There are two times in our lives when we are most likely to do something really stupid, when we are at the peak of our success, and when we are in the depths of despair. David was at the peak of his success when he decided to tarry at Jerusalem while his army went out to destroy the children of Ammon.
And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of his house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. (2 Samuel 11:2)
There are a few things about David’s story that make it appear as if David planned what he was about to do next. First, “David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel” (2 Samuel 11:1)) out to fight. The last time all Israel had gone out, David was leading them, so it was unusual for him to stay behind. Second, David was in bed at eveningtide, around sunset, when the day is turning to night. Third, David was walking on the roof of his house, a place where he would be vulnerable to attack. Knowing that all his soldiers were out of town, David would have been an easy target for anyone that wanted to do him harm.
“And David sent messengers and took her; and she came unto him, and he lay with her…And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child” (2 Samuel 11:4-5). The woman David took was Bath-sheba, “the wife of Uriah the Hittite” (2 Samuel 11:3). Although it appears that David and Bath-sheba had only one sexual encounter, it is possible that they were together multiple times before and after the incident in which she is noted as becoming pregnant.
After David was told that Bath-sheba was pregnant, he tried to make it look like the child was Uriah’s by bringing him back home and getting him to sleep with his wife, but his plan failed, and so David had Uriah put in a position on the battlefield where he could be killed. This elaborate plot to cover up his sin is probably the most compelling evidence that David planned to have sex with Bath-sheba before he saw her from the roof of his house.
“And when the mourning was past, David sent and fet her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Samuel 11:27). The words translated displeased, ‘ayin and ra‘a‘ together have the meaning of seeing something unpleasant or perverted (5869/7489). Because the LORD’s eyes were continually upon David, he saw what David did with Bath-sheba and her husband Uriah and the LORD didn’t like it.