Summary: Exposition of 2 Sam. 24
2 Sam. 24
Most people want to connect with God.
A little boy wanted $100 very badly. He prayed for weeks, but nothing happened. So, he decided to write a letter to God requesting $100. When the post office received the letter to "God, USA", they decided to send it to the President. The President was so amused he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5 bill. The little boy was delighted with the money, and sat down and wrote a thank-you note to back to God. The post office forwarded his note on to the President. It read: "Dear God, Thank You very much for sending the money. But I noticed You sent it through Washington, D.C., and I just wanted to let You know those stinkers took out $95 in taxes!"
Have you ever felt like you had a problem really connecting with God? Every Sunday we gather together here to connect with God- we call it worship. But do you ever leave wondering if you’ve made any connection with God at all? You bow your head for the prayers, sing the songs, put a dollar in the offering, and listen politely until the preacher says his final, “Amen”. But still you’re not really sure you connected with God. You feel like you missed something somewhere. You didn’t truly worship God in a soul-satisfying way. You walked out with the 5 bucks, but you wonder what happened to the rest of the $100.
How do you make this connection of personal worship with God? That’s what I want to talk to you about this morning as we look in 2 Sam. 24. The purpose of this story in the Bible is to relate how God chose the site where the Jewish temple- a place where Israel connected with God- would be built. But in this story I also find 3 principles for personally connecting with God through your worship. I want to share these with you this morning.
For you to personally connect with God in worship
I. YOU MUST APPRECIATE GOD’S HOLINESS. (v. 1-9)
In the movie Jurassic Park you might remember a powerful scene where paleontologist Allen Grant, who has devoted his life to the study of fossils, suddenly comes face-to-face with a real, live dinosaur. He falls to the ground, overwhelmed with awe. Why? Because it’s one thing to piece together a bunch of theories and bones, but it’s something else entirely when you stand face to face with a living brontosaurus or T-rex.
It‘s one thing to piece together facts and theories about God- it’s quite another to personally connect with Him. The Bible uses images to help us understand Who God is, but ultimately, God is very different from anything else or anyone else you’ve ever encountered.
In the Bible when anybody met God, they had the same reaction Allen Grant did—they fell to their knees, overwhelmed with awe. That’s because God is what the Bible calls holy. If you want to connect with God in worship, you must appreciate His holiness, which includes:
a. His sovereignty. (v. 1) This verse raises questions about how God works
in this world. It says because God was angry at Israel for some unspecified sin, …He moved David against them to say, “Go and number Israel and Judah… It even gets more confusing when you read the parallel account in 1 Chron. 21:1 which says Satan moved David to take this census. What’s going on? God is exercising His sovereignty.
God’s sovereignty means He is always in control. God does not tempt David, but He allows Satan to tempt David. David takes the bait and commits a sin that ultimately calls down God’s judgment on Israel. Without realizing it, Satan and David do what God wants them to do of their own free will. God uses David and Satan and me and you to do His will in this world. He is wise enough and powerful enough to use all our choices to fulfill His plan for good.
Psalm 115:3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
If you want to connect with God, you have to appreciate His holy sovereignty. He is in control of this world, and your life—not you, not the government, not your boss not your friends or your enemies- He is in control. But you also have to appreciate:
b. His righteousness. (v. 2-3)
Psalm 11:7 For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness;…
Even though He allows us to be tempted and even allows us to sin, He never tempts anyone. In fact, even when He knows you will sin, He offers you a chance to change course. When David decides to do wrong, Joab confronts him. This is God’s way of reminding David what he is doing is not right. But what exactly was wrong with numbering the people? God once ordered Moses to count the people in Ex. 30:12. But God also told Moses to receive a half-shekel offering for the Lord from each person. Maybe David ignored this command. Or it may be David’s motive. Notice from vs. 9 Joab only counts the soldiers. Maybe David is feeding his ego, or even planning to use his military for some mission God has not authorized.