Solomon, to rule as the king of Israel after his death. God blessed Solomon and answered his request in 1 Kings 3 by giving Solomon great wisdom and a discerning heart. Solomon became famous for his wisdom and people from faraway lands travelled to see him, including the Queen of Sheba.

King Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem and the royal palace. Israel prospered under his leadership. In 1 Kings 9 the Lord appeared to Solomon and reminded him of the importance of obeying the Lord and keeping the covenant. God said that if Solomon or his sons turned away from the Lord or worshiped other Gods, they would lose the covenant blessings including the land given to them by the Lord.

Solomon’s downfall was his love for foreign women. “He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew older, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. ” 1 Kings 11:3-4.

Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord and his idolatrous worship angered the Lord. He built shrines for the Moab god, Chemosh, the Ammonite god, Molech, and the other gods who his wives worshiped and offered sacrifices on their altars. Although his father David was far from perfect and committed many sins, David was also repentant and didn’t worship idols.

“So the Lord said to Solomon, ‘Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.’” 1 Kings 11:11-13.

After Solomon’s death in 930BC, the kingdom of Israel was split into the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah). The Southern Kingdom kept the line of David intact and included the holy city of Jerusalem. The Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom in 722BC. The Southern Kingdom was conquered in 586BC and the people were taken into exile by the Babylonians.

God’s Heart is Love

by Eleanor Gustafson

We talked on Monday about fearing God and that it’s not just an Old Testament thing. The New Testament gives us the classic example of Ananias and Sapphira and their little white lie. Believers were selling property and giving the proceeds to the Apostles to distribute as needed. Ananias and Sapphira sold some property but fudged on how much they had received. They wanted to look good. Had they said they were keeping part for themselves, who would have objected? Just don’t lie. Peter asked, “Did you sell you land for x number of dollars?” “Oh, yes!” Dead.

Fear indeed, but we need to see God in his full dimensions, not just the parts that make us feel good. However, the essence of God is love. The doctrine of the Trinity makes sense only in this understanding of love. One person cannot love in a vacuum; love requires at least two persons. Long before the universe and all its inhabitants existed, the triune God was giving and receiving love. God IS love, and that’s our bottom line.

But the other important God dimension is his holiness. Less comfortable but necessary for us to be able to understand who he is. A holy God cannot tolerate sin—BAM! You’re dead. A loving God provided atonement for our sin and receives us back to his loving home. Jesus—God himself—made the way. He IS the way.

Even in the context of sin, God shows his love. We see this in Psalm 51, David’s confession of his affair with Bathsheba:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love… Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight… You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it… My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Keep in mind that even though David was guilty of both of adultery and murder, God called him a man after his own heart.

As we learned from Narnia, God is not a tame lion. He’s not safe, but he’s good.

The novel I’m currently writing lines out the concept of a spiritual True North, versus Magnetic North. Without going into the science of those terms, we can say that Magnetic North can lead us astray spiritually, whereas True North keeps our heart compass tight to God, no matter the circumstances. We are a grand mix of sin and devotion, but moment by moment, we look to the love of God to pull us out of the mire and into his presence.

One of my favorite quotes is by Mike Yaconelli in The Wittenburg Door, issue #131:

I would like to suggest that the Church become a place of terror again; a place where God continually has to tell us, ‘Fear not’; a place where our relationship with God is not a simple belief or a doctrine or theology, it is God’s burning presence in our lives. I am suggesting that the tame God of relevance be replaced by the God whose very presence shatters our egos into dust, burns our sin into ashes, and strips us naked to reveal the real person within. The Church needs to become a gloriously dangerous place where nothing is safe in God’s presence except us. Nothing—including our plans, our agendas, our priorities, our politics, our money, our security, our comfort, our possessions, our needs.

Fear God, yes, but know that you are much loved by this holy God.


Eleanor K. Gustafson (aka Ellie) began thinking up stories when she was five or six years old. When she started to read, God grabbed her with—yes—a story that had an invitation at the end, and she was hooked for life. But after reading her early attempts at writing, friends and even her mother told her straight out to stick to music as a career. She pushed manfully along, however, and began publishing both fiction and nonfiction in 1978.

The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David is her fourth novel and builds off the biblical account of David, bringing the characters and dramatic elements to life and full color. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences—riding horses, gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—help bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story.

Website – http://www.eleanorgustafson.com

Amazon reviews – http://www.amazon.com/The-Stones-Eleanor-Gustafson/dp/1603740791/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342304125&sr=8-1&keywords=gustafson+stones

Our Holy, Fearsome God

by Eleanor Gustafson

King David is one of the most fascinating characters in the Bible. A man of multiple personnas—shepherd, musician, warrior, lover of God, king, ladies’ man—he gallops through the entire Bible with startling relevance for us today.

David was a mighty warrior who fought only in the name of and for the honor of God. He freed the nation from its enemies, completing the task begun by Moses and Joshua, and also drew tribal factions together—an even more daunting task. In my book (The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David), I tried to portray David as the first national leader who truly understood Israel’s holy destiny. The nation of Israel, her land flowing with milk and honey, finally began to look and act like the treasured possession God had promised through Abraham and redeemed from Egypt. And, of course, David was the shepherd/king archetype of Jesus, the true Son of David.

Any discussion of the David story must include a number of sticky issues—David the sinner, David the man of blood—in some cases obeying God’s command to wipe out entire populations, including infants and livestock.

And both of those point up yet another issue—the fear of God that put David flat on his face on a number of occasions. We generally don’t like the concept of fearing God. Too Old Testament, we say, so we “translate” fear into reverence or awe, more in keeping with the New Testament’s God of love, grace and mercy. David, though, knew raw fear—when Uzzah touched the ark and was struck dead, when Nathan nailed David over his sin with Bathsheba, and when he saw the angel of death after numbering the fighting men.

Let’s look more closely at Uzzah. Years earlier, the Philistines had captured the ark but found it too hot to handle and sent it back to the Israelites. For 70 years it remained in the care of a Levite family until David decided to give it a permanent home in Jerusalem. An excerpt from my book shows the deadly implications of having that holy Presence in their midst.

…………

David circulated among the musicians, leading the singing and shouting. Then, at the height of land . . . an ox stumbled. No obstacle, no unevenness. A misstep, perhaps. The hand of God, perhaps. Whatever, the cart lurched, and without thinking, Uzzah put out his hand to steady the ark.

From all reports, he seemed to swell and then deflate as though he had popped, as though his body tried but could not contain such a strong infusion of life.

David’s face went deathly white. Then dragging a wheezing, constricted breath from deep within, he howled against this outbreak against Uzzah.

It seemed clear in retrospect what went wrong. Uzzah obviously did not think carefully about what he was doing. He had grown up around this object. When the ox stumbled, he reached out to steady it. A reflexive act. His last act.

The ark of God, the holy God; the ark called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty; the ark of the Presence that can kill… (2 Samuel 6:2, not verbatim)

…………

Striking people dead puts God in a bad light that we on this side of the cross find uncomfortable, if not dismaying. But even in the New Testament, we find a clear example of fear in the story of Ananias and Sapphira. Stay tuned for our continued discussion (on Wednesday), along with the other side of the coin.

Eleanor K. Gustafson (aka Ellie) began thinking up stories when she was five or six years old. When she started to read, God grabbed her with—yes—a story that had an invitation at the end, and she was hooked for life. But after reading her early attempts at writing, friends and even her mother told her straight out to stick to music as a career. She pushed manfully along, however, and began publishing both fiction and nonfiction in 1978.

The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David is her fourth novel and builds off the biblical account of David, bringing the characters and dramatic elements to life and full color. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences—riding horses, gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—help bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story.

Website – http://www.eleanorgustafson.com

Amazon reviews – http://www.amazon.com/The-Stones-Eleanor-Gustafson/dp/1603740791/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342304125&sr=8-1&keywords=gustafson+stones