Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“The Lord says, ‘If someone loves Me, I will save (them). I will protect those who know Me. They will call to Me, and I will answer them. I will be with them and honor them. I will give them a long, full life. They will see how I can save.’”
Psalm 91: 14-16
The Everyday Bible
Today’s Text for Study:
“David sent and inquired about the woman. One said, ‘Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam.’”
II Samuel 11: 3
“Bathsheba: Daughter of Eliam”
“A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life.”
What does it mean to me to be called, “daughter?”
What do I believe the role of a daughter is?
“A daughter is one of the most beautiful gifts this world has to give.”
“Our daughters are the most precious of our treasures, the dearest possessions of our homes and the objects of our most watchful love.”
Margaret E. Sangster
Long before a bathing beauty was gazed upon by the admiring King of Israel, David, a couple had a baby girl they named Bathsheba – which in the Hebrew means, “daughter of an oath.” What type of oath this precious girl represented, the Bible does not tell us.
There are, however, several things the Scripture does convey about Bathsheba’s family. Her father was considered to be a “mighty man of David.” He was an admired warrior. Her grandfather, Ahithophel, was named a counselor of David. In other words, Bathsheba’s family tree boasted warriors and wise men who had a direct connection to the royal throne. This was the world a beautiful child named Bathsheba grew up in.
We might wonder what goals and plans Bathsheba’s mother and father had for their precious child -- for like most parents, there are always hopes that our children will grow up right and that their future will be joyous!
At the time Bathsheba was born, a woman’s life and future primarily lay in the hands of her father – especially as it related to marriage and financial security. The author Joseph Addison tried to put into words a description of the unique bond that can be formed between fathers and daughters when he noted, “Certain it is that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter…this is something which there are no words to express.”
I know I was very blessed with a father whose loving and protective nature longed to keep every harm the world could dish out away from my doorstep. During my dating years, I must confess, my dad’s behavior reminded me of the words of Jim Bishop who candidly remarked, “Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.” I can tell you my dad would have said, “Amen,” to this statement. My father’s protective care though, was aimed totally at giving me the best – and I’m certain Bathsheba’s father felt the same way about her, too!
And don’t forget Bathsheba’s mother. Although we don’t know her name, mothers in Bible times had a tremendous effect on the lives of their daughters as well as the younger generation of women whose lives they touched. As we saw in the life of Isaac, when he brought his future bride, Rebekah, into his family encampment, he took his beloved to his mother’s tent, a place that held significant meaning in his heart.
For many women in ancient times, it was the “mentoring” by the wise and experienced women which was critical in setting the course of the younger women’s lives. As one author so correctly observed, “A daughter is a mother’s gender partner, her closest ally in the family…an extension of herself.” The author Ambrose Philips even took this thought a step further when she predicted that mothers, “Shalt in thy daughter see, this picture, once, resembled thee.” Or as the famed Jewish Proverb states: “What the daughter does, the mother did.”
The familial linkages of daughter and father or of daughter and mother are varied, and can be extremely complicated. But one thing is certain in my mind. Once a daughter, always a daughter. No time or distance, no stress or strain, can undo the fact that in each of our lives, two people came together and their union, whether brief or lifelong, resulted in my being here on earth today.
This to me becomes a critical point in the life of every woman. No matter, if as a daughter, I did not receive the nurturing or the comforting, or the love, I not only needed, but longed for – because of my heavenly Father’s parental concern and love for me, both paternal and maternal, I can embrace heaven’s love and then ensure that even if I was denied the parental love I craved, I do not continue a pattern of dysfunction by withholding my love from those whom God has placed under the umbrella of my care.
As I’ve told you before, my dad’s mother died when he was just six months old and then his father abandoned him when he was only two years old. Left in a home where love and acceptance were in short supply, my dad could easily have let the hardship of physical and emotional depravation taint his entire life. Make no mistake, he carried very deep wounds from what occurred as he grew up.
But it was when he began to understand his heavenly Father’s love that a transformation happened in his life which allowed him to let the love flow out through the cracks that were created by neglect. As the love flowed out, my father found that the response from those he lifted with his love provided the essence of the balm that healed many of his scars.
This brings us back to the “real” Bathsheba – who was not just a beautiful woman without a name. Instead, part of the “real” Bathsheba was the fact that she was Eliam’s daughter – a daughter who fulfilled an oath in her family life. Being a daughter was part of the “real” Bathsheba and as we will find out, when the destructive pain of David’s demands entered Bathsheba’s world – her family suffered, too.
“What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be.”
The Ledgers of Love
“Oh, Lord, let me not dwell on the ingratitude but instead on the gratitude of daughters and sons…Bless them.
Let me not call up a list of my children’s faults and failings…Help them.
Deliver me from the miserable mental balance sheets that my weak and foolish nature keeps trying to make come out right.
Help me to remember that whatever most of us do for our children we do it out of instinct, duty, and our own pleasure in doing it…Thank You for those things, which were their own reward.
God, bless my own parents who did so much for me, and whom I probably failed and hurt unknowingly many times. Let their kindness, common sense, and forgiveness fill me now and flow out to my sons and daughters, who cannot realize.
When my children are too busy to write or phone, when they seem to be thoughtless, inconsiderate, even cruel – forgive them, bless them, and ease the strain of their lives.
Give me the gift of understanding, God. You, who must understand and forgive so much of all of us, your children, please guide me now. Let me judge not, that I be not judged.
The accounts are closed. The ledgers of love are balanced. Thank You for this freeing knowledge, Lord.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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