In 2 Samuel 24, David takes a census of the people. While the census itself was not a sin, and there are right times for a census to be completed, this particular census drew the wrath of God. Because we see God get angry, we can assume that David’s motives behind the census it what drew God’s attention. David was putting trust in his military power rather than in the lord’s protection and guidance. From David’s sin, we can learn six things:
There is always motivation behind every sin. In verse three, we find that when Joab was instructed by David to take the census, Joab asks, “But why does my lord the king desire this thing?” Joab appears to have been concerned about David’s motives, yet he obeys his king and census is taken.
God brings conviction with every sin. As soon as it was completed, the Bible tells us that “David’s heart condemned him.” In other words, he was convicted of his sin. Maybe God placed that concern in Joab’s heart as a “warning sign” to David. However, David ignored it and continued with his plans. Can you think of a time when you were considering some sin and someone warned you against it? That could have been God sending you a warning sign to reconsider your actions. What did you do? Did you heed the advice of the person God sent or did you, like David, continue with your plans. There is nothing worse than doing something and then immediately afterwards your heart is filled with regret and shame, knowing you have disappointed God yet again.
When we sin, we should repent quickly. It is interesting that after “David’s heart condemns him,” we do not see David immediately repenting. Instead, God has to send the prophet, Gad, to tell David God is going to let him choose his own punishment.
With sin, comes consequences. Gad comes to David with God’s message. David was to choose between seven years of famine, flee for three months before his enemies while they pursue him, or three days’ plague in the land.
Even when we sin, there is always mercy at the hand of God. David knew his enemies would have no mercy so he chose to fall into the hand of God, knowing He was a God of mercy. When God sent a plague over Jerusalem to destroy it, David’s knowledge of God’s mercy proved to be correct. The Lord relented and spared the city.
Sin’s effects often ripple out to those around us. It is interesting that David’s sin was placing his trust in his military might and therefore numbered the people so God’s consequence was to send a plaque that caused 70,000 people to die. David then says to God, “Surely I have sinned, and I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, be against me and against my father’s house.” David pleas with God to strike only and his family, but sin often has consequences that affect others, especially if the sinner is a leader. When we choose to follow our own plans, our choices affect others and they can get caught up in the consequences of our sin.
Let’s learn from David and be attentive to those God sends us as a warning and heed their words to keep us from sin. Let’s also consider how our choices and actions affect those around us. And when we do sin, let’s repent quickly and fall on the mercy of God and seek his forgiveness.
From David’s sin we can learn six things: 1) there is motivation behind every sin. 2) God brings conviction with every sin. 3) We need to repent quickly 4) Sin brings consequences. 5) There is always mercy at the hand of God. 6) Sin has a ripple effect. — click to tweet
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.