The text of this article is 2 Sam. 11-12. To summarize the story, King David committed adultery with Bath-Sheba the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Bath-Sheba conceived that night. David tried to cover his sin by recalling Uriah from the army so he would have relations with his wife, and hide the sin. That plan did not work because Uriah felt he would be deserting his fellow soldiers. So David sent Uriah to the army and ordered his general to insure he would be a causality of the battle. Then, David took Bath-Sheba as his wife.
God sent Nathan, His prophet, to David and he related a parable of a rich man stealing a poor man’s only lamb. David was enraged against the rich man, and Nathan replied to David, “You are the man.” The message brought David to his knees with his face to the ground. The penalty for adultery under The Law of Moses was death, and more than likely, David wondered about his fate. Nathan told David that he would not die, that God had forgiven his sin, but David and Bath-Sheba would be punished for their sin. One of the curses God placed on them was that the child would die. The timing of Nathan’s coming to David was certainly devastating.
In one case, if Nathan came early in her pregnancy, how would the two feel knowing every day for nine months that the child would not survive? If this is the case, David was speaking somewhat literally when he said, “My sin is ever before me.”
This teaches that sin can have long-term effects, not just on the sinner, but also on others. In David and Bath-Sheba’s case, the child would never grow up in their house. Uriah was gone forever and could never be brought back. Several women became widows because David wanted Uriah dead. These memories left lasting scars on their hearts.
Or, if Nathan came near the end of Bath-Sheba’s term, they are probably thinking that they’ve hidden the matter. But Nathan comes and says, “God knows!” How often do people think they can commit sin since “no one will know”? Many a man would not dare go to an adult bookstore, but in the privacy of his house, he can find the same lewd content over the internet, “and no one will know.”
C.S. Lewis wrote: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” Doing the speed limit is easy when there’s a police car in the rear-view mirror. But, what about the 99% of drive time when there’s no cop? Solomon makes the observation that: “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.” (Eccl 8:11) In Eph. 6:5-8, Paul commands servants to do their work even when the master isn’t there, “knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord”