Summary: God gives David three consequences to his sins, but upon his repentance God chooses to be gracious and withholds His judgement.
How does this passage start off? Who are the first two people mentioned? Verse one says, “Now Satan…” Stop right there! These words ought to tell you something serious! Last time I checked, whenever the Bible says Satan is doing something, it usually is not a good thing.
Why doesn't it say something like: “Now God and David were having a Sunday afternoon picnic in the park…”? Well the fact of the matter is that David was not conversing with God, but rather allowing himself to be influenced by Satan. That fact is the tone setter for the rest of this passage. There are lots of implications as to why we let ourselves be more influenced by Satan than by God. Reasons such as not being in prayer, not being diligent of our time spent studying the Bible, not confessing and repenting of our sins. But this morning, let’s look together at the results of Satan’s influence in David’s life and let’s look at it how Satan’s influence in our lives affects us.
1. The Sin:
a. Vv. 2-6.
b. What was the sin here? Does anybody know? What was the sin here?
i. The sin directly was that David numbered the people in His army.
c. Why was that a sin?
i. God has promised to be their king. He had promised to protect them, provide for them. It was God who won the battles during Israel’s conquest into the Promised Land. Remember Jericho? God made those wall come down, not their walking around it. Remember the slingshot and the stone that David used against Goliath? It was God who directed that stone, not David!
ii. Now David is having a census taken to find out how many people are in his army.
d. Dig deeper to find a broader meaning! What was the root of David’s sin? Was the fact that David had the men of his army numbered a big deal? To us, we would say no. To God, He would say yes. Why? Because root in David’s sin was two things: pride and distrust.
e. Pride because he was the king, the lord of over 1.5 million men. That probably was the largest army in that time. Imagine how arrogant that can make a person. The pride can then translate into the second rooted sin: distrust. David could easily have trusted in his army to defend the people of Israel and to defeat its enemies rather than trusting and relying on the Living God who has put him where he is as king.
2. The Consequence:
a. Vv. 7-13
b. 3 Options:
i. 3 Years of famine
ii. 3 Months of Defeat
iii. 3 Days of Judgment
3. The Response:
a. Vv. 14-15
a. What does this passage teach us about God?
b. Let’s review….David sinned and was given 3 options from God as the consequence of his sin. He chose and God carried out His judgment. Then God stopped the judgment before it was completed.
c. Why? There are two things we need to learn about God from this passage.
d. Two Things:
i. God CANNOT excuse sin. He has ZERO tolerance for it. No sin may go without punishment, not even the small and seemingly insignificant sin. All sin is significant to God, and there to Him there is no small sin. God CANNOT excuse sin; that is an absolute. How do we define the word absolute? An absolute is “a principle for which there are no exceptions.” There is not a time or an exception when God allows us to sin and He doesn’t mind.
ii. God CHOOSES to be gracious. We did not ever see God say to David, well I will destroy you got 3 days, but maybe I will stop sooner. No, God CHOSE stop stop the judgment because He loves us and forgives us of our sins when we have a contrite heart. What is a contrite hear, or what is contrition? “Sorrow over sin.” We can see in v. 13 that David has realized his sin and is sorrowful over it and the punishment of his sin and how it will affect others. Did you know your sin can affect others?
iii. The very fact is that God has CHOOSEN to forgive you of your sins because He loves you and wants to be with you.
iv. Based on these two things we have learned about God: He cannot excuse sin, and He chooses to be gracious, is the very reason God sent His Son Jesus to this earth.
v. You see, Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We all have sinned and God cannot let that sin go unnoticed or unpunished. He can’t, it is not in His nature or character.
vi. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death, but gif of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”