29 July 2020
Today’s reading is from 2 Samuel 24, the last chapter in the books of Samuel.
2 Samuel 24:1 "And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah."
There is the parallel justification (in 1 Chron. 21:1) that says: “Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David.” God never does evil or tempts people to do evil (James 1:13-15), but in this case, He allowed Satan to incite David to take the census.
The inciting of David to conduct a census was a punishment on Israel from the Lord for some unspecified sins. Perhaps sins of pride and ambition had led David to increase the size of this army unnecessarily. Whatever the sin, it is clear God was dissatisfied with David’s motives and brought judgment. David either wanted to glory in the size of his fighting force or take more territory than what the Lord had granted him.
In verses 3-4: Joab, the leader of David’s army could see the error in David’s plan and warned him not to go ahead with census taking. David was determined to do it, and laid his commands upon them to do it.
In verse 10 David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”
The next moment, Prophet Gad comes to David and presents a strange message from the Lord. God allows David to choose his punishment. He is offered three choice (Vs 13-15) “Famine, sword and plague”, Regardless of the choice David made, the people of Israel were going to suffer terribly. He trusted himself and his nation to the grace of a good God. So, he makes the wise decision and places the fate of Israel in the hands of the Lord choosing plague. The penalty for David’s pride was to have his kingdom reduced by 70,000 people.
Verse 17 When David saw the angel was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.” David recognizes that as the king of Israel his primary task was that of a shepherd with his “sheep” not just be a King. On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor from Araunah the Jebusite”. He buys the threshing floor and the oxen; he builds an altar and he offers a sacrifice. God is pleased and then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
Pride is always the root of our sins! David sinned in spite of the face of good advice that came from Joab. David shifted his trust from God to military power. What are we focusing on, our own strengths and experience or the mighty hand of God to move the impossible?
Secondly, The LORD sent David a choice of three different punishments for his sin and lets him choose. That is the Father Heart of God. Every sin has its consequences, that is disciplining but His mercy extends quickly. Verse 14 David acknowledges God’s great mercy, he says it is better to fall in the hands of God than man. Heb 12:7-8 For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
This is where the Lord wants to bring us when we fail, too. He wants us to reach the place where we get honest about what we have done and how it affects those around us and accept the chastising.
Do you need to come before the Lord and deal with some sin or problem in your walk with Jesus?
Consequently, if you love the Father, repentance comes inevitably, that’s the only way to be right with the Lord again! David, cared about his relationship with God, so he built an altar and made his sacrifice bearing every cost Vs 24“I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” But, every act of repentance bears a cost, it may cost you relationships, habits, money or more. Paul writes in Romans 12:1-2 “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.
Suggested Prayer:Dear Heavenly Father, i come to you again, laying my pride down, acknowledging you as my Father. Discipline me in areas that need to be disciplined, take me to the place where I am honest with you about my sinful desires, lead me to repentance Lord. I know you want in me a broken and a contrite spirit, here I am Oh Loving Father, I want get back to you again. In Jesus name, Amen.