Women and Alcohol
**It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink. Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.** Proverbs 31:4,5
Women and alcohol. Bathsheba knew men’s weaknesses. She knew the dark path they can take a man on. She knew the consequences of opening that door.
Do we remember that during the debacle with David that David got Uriah drunk to try and ignite his desire for his own wife? Do we remember that he chose to be loyal to his troops instead of loving and comforting and spending time with his own wife? Did alcohol pervert Uriah’s judgment? The account in 2 Samuel doesn’t tell us how long Bathsheba and Uriah were separated because of his time at war. But there is no mention of a child between Bathsheba and Uriah. None. The key to a woman’s value in old times was bearing a son to carry on the family name. There doesn’t seem to be any such child.
Was Bathsheba a woman abandoned by her husband because of his work? Did Uriah stay more loyal to his troops because of his inability to father a child? The more I think of Bathsheba and this situation, the more I see her as a woman caught in the middle of her men’s inadequacies.
I believe Bathsheba is trying to warn Solomon that it is hard enough to be a leader without throwing alcohol into the mix. It never makes anything better, right? Alcohol numbs the senses and our good reason. She warns him about women and a man’s desire for them. And then she warns him about the danger of perverted judgment caused by alcohol.
David’s desire for a woman he had no right to was his downfall. Uriah’s drunkenness left his wife vulnerable, unprotected and alone and led to his own death. One desire caused her shame. The other brought about her fate.
Sexual desire and alcohol. Deadly weapons that have destroyed many a man’s reputation. Bathsheba’s story is a great place to start in teaching our boys to respect women and their name and their purity. It is not fashionable for a man to do that. Not today. Maybe not ever if history is any indication. We can’t change all men. And we shouldn’t want to. But we can sow seeds of honor and respect in our children for others. Bathsheba tried. But Solomon only heard part of it. He married them. He didn’t dishonor them like David did to his mother.
But did he get the part about Uriah? The loneliness, the abandonment, the lack of being loved and cherished? I don’t think so. How could one possibly cherish and please so many wives? I imagine his wives felt like Bathsheba. Unloved most of the time. Perhaps they felt like possessions more than partners.
Bathsheba’s story can give us much insight into healthy and unhealthy relationships. I hope you will join me as we discover it together.