I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
When David sinned with Bathsheba and was finally exposed by Nathan the Prophet, he said, “against you and only you have I sinned” speaking of and to God. But what about Uriah? And Bathsheba? Didn’t David sin against them also? Breaking God’s law/commandments is sinning against Him. Is it true then when we break a rule that we are sinning against God and God alone?
If a friend who draws me into an argument, and in anger says things that are hurtful, hasn’t he sinned against me and therefore, owes me an apology? If he does not admit to or recognize his behavior as sin, isn’t he in my debt? Not necessarily.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Romans 12:19
Consider this carefully. I know the Bible also talks about sinning against others and making amends one with the other also. So when is it sin against you or just sin against God?
Sin, by the Biblical definition, is always against God because sin is breaking God’s law. Paul said he didn’t even know he was doing wrong before the law was introduced, so the law makes us sinful once we know what we are to avoid doing, but we are unable to stop doing it (Romans 7:7). Paul also speaks about this in Romans 7:15 when he says that the good he wants to do, he doesn’t and the evil he doesn’t want to do, he does.
It seems convoluted, I know, but without the law, the things David did would not be wrong, because we would be a law unto ourselves, some approving what they do as good when we might call it evil. Crimes against persons become simply the acts the perpetrator endorses. How do we know what is wrong without guidelines? We do have God’s law in our hearts, because the Bible also says this:
All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) Romans 2:12-15. Doing what God forbids is rebellion.
So those who do evil against others certainly sin against them, but with no hard and fast rules there is no unequivocal right and wrong. It’s why there are secular laws. If no one was doing wrong, we wouldn’t need laws, and when someone commits a new form of evil, against which there are no laws, then other laws are passed to encompass this wrong.
So my friend does owe an apology, but until he acknowledges he has broken God’s law, there can be no repentance or forgiveness by God. Even if he apologizes to me, he is still unforgiven by God. So, to answer the question, I would have to say that David did evil to Uriah and Bathsheba, but his ultimate judge is God.