Learning from Others’ Lenses

2 Samuel 11:26-27

My seventh grade Sunday school class was studying King David using student workbooks and homework assignments. During the week that we studied today’s passage, our leader explained that these verses were proof that David cared for Bathsheba more than he cared for his other wives because he gave her time to mourn her husband. I remember thinking to myself, “Huh. That’s weird, but okay.”

I was ready to move along to the next part of the story, but one of my classmates was not. She spoke up, not agreeing that David should be applauded for allowing Bathsheba the opportunity to mourn the death of her husband because he was murdered by David, the man who raped her. She even pointed out the fact that this passage never refers to Bathsheba by name, all but erasing her from the event, even though she is the central figure. The room was silent.

I was a young man reading a text that had been written by a man and was being interpreted for me by still another man. I didn’t put myself into the story in the same way that my friend did. To fully understand it we need to consider Bathsheba’s perspective. My friend’s experiences and her questions greatly changed how I read, relate to, and interpret Scripture.

God is forever offering us new ways to see the truth we need.


Through what lenses do you read Scripture? What other lenses should you consider—and where might you find other interpretations to help you learn?


Lord, give me the strength to see your work in the world through other eyes. May those new lenses challenge me, stretch me, and teach me. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Volume 28.1 of Reflections.

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