O. T. #744 "Falling Flat on Your Face"
April 28, 2016
2 Samuel 24-Part 2
So David and the leaders of Israel put on burlap to show their deep distress and fell face down on the ground. 2 Samuel 24:16 NLT
LET IT GLOW
What does it take to knock us flat on our face before the Lord, to get us to repent of our sins and beg for His mercies? Sickness, problems with children, loss of a job, loss of money, divorce, death of loved ones? Why, oh why do we not do it before that point? Pride, lack of faith.... Been there, done that, friends. Desperate times call for desperate measure, they say. David was desperate-70,000 died in 3 days from a plague.
We found out that David was out of touch with God and did not seek His will before he ordered Joab to take a census of both Judah and Israel. Verse 1 tells us that God was angry with
Israel, though we don't know the reason. Also, we know that God permitted Satan to work so that the purposes of the Lord might be fulfilled. General Joab warned the king not to do it, when he stepped out of line, but without success. Are we stubborn like David and knowingly step out of God's will, all the time in the back of our mind we know there will be consequences to pay for it? Are we good at listening to advice or not?
The thing is, David's kingdom was at peace during this time, so there was no need to enlist or count the troops.David's heart became troubled after the census results. Pride was behind this, so David could glory in his powerful army, and put his faith in it rather than in God's ability to protect them.
Do we place our security in money, possession, people, jobs, army of our nation?
Then in verse 10, David admits that he had sinned greatly by taking that census. He asked the Lord to forgive his guilt for doing that foolish thing.
Both David and the Israelites were guilty of sin. God had previously warned His people if they disobeyed His law, then they could expect punishment-disease, famine, war, as found in Deuteronomy 28.
God gave sent the word of the LORD through Prophet Gad-David had three choices, forms of punishment, from which to choose:
- three years of famine throughout the land;
- three months of fleeing from their enemies;
- or three days of severe plague throughout the land.
Do we ever think over the consequences of our sins? Probably not. Do we ask the Lord to keep us from the wrong decision or going down the wrong path?
LET IT GROW
David knew God was merciful and pardoning of sin.
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, David replied to the Prophet Gad.
In the Hebrew language, strait (tsarar) means to be tied up, restricted, cramped, desperate.
When we get into a desperate situation, we get desperate, don't we? David's stomach was tied up in knots.
David made a wise choice. If you want grace, fall into the hands of God.If you want judgment, fall into the hands of fellow human beings. How miserable David must have felt, knowing his failure caused their pain, and loss. (Swindoll)
It was a high price to pay, all right.
What happened next:
- There was a total of 70,000 people who died from a plague throughout the nation. The people paid the high price for their sin and David's sin. Families were broken apart, grief so strong that wailing must have been heard throughout the land as in Moses' day when the tenth plague upon Egypt fell upon their first born.
- Just as the death angel approached Jerusalem, the City of David, the LORD said,"Stop! That is enough!"
- David fell face down on the ground as he saw his leaders in burlap showing their deep distress.
- David interceded for his people. He admitted sinning when he took the census. He begged God, noting that His people were as innocent as sheep. His request was for God's anger to fall against David and his family, but not destroy Your people.
When our heart is torn apart, do we get desperate and real before God? What does it take to bring us flat on our face before a holy God, begging for mercy? mmmm
...of pride and sin and rebellion.
...and repent, falling flat on my face.
...and intercede for others effected.