They were two consenting adults—where was the harm? Secret lust. Secret sex. But it’s hard to keep pregnancy secret for too long—and this secret was out before they ever got together.
Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. 2 Samuel 11:4 (NIV)
This big secret was no secret at all. It’s quite possible palace gossip made its way out to the battlefield. Uriah found out about David and his wife and was allowing them to reap what they had sown, which was a possible stoning. (Leviticus 20:10)
More secret scheming—no one could say David didn’t have some sly self-defense and pride going on here. But it didn’t work. And so, David was left with no other option but to commit murder. Well, it was too bad about Uriah, but he was a soldier, and it was a soldier’s glory to die on the battle field. Right?
So here comes Nathan to tell him the jig’s up, secrets are out, blast away with righteous indignation and lots of finger pointing and name calling. Oh, wait, that’s not how it happened. (2 Samuel 12: 1–23)
Nathan came to David with kindness in his voice and told him a sad story about a poor man whose beloved pet was torn from his arms to feed the guests of a rich man who had so many sheep he couldn’t even count them. David was moved by the anguish and pain of the poor man and was enraged that anyone would treat someone else in this despicable way. He demanded punishment. He demanded that the rich man suffer the consequences of his actions and that he should reap from the bitter seed that he had sown.
And then it hit him—David himself was the wretch.
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? Romans 2:4 (NIV)
God’s kindness (shown by Nathan) led David to repentance.