While God freely pardons a sinner, often the effects of committed sin remain. The tragic lapse in the life of the man after God’s own heart is built up with consummate art, from David’s first sight of Bathsheba to the climax of his unutterable remorse when realizing the enormity of his most grievous sin, he flung himself upon the mercy of God.
Further, when sent for by David, had she been a true wife and a woman of principle she should have refused to obey the king’s summons. As she saw David feasting his eyes upon her, did she have a presentiment of what would happen? If not, then, when before the king, she should have bravely refused to yield to adultery. Later on in the sacred record, a heathen woman — a queen — brave Vashti, stoutly refused to expose herself before wine-inflamed men, and was expelled from court. Had Bathsheba shown the same determination to preserve her dignity, David, the anointed of Israel, would never have sinned as he did. After the adulterous act in the king’s bedchamber, Bathsheba manifested no sense of guilt, but after her husband’s murder almost immediately went to the palace to supplement David’s many wives.
A lesson we can learn from Bathsheba is that being assured of God’s forgiveness she did not let her one sin ruin her entire life. Repentant, she used her mistake as a guide to future, better conduct. When we brood over sins God has said He will remember no more against us, we actually doubt His mercy, and rob ourselves of spiritual power and progress. Read again Psalm 51 and then Psalm 32.
Herbert Lockyer, All the Women of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2016).