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Summary: We all make mistakes, even David. Jesus paid the price for our mistakes but still demands a sacrifice of us, our lives must be living sacrifice. And a sacrifice is not a sacrifice if it costs you nothing.

ONE BAD ACCOUNTING

1 Chronicles 21

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 17:40-49

INTRODUCTION

1. David is one of the good guys of Bible history for the most part

a. God calls him a "man after God's own heart"

b. He was, all in all, a good egg

2. But he was not without chinks in his armor

a. One of his greatest mistakes was an accounting error

b. Not that he miscounted the number

c. But that he counted them in the first place

3. David took a census of the people of Israel that God did not desire

4. From his accounting error we learn three things:

a. Human strength is not enough

b. God's wrath is very real

c. Our sacrifice must cost us something

5. Let's learn to lean on God with the understanding that leaning on Him means living for Him and trusting His mercy

TRANSITION: First of all David's mistake shows us that:

I. Human strength is not enough

A. David was proud of his army

1. They were valiant warriors and a large powerful force

a. They won many battles

b. There were many fighting men, 470,000

2. It was not a sin to count

a. We count things everyday

b. The sin was in his pride that drove him to the counting of "his" people

c. Joab tried to persuade David not to take the census in V. 3

3. David's pride would not take a back seat to reason and he insisted that Israel and "his" army be counted

B. Joab was right of course

1. It was the Lord's army, not David's

2. David had really never won a battle, they were all won by God, something David really knew

a. He knew that when he fought Goliath at least

b. 1 Samuel 17:45, "Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied"

c. David knew who was fighting that battle

d. And each of the victories in which he was involved He seeks God's counsel and gives God credit and glory

3. David's major victories were in the Lord's name

4. It was not David's army but God's

C. Thus with us

1. Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God"

2. As with David, we have a role, but it's God's battle and our salvation is His victory

TRANSITION: Another lesson David learned is that:

II. God's wrath is real

A. Many believe that a loving God will not destroy them

1. Tell that to the 70,000 who died as a result of David's unapproved census

a. For such a little thing as counting people God killed 70,000 humans

b. And God claims full responsibility

c. He even gives David a choice:

d. Three years of famine

e. Three months at enemy's hands

f. Three days at the hands of God

2. David counted on the great mercies of God

a. He knew the devastation of famine

b. He knew of the ruthlessness of his enemies

c. He depended on God's punishment to be light because after all, God is a loving merciful God

3. The mercy he counted on left 70,000 widows in Israel

B. God is merciful, that is why we are here today, God's mercy

1. But God is also a vengeful and jealous God, make no mistake

2. Hebrews 10:30-31, "For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God"

3. Our rebellion is based on human pride

a. For that God promises vengeance

b. And His angry hands are a terrifying place to be

C. God loves us and decides our salvation

1. When we choose to reject Him, He is willing to exact His revenge upon us

2. God is capable of condemning us to hell for eternity

3. Let us learn from David's overestimation of God's mercy that God is able to give us the destruction we choose by staying outside of Christ

TRANSITION: Learn finally from David that:

III. Our sacrifice must cost us something

A. The all-powerful God does have compassion

1. That is why we are still alive

2. That is why He sent His son to die for us

3. Even in the midst of all the destruction David brought upon Israel by his pride, God gave him a way to escape

4. He was told to make a sacrifice and when he did God told the angel to put his sword away

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