The story of David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11, is a classic example of how one small wrong decision, can be the thin end of a wedge by which a virtuous person can become completely unraveled.
David went from the kind virtuous king of just two chapters earlier in his treatment of Mephibosheth, to a monster.
It all started by what may seem like a trivial, insignificant error on David’s part, his decision to stay in Jerusalem at a time when kings usually went out to battle ( verse 1). As a result he ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. That led to him seeing something that wasn’t his, Bathsheba’s wife, but taking it anyway ( verse 4). He then plunged deeper into depravity sending for Uriah the Hittite (Bathsheba’s husband) from the battle front, in the hope that Uriah’s contact with his wife would cover up who the real father was of the child she was carrying.
When Uriah arrived David pretended to be concerned about the army ( verse 7) and then pretended to be concerned about Uriah’s welfare that he got rest and refreshment at his house ( verse 10). Uriah reminded David of his soldiers out on the battle field suffering hardship for their king ( verse 11), but David gave them little thought, too focused on himself, self-absorbed, busily trying to cover up his sin.
David’s efforts to trick and manipulate Uriah became more unscrupulous making him drunk ( verse 13). Finally David hit rock bottom organising the murder of Uriah ( verse 15 & 17) one of his mighty men ( 2 Samuel 23:39), and therefore one of his best, most loyal soldiers who normally would have fought along side him.
One small wrong decision on David’s part, to stay in Jerusalem, proved to be a very slippery slope, the thin edge of a frightening wedge.
A reminder, when it comes to right and wrong, there are no small decisions.