A father was trying to explain the consequences of careless living to his son. So the father told his son to drive a nail into the post each time he did something wrong. Whenever the boy did a kind act he was allowed to pull out the nail. The son followed his fathers instructions but he found out that although he could pull out the nail he could do absolutely nothing about the nail hole. Thus, one might change his ways, but the scars remain.
David disobeyed God when he numbered Israel. The real issue was not that David took the census it was that he disobeyed God by carrying it out. David insisted on things being carried out in his way, even when God had said “No”. An iron law of life is that evil will not go unpunished, and the sin David committed was no exception. Judgement did come for David, but fortunately for him he was given the opportunity to make a choice out of the punishments. Here is an account of this major Bible prayer;
2 Samuel 24:10-14
10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.
David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands” (Verse 14) Out of the 3 choices David was given he chose to take his chances with God than rather than man. 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. From this we can learn that whenever we sin greatly, we should turn back to God. To be punished by him is greater than to take your chances without him.
There are 2 important lessons that can be derived from this major Bible prayer.
- We can never get away with evil. We are always going to suffer with the scars of sin
- We can always rely on their mercies of God to restore us, if and only if we come before God in full confession and sincerely seek His help. Wouldn’t it have been better to just obey him in the first place?
Now remember, just like the son in the story one can change his ways, but the scars of sin remain.
P.S- Please share with friends, family and your social media. The next blog post is about Spiritual Atrophy and will be entitled Prayer Practice, Be sure to check back for that post, on Monday. If you have any prayer requests, no matter how big or small they are send them through this form (click here for the form) 🙂