The restoration of Absalom to his father’s house was brought about by the manipulative play of Joab on David’s emotions. I would argue that Joab’s motives were anything but pure. He had an arrangement with Absalom and expected reward when, with Joab’s help, Absalom ascended to his father’s throne. But God had different plans.

Amnon, the sexual molester, was unfit to sit on the throne of Israel. Absalom the murderer was also unfit to sit on the throne of Israel. God would work to bring about his will. Solomon, the son of Bathsheba, would become David’s heir.

I heard a sermon on Mother’s day about the woman of Proverbs 31. She teaches her son, King Lemuel, how to live an upright life of integrity. The Rabbis have identified Lemuel as Solomon. If so, Bathsheba is the mother who advised her son.

I was struck by the justice that God brought about through Solomon’s rise to the throne. The two sons of David were truly two “sons” of David’s worst characteristics; adultery and murder. Solomon was the child conceived of the woman whom David had victimized. Could it be that Solomon was extolling Bathsheba when he wrote Proverbs 31 about the woman God praises?

Her advice to her son-king includes two clear instructions regarding sex and alcohol. Basically she says these two things are what destroy kings. She knows by experience. She advises the king to stand up for the afflicted, to speak for the mute, and defend the poor and needy. These are the opposite characteristics displayed by David’s two other sons.

She understood God’s ways, “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.”