Archive for September 26th, 2012

2 Samuel 24

2 Samuel 24 is action packed.  “The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel”.  God is irritated, and He told David to “Go number Israel and Judah….that I may know the number of the people”. God is taking stock and has David get his leaders to count.  It was a big job, and while Joab tried to stop the process, David prevailed.  It took “nine months and twenty days”. There was a lot of counting to do, in fact “in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000”.  Can you imagine counting that many people?  One at a time, all over the land.

But David figures out that God’s anger was his fault.  “David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people”.  He realizes that God has a plan for destruction and wanted David to understand just how much it is going to cost.  Sin always has a great price tag.  We often don’t realize it – we may just ignore that truth – but David comes to his senses and understands that his sins are coming home to roost.   “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly”.  It is a confession of sin.  But here is the sad reality – confession, even turning around and going the other way, does not stop the result of sin.  The cost still happens.

David is left with a choice to make.  God says “Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you”.

–       “three years of famine come to you in your land

–       flee three months before your foes while they pursue you

–       three days’ pestilence in your land

He has to choose one of these rather bad outcomes to pay the price for his sin.  That is another reality of sin. The cost usually goes far beyond the sinner – it impacts people all over their patch.  It is always so costly to so many.  Sin is really carries a high price.  Death is the final outcome.  But along the way, the damage is unbelievable.

David picks the three days – and “the Lord sent a pestilence….there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men”.  What a price to pay.  God wasn’t done, but “the Lord relented from the calamity….it is enough; now stay your hand”.  David now becomes an intercessor as he puts himself between the people and God.  That is what intercession is all about.  David stands in the gap.  He says “Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house”.  David is willing to take the punishment.  He wants to relieve those who are innocent from the punishment of his deeds.  We see the power of intercession many times in scripture.  And as it has been shown in other cases, God listened, and “the Lord responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel”.  This is true leadership in action.  David stands in the gap and prevents far more bloodshed.

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