Summary: There is a price tag on sin, and therefore sin must be paid for. God cannot allow sin to go unpunished. There are some wonderful lessons that this story teach us.
There is a price tag on sin, and therefore sin must be paid for. God cannot allow sin to go unpunished. There are some wonderful lessons that this story teach us.
Sin – The Price Must Be Paid
1. Both of our passages give to us a parallel account of the same story – David’s numbering of the children of Israel and God’s subsequent judgment.
2. Right away, the diligent Bible student notices something that seems a bit odd and confusing on the surface. Read verse 1 of both texts.
• In 2 Samuel it says that God was angry with Israel and moved David against Israel by basically announcing the idea of a census.
• But in the 1 Chronicles account, it says that Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.
3. There was obviously a deeper issue at hand than simply a national census. God was angry with Israel, but why? In 2 Samuel 23, it lists the military exploits of David’s mighty men. Israel must have gotten very puffed up with pride over their own accomplishments.
• No army could stand against them and they knew it! They had forgotten who it was that had given them the victory and blessed them. God warned them of this. Deuteronomy 8:10-19
4. As we learned last week, pride is a very serious issue. God cannot tolerate it in His children. It is utterly satanic in origin. God can do nothing but resist the proud.
5. So God basically (in His anger with Israel) allowed Satan to directly tempt and provoke David to number Israel. It appears that God gave Satan the thought to do it, but Satan actually provoked David.
• So while Satan is the one that directly tempted David, the Bible is letting you know that God was involved in this due to His anger with Israel.
• Keep in mind, at any time David could have resisted Satan and humbled himself before the Lord (which is what God desired).
• God can use Satan, demons, lost people, or anything or anybody else in the work He is trying to accomplish. The ultimate example of this is the cross! God kept the hidden wisdom of the cross from Satan so that Satan would carry through his evil scheme of convicting and crucifying Christ.
6. Why did God allow Satan to induce King David to do a national census? What was the purpose of it? Read 2 Samuel 24:2-4, 9.
• David desired to gloat in his victories – “Look at our power and look at our strength. Look what we have done. Look at our mighty military strength.”
• God allowed this census because it perfectly exemplified and typified the heart of David and the people – pride, arrogance, self-will and egotism. God wanted it to serve as a powerful object lesson to Israel of their heart attitude. David figured out God’s object lesson right away. 2 Samuel 24:10
7. As we learned last week, there is a price tag on sin, and therefore sin must be paid for. God cannot allow sin to go unpunished. There are some wonderful lessons that this story teach us.
First, when genuine humility and repentance are in the sinner’s heart, God is always willing to show mercy.
1. Israel was full of prideful arrogance and rebellion. The wages of sin is death. God brought punishment for their sin, and a terrible plague came upon the nation of Israel. This plague took the lives of 70,000 men. 2 Samuel 24:15
• It is interesting that it was 70,000 men, not women. What was the source of Israel’s pride? It was the military strength of their men. 2 Samuel 24:9
2. God was about to turn the angel loose in Jerusalem which would have resulted in thousands more deaths, but God halted the angel (2 Samuel 24:16). But why?
3. Look at 2 Chronicles 21:15 – Notice, “The Lord beheld…” Something God beheld caused God to halt the angel from continuing to bring judgment. What did He behold?
4. Look at 1 Chronicles 21:16-17. David and his leaders are on their faces in repentance and humility and David is a broken man before God. vs. 17
5. The Bible says that God resisteth the proud but gives grace to the humble. When David and his leaders made the choice to humble themselves and acknowledge their sin, God gave mercy and a solution to their sin problem.
6. God will do the same today! Nobody gets saved who is full of pride and arrogance. People must humble themselves, admit their sin, and acknowledge that apart from God’s mercy, they will suffer eternal damnation and punishment. When a person truly has a humble heart and a repentant spirit, God will show mercy.