The most upsetting thing about the story of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11) is not what he did with Bathsheba, bad as that was. That he was intrigued with her is unremarkable, even natural; she was totally hot, after all. Bringing her to the palace is a different story, disgraceful even if he had only sat her down for a chat, since her husband was away at war. Even as a phenomenally successful and revered king, David displayed the priorities of a ten-year-old who’s been hanging out with bad company.
I would have said “of an adolescent,” except that apparently David wasn’t much past adolescence when he volunteered to risk his life for the nation of Israel, declining the sword and armor of King Saul, to take on Goliath, the decorated, feared, and enormous champion of the Philistine army, with only a leather strap and five smooth stones. He had come a long way since then.
The adultery that came next is the greatest sin next to murder, though in my mind still that next step down to murder is quite a doozy. The most despicable thing is not merely that he ordered Uriah killed, but the way he did it. If you’re going to do something as appalling as murder, you can at least show some decent form. David wasn’t man enough to kill Uriah himself. He didn’t even do him the honor of hiring a hit man. What makes his action so insidious is that he used Uriah’s very loyalty to David and his nation as an opportunity to get rid of him. He had Uriah ordered into the most dangerous part of the battle, and Uriah went.