It was in David’s last days upon this earth that God’s anger was upon Israel, of which David was king over. The people were living apart from God in their sins, and God’s wrath was upon them. And because of this, it was recorded in 2 Samuel 24, that 1“the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.” (2 Samuel 24:1,2) Of which Joab did what the king said and after many months of going around the countryside counting all the people, he was able to finally able to determine the exact number of men. He said, 1“unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.” (2 Samuel 24:9) Which in total were 1.3 million valiant men of both Israel and Judah. That is a very big number, especially in that timeframe and place, since the population now is much larger than it ever was in the times of David. Not to mention these were valiant men only. Now, because of their iniquity before God, they were headed towards destruction. It was then that 1“David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.” (2 Samuel 24:10) Wow, what humility was present in David. He could have said that he was innocent and pleaded his case before God, but instead, he said that he was guilty, and asked God for forgiveness and to be merciful to him.
It was David’s humility, that he showcased before the Lord in prayer, that also helped save the people of Israel from being destroyed. And here is exactly how that happened. After the people were numbered, God sent the prophet Gad to David, in order to give him three choices to make. Don’t think of these as wishes from a genie, but God wanted David to make a valiant choice for his people’s sake. And this is what was told to David from God, 1“thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.” (2 Samuel 24:12,13) Wow, what choice would you make? Well, good thing David was seeking God and was in the right mindset. Therefore, 1“David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.” (2 Samuel 24:14) So 1“the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.” (2 Samuel 24:15,16) Wow, God’s hand was so close to destroying his people, but His heart was softened in the end. Therefore, they were spared. Praise God for David telling God what he did.
It was then that 1“David spake unto the Lord when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.” (2 Samuel 24:17) So David continued to pour out his heart to God, and if God did not forgive him, to afflict him and his seed, but not the people of Israel. It was then that 1“Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite. And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the Lord commanded.” (2 Samuel 24:18,19) It was then that Araunah brought unto David the 1“oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood.” (2 Samuel 24:22) He did this all for David out of his own expenses, not to charge him anything. However, 1“the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.” (2 Samuel 24:24,25) It was this sacrifice that David did to God that softened his heart. There was no more wrath but mercy for him and his people Israel. Praise God that David did not give up praying, and more importantly, give a sacrifice unto the Lord. As Christians, we ought to also believe and pray, while also offering our lives as a living sacrifice to God, in order to serve Him. Please consider this, if you haven’t already done this in your life.
Let us pray:
Lord, I pray that I will never stop seeking You. I know that prayer and reading the bible is important, but living out my faith is necessary also. So keep me on the right path which leads to paradise in heaven. I do not wish to be apart from You but to always be with You. May my life be inline with Your standards and not my own. Help me know when I have gone off course, that I may repent and be drawn back to You in faith. It is my delight when I can be renewed in the Holy Spirit and then walk in Your light once again. On the other hand, it is not my desire to just say a prayer and not be meaningful about it. How awful this would be to just say that I checked in with you and that was enough. If I ever do this, Lord, please convict me of my sins, for I know that I have gone astray into a life of sin. Lord, to not want You in my life is evil speaking. So please guard my soul. Take me by the hand all my days and make me clean through Your blood. It is my desire that You will cast out every sin in my life and replace it with Your love. From the east to the west, rip out of my life anything that deifies the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in me. I offer my life to You as a living sacrifice to serve You all my days. And if I am called Your son, while being adopted into Your kingdom, then I am the most blessed person of all. For there is nothing I’d rather have, then Your assurance of You being my Father, and I being Your son. I love You, Lord. You are my Savior and the rock, upon which I stand. I give You everything that I am. I give You all the praise and honor, this day and forever. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
Here is a LINK to Part 1 of this message.