2 Samuel 12:1 he Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

I've always thought Nathan was pretty shrewd. The way he handled bringing David to the truth is clever. David could have ordered him to death for uncovering the affair and the subsequent murder. But Nathan put it all on David.... good job.

This is from Bible.org.

Why a story? Why not just let David have it head-on, with both barrels? Many will point out that this is a skillfully employed tactic, which gets David to pronounce judgment on the crime before he realizes that he is the criminal. I think this is true. David is angry at this “rich man's” lack of compassion. If he could, he would have this fellow put to death (!). But as it is, justice requires a four-fold restitution. But having already committed himself in principle, Nathan can now apply the principle to David, in particular.

I hope I am not guilty of attempting to make this story “walk on all fours” when I stress the same thing the story does -- that there is a very warm and loving relationship between the poor man and his “pet lamb.” Considered along with everything else we read about Uriah and Bathsheba and David, I must conclude that the author is making it very clear that Uriah and Bathsheba dearly loved each other. When David “took” this woman to his bedroom that fateful night, and then as his wife after the murder of Uriah, he took her from the man she loved. Bathsheba and Uriah were devoted to each other, which adds further weight to the arguments for her not being a willing participant in David's sins. It also emphasizes the character of Uriah, who is so near to his wife, who is being urged by the king to go to her, and yet who refuses to do so out of principle.

I fear some of us tend to miss the point here. We read Nathan's story and we hear Nathan's rebuke as though David's sin is all about sex. David does commit a sexual sin when he takes Bathsheba and sleeps with her, knowing she is a married woman. But this sexual sin is symptomatic, according to Nathan, and thus according to God. God is not just saying, “Shame on you, David. Look at all the wives and concubines you had to sleep with. And if none of these women pleased you, you could have obtained another woman, just one that was not already married.” Nathan tells David the story of a rich man and a poor man. God tells David through Nathan that all that he possesses (his riches) He has given to him. God will even add to David's riches (and not just to his harem). David's problem is that his possessions have come to own him. He is so “possessed” with his riches that he is unwilling to spend any of them. He wants “more” and “more,” and so he begins to take what isn’t his to take, rather than to ask the divine Giver of all he has.

The other day, there was a story on the news about seniors who are working odd jobs for income. Hubby and I are both retired now so I was expecting a comment from hubby. Right on cue hubby said "Hey we're seniors and we're retired and we could start a side hustle for some extra cash." Then he went on to describe an illegal activity that would pay nicely but get us in a lot of trouble if we got caught, I answered, "I don't need the extra cash... I have all I need right here." IMHO... it's that "need" that gets us all in so much trouble. I'm preaching and I'm going to stop.... after saying this.... If David wasn't so bored and rich.... he wouldn't have noticed Bathsheba. IMHO... there was a time when David would have been happy just to be counting the stars while tending the sheep. Now he's so bored, he's counting women.