Resources by Rev. Dr. Barbara Hedges-Goettl
The story of David and Bathsheba is part of the RCL lectionary for 2 consecutive weeks Proper 12/Ordinary 17B and Proper 13/Ordinary 18B; the second half of the story makes 2 appearances, also appearing as Proper 6C/Ordinary 11C.
See resources for 2 Samuel 11:1-15 at http://www.textweek.com/history/2sam11.htm
and for 2 Samuel 11:26-12:15 at http://www.textweek.com/history/2sam11_12a.htm
This passage is, as they say, “a sticky wicket”–from the odd slicing of this pericope to the passage’s relationship to our society’s growing awareness of the abuses of men; see Gennifer Brooks’ commentary at https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3813
With regard to the NL pericope, if the congregation knows the story (mine does), one could preach from just the Nathan part of the story and use that to review the larger saga. I plan to use 2 Samuel 12:1-13/14/15; I am not yet sure what to do with the punishment being the death of David & Bathsheba’s child—as if she hasn’t suffered enough already! If the story needs to be told more fully, vv. 26-27 don’t work well in isolation from the rest of the story; one at least needs to include (in the reading or as an explanation) that David arranged Uriah’s death.
With regard to the relationship of the text to today, I am thinking of God requiring repentance before offering forgiveness–a piece that is often forgotten when victims are told to forgive their abusers. I am thinking of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, which saw telling the truth as a road to reconciliation. I am thinking of the controversial political cartoon featuring Judge Kavanaugh’s daughter praying for forgiveness for her father, a backhand recognition that we all need God to be our ultimate arbiter, forgiver, and healer.
Hymns relating to truth, abuse of power
278 Our God, to Whom We Turn
285 God, You Spin the Whirling Planets
289 O God of Every Nation
291 O God of Earth and Altar
386 O for a World Where Everyone
Hymns related to Penitence/God’s Mercy
261 God of Compassion, In Mercy Befriend Us
301 Lord Jesus, Think on Me
303 Jesus, Lover of My Soul
345 Dear Lord and Father of Mankind/Dear Lord. Creator Good and Kind
355 Hear the Good News of Salvation
370 Just As I Am, Without One Plea
381 O Come Unto the Lord
383 My Faith Looks Up to Thee
395 Have Mercy, Lord, on Me
Settings of Lord, Have Mercy (566, 572, 573, 574)
The David/Bathsheba story in pictures
A friend of mine who is a NT scholar, Rene Schreiner, recently did an extended Sunday School class on Bathsheba, including looking at the history of its interpretation.
Here’s one she recommends thinking critically about: Bible Stories for Adults: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEaTuGfm14Q).
She feels the Feminist approach is probably the most even-handed. See https://www.google.com/search?q=feminist+bathsheba&oq=feminist+bathsheba&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.5043j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
She also highly recommend Wils Gafney’s section on Bathsheba in
If you want to get into the idea that 2 Sam was written by the Deuteronomist, a great podcast on Deuteronomy can be found on The Bible for Normal People with Peter Enns (Episode 39).
Veggie Tales also has Nathan’s song posted on YouTube.”