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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Choices and Consequences

2 Samuel 24:1-3, 10-15, 18-25

Verse 25  David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.


    The incident with Bathsheba wasn’t the only sin to plague David’s reign.  Today’s passage from late in David’s life shows another time where God was able to reveal why David was called the man after God’s own heart.  It wasn’t David acting like God in every way, but that David had the kind of heart God desires for all His people, a repenting heart.


    Calling for a census doesn’t strike us as a very sinful act but the heart behind it was what upset God.  It wasn’t wrong for David to know how many men he had in the army under his command, it was that he was showing his trust was in the size of his army instead of God’s ability to care for His people no matter the size of the army on hand.


    Even Joab knew this wasn’t something good to do and it wasn’t like he was known for his stellar reputation.  The king overruled his commander and the men were sent out for the count.  It took them 9 months and 20 days to complete the task and return to Jerusalem and during that time David was living life as if nothing was wrong.  But when given the number, David was convicted and knew he had sinned against the Lord.


    David spent a restless night as he cried out to the Lord confessing his wrongdoing.  He wasn’t really repenting though, just asking God to remove the guilt.  But God in His amazing mercy sent His prophet to give David a few options for punishment.  Letting the king choose the consequence allowed David to see how his choices affected the whole of the nation.  David chose the option which lasted the shortest amount of time but it didn’t mean it was the easiest as 70,000 people died in just 3 days in the plague.


    The prophet Gad had another word for David, he needed to build an altar to the Lord.  He wasn’t to build it any place he wanted, but God wanted him to build it on the threshing floor of a man who was not an Israelite.  The man shows his loyalty to David and maybe even God in wanting to give the king the place for the altar, but David knows what the price really was.  If David allowed another to sacrifice for his sin, it would mean he wasn’t giving all which was being required of him.  His heart was true and so the Lord answered David’s prayers and ended the plague.


Making It Personal

    When have you been convicted of something you have done and you lose sleep because of it?  What did you do to ease your conscience?  How quick do you repent of your sins?


Making It Personal Kids

    How do you feel when you know you have done something Jesus wouldn’t want you to do?  What do you do when you get that uncomfortable feeling?  Does that make the feeling go away?


Closing Prayer

    Father, none of us are immune to the temptation to sin yet You in Your perfect mercy made a way for us to choose to do right.  Give us the wisdom to choose wisely when temptation comes our way so we may walk away from it and toward Your better choice for us.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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