Towards the end of David’s life and reign as King of Israel, he did something that God didn’t like. He counted his men. People warned him not to count his men. But he did it anyway.
So what. He counted his men. What’s the big deal?
At this point in his life David had not only outlasted King Saul (when he spent years chasing David around the middle east trying to kill him), and out fought the giant Goliath, but David and Israel under David’s leadership has now defeated just about everybody around them. They have defeated the Philistines. They have the greatest army in the world. And now they are at a time of peace.
And David decides to count his men.
After a lifetime of depending on God and being humble, now David becomes prideful.
Who wouldn’t be prideful?
You are the greatest king over the greatest nation with the greatest army.
The problem was this: The land was now at peace. Israel had extended its borders. David’s sin was pride and ambition in counting the people so that he could glory in the size of his nation and army, its power and defenses. By doing this, he put his faith in the size of his army rather than in God’s ability to protect them regardless of their number.
We sin in the same way when we place our security in money, jobs, education, different people, or many other things.
That doesn’t mean we are not to earn money or get a good education. We should always do the very best we can.
But we have to keep our heads straight.
Those things are not what gives us life.
God is. He will determine whether or not our lives are blessed. He will determine our level of success.
David immediately felt sorry for what he had done.
2nd Samuel 24:10-14
David did something very few people ever do, confess sin willingly when we feel conviction.
Most of the time when someone feels conviction, they start making excuses, they say people are judging them, they back away from God, they become apathetic in their walk with God.
Basically, most of the time we are too prideful to admit we have sinned. Or we like our sin too much to turn from it.
But not David. Not here. He is willing to take the correction of God.
And he gets three choices:
1.Three years of famine.
2.Three months of fleeing from your enemies.
3.Three days of plague.
David wisely chose the form of punishment that came most directly from God. He knew how brutal and harsh men in war could be, and he also knew God’s great mercy. When you sin greatly, turn back to God. To be punished by him is far better than to take your chances without him.
2nd Samuel 24:15-17
David recognizes something really important here, too. When you sin, your sin affects more than just yourself. Especially if you are leadership.
Think about WWII. Japan.
Emperor Hirohito is the one who decided to bomb Pearl Harbor and start a war the US. He is the one who decided to join up with Hitler. Yet, millions of innocent Japanese people were killed because of his decision. Because he wanted to be a super power. When the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki all the people that died were not guilty. But their leader was.
During this plague, David’s sin was causing the death of his people. Innocent people. It was his fault.
2nd Samuel 24:18-25
David refuses to give to God that which costs him nothing.
There is always a cost in total surrender.
CONSIDER THE COST OF A CHRIST CENTERED LIFE:
A. A Christ centered life will cost you your favorite sins.
a. Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perserverance the race marked out for us.”
b. We get entangled in sin. Imagine you are trying to run a race. You are looking toward
that finish line. And as you are running, you look down and there is a ton of...