A rapid knock on the door jarred Bathsheba from a restless
sleep. Groggily, she sat up in her bed. “Come in,” she said, rubbing sleep from
her eyes. The door opened slowly and Sarah stepped in, her head bowed.
“Miss, Asher is here. He wants to
speak with you.” She said, glancing up. Bathsheba felt a wave of annoyance wash
over her. She had been able to get through a whole day without thinking about
Asher, and now he was waiting in her living room to remind her of the events
that happened two nights ago. Bathsheba sighed. She might as well get it over
with. Rolling out of the bed, she grabbed a robe and wrapped it around her.
Sarah led the way down the hall, the candle light from her lamp illuminating
the walls and casting almost frightening shadows across them.
Asher was sitting at the large
table, waiting patiently as the woman and girl made their way towards him.
Sarah gently placed the lamp on the table and waited for further instruction.
“Sarah you may go back to bed now.”
Bathsheba said, giving the girl a warning look. They both knew that Sarah was
more than likely to listen to her and Asher’s conversation than to obey her
mistress. She bowed her head and retreated to a door that led to her room.
Bathsheba turned to Asher. “What do
you want?” she asked, a little harsher than she intended. Asher stared at her
for a moment as if he had forgotten why he came. Then he cleared his throat.
“King David has issued an order for
us to return to battle.” he started, “We will be leaving at day break. I have someone waiting for me just outside,
so I don’t have much time.” He paused and took a breath, then began again, “I know you are angry with me but I thought I
should inform you in case you wanted to…well, if you changed your mind…about our
discussion a few nights ago.”
Bathsheba sat silent for a moment.
The past days before and after her talk with Asher had been very dreary for
her. Every night she wished for the day to come, but at daybreak she wished for
night. In the past three days she had not seen Uriah at all since he had
returned to Jerusalem, not that it would have made anything better. Bathsheba had gotten used to the depressing
attitude that seemed to hang over her everywhere she went. She took out her
depression on everyone, especially Elizabeth. Sarah, who remained her special
servant despite Bathsheba’s crossness, was the only one to escape her ire. As
she thought back on this, Bathsheba felt her heart harden again. No, she did
not change her mind about her and Asher’s discussion. She made up her mind to
keep her secret quite, no matter what Asher or anyone said.
“Asher,” she began, “You know where I stand on this matter.
There is nothing else to discuss.”
“But Bathsheba,” Asher pleaded, “If you would just tell the
truth then things will be a lot better for you and your household. You must be
right with God and your husband. If not then only misery will accompany
you.” Bathsheba tried to think of a
fiery retort but came up with nothing. Instead she stood up.
“Asher if the only thing you came here for was to accuse me
and try to make me feel guilty then you may leave my home.” Asher stared at her
with a look of surprised hurt in his eyes. Then he stood up as well and started
for the door, Bathsheba following at a distance to see him to the door. Before he stepped out, Asher turned to
Bathsheba with tears in his eyes.
“Bathsheba,” he said, his voice filled with emotion, “Please
reconsider. Think of the terrible danger you are putting your life in. I can assure you that you will find little
rest as long as you try to cover up your sin.
I should know.” He quickly turned
and started down the path before she could reply. Bathsheba watched as he met
up with another man. They were both turned away from her a minute. The stranger
showed Asher an official looking letter, sealed by the king. Asher took it and
stared at it for a minute cover for a moment, then look back at Bathsheba.
Their eyes locked. She felt a lump in her throat and turned to go back inside.
Just before she closed
the door, Bathsheba looked up and saw Asher and his companion making their way
down the cobblestone street. The sun was just coming up and a bright beam of
light seemed to dance around him.
Bathsheba suddenly felt her stomach drop, just as it had when she
watched Asher and Uriah leave before battle the first time. Now it was just
Asher leaving, and she had a feeling that her one last opportunity to make
things right had just slipped through her fingers.
14And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a
letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the
forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be
smitten, and die.
16And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he
assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
17And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and
there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite