Not an overly exciting day from what was on my calendar, but I was pleased to receive notice that sample hard copies of my book may be ready in two weeks. That is certainly exciting. After months and weeks of work and waiting, it seems the process is speeding up. I will keep you informed on what is happening.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “…a revelation from the Lord had come to the prophet Gad, David’s seer: “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am offering you three choices. Choose one of them, and I will do it to you.’” So Gad went to David, told him the choices, and asked him, “Do you want three years of famine to come on your land, to flee from your foes three months while they pursue you, or to have a plague in your land three days? Now, think it over and decide what answer I should take back to the One who sent me.” 2 Samuel 24:11-13 HCSB
Three wishes would be better than three options for punishment. If you were David which would you choose?
This situation arose when David commanded General Joab to take census of the army. Doesn’t seem unusual. You would think in the natural a King would want to know the number and strength of his army. However, David’s kingdom was not just a natural kingdom, it was to be guided by supernatural trust and principles. The confidence of David was not to rest in the number of his fighting men, but in God’s ability to “save by many or by few.” (1 Samuel 14:6)
Joab with all of his faults, knew this was not right. But “David’s will prevailed.” But David soon came to his senses and realized his sin.
We can observe many truths just in what has happened to this point in the story. When we go against what we know is right before the Lord we will learn to regret it. David even had the benefit of someone who served as a “check” on his conscious. But he still pushed on.
When David had to face the reality of his decisions this is what he prayed, “I have sinned greatly in what I’ve done. Now, Lord, because I’ve been very foolish, please take away Your servant’s guilt.” (2 Samuel 24:10 HCSB)
But we then see that sin while always qualifying for forgiveness, often has unexpected consequences. So David is given is choice of punishment. Three years of famine, three months of being pursued by enemies (David probably thought, “been there, done that!”) or three days of a plague in the land.
What is interesting is that David did not render a specific choice, but his position was, “I have great anxiety. Please, let us fall into the Lord’s hands because His mercies are great, but don’t let me fall into human hands.” (2 Samuel 24:14 HCSB)
A plague ravaged he land and from one end of Israel to another 70,000 died before the Lord said, “enough!” The prophet Gad told David to build an altar and make as sacrifice. David wasted no time in heeding the word of the prophet. He purchased the threshing floor of Araunah, and even though it was offered free to the King, David responded, “No, I insist on buying it from you for a price, for I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24 HCSB)
In the words of Paul Harvey, “and now the rest of the story.” This site north of the city at that time would become the place where Solomon’s Temple would be built. Today when you stand on “Temple Mount” – you are not only reminded of the ram the Lord provided Abraham to be sacrificed in the place Isaac, but you are reminded that this is were the sacrifice took place as the innocent were suffering for the guilty acts of another.
Throughout the years until its final fulfillment in Christ, the Temple would be a place where the innocent would be offered for the sins of the guilty. The cross is a picture of total innocence being put to death for the sin of the world. It is also a picture of God providing the “lamb of God” who took upon him the punishment due us for our sin.
David did have it right. It is better to be in God’s hands, than trusting in yourself or others.