Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 23:24-24:25, Acts 3:1-26, Psalm 123:1-4, Proverbs 16:21-23
David was guilty again – this time for taking a census. I’m not sure what the problem was with that, but Joab also knew it was wrong. I can understand David wanting to see where things stood from a military perspective after returning from the exile that resulted from Absalom’s rebellion. Perhaps David’s sin was a lack of trust in God.
In any case, God told Nathan to present David with three options for punishment: famine, flight from his enemies or a plague.
11 The next morning the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, who was David’s seer. This was the message: 12 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’”
13 So Gad came to David and asked him, “Will you choose three[k] years of famine throughout your land, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout your land? Think this over and decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”
14 “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”
David chose to be punished directly from the Lord. The fact is that 70,000 people died as the result of his sin, so it was very grave. In the end, God was true to himself as David said in yesterday’s reading, What is God like? God rescues the humble and that is what David experienced here.
How often do I launch headlong into something that seems to me to be the right thing to do, but in fact is harmful to others or to myself, or perhaps even directly disobedient to God?