For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. (Psalm 51:3–4)
Here’s a remarkable couple of verses. King David has summoned a women he spotted bathing, made her pregnant and then arranged for her husband to killed. Yet here he is saying that it is against God that he has sinned. Worse, he says to God that “against you, you only, have I sinned”. What about Bathsheba? What about Uriah, whose death he arranged?
In the end it boils down to the fact that our morality, our sense of what is good, comes from God. The commandments of God form the basis of what is right, and what is wrong. This is the order of morality given by God. When we defy this, we defy God.
So it is that in killing Uriah, David sinned against God. In the end, all wrongdoing is a sin against God since all wrongdoing is defying God’s commandments.
This might sound pessimistic, but only if we forget that God also provides a remedy when we acknowledge our sin before him. A guilty conscience needn’t stay guilty if it leads to repentance and seeking mercy from God. Far from being gloomy introspection, acknowledging our sin is in fact the first step to an easy conscience.