David stared at his general. “Joab, I want you to go throughout the entire nation. Count all the fighting men we have.”
Joab looked from the king to others in the room. “Sir, may God increase that number a hundredfold in your lifetime. But ,why do want this done? It’s a disgrace to God and the people.”
David sat on his throne. “You have your orders.”
About ten months later Joab reported the numbers to the king.
David’s heart almost stopped beating. He fell to his knees. “Lord God of Heaven forgive me for such foolishness. I have sinned greatly with this act. Please take away this iniquity from me.”
The next morning David’s seer came to him. Gad was not smiling.
David swallowed hard. “What do you want, Gad?”
Gad looked deep into David’s eyes. “God has given you three choices for your sin. You can have three years of famine across the nation; three months running from your enemies or three days of a plague throughout the land.”
David fell to his knees. “I can only imagine what my enemies will do. The Lord’s mercies are great. I choose His way.”
Three days later David was wandering around Jerusalem with the elders. All of them were wearing sackcloth.
The sound of a breeze caught their attention. They turned near a threshing floor and saw an angel holding a sword hovering over the ground.
David fell to his knees. “LORD, I am the one who sinned. Why are the sheep being punished for this? My family should bear the brunt of this punishment.”
The angel stared ahead with his sword in his hand.
David led the men back to the palace.
Gad found David later that day. “You are to build an altar on the threshing floor of Ornan.”
David collected some cash and headed back to the area.
The angel was still there holding his sword.
Ornan came to the king and bowed. “To what privilege do I owe this visit?”
David waited for Ornan to stand. “I want to buy this land to build an altar.”
Ornan motioned around. “I give all of this to you, my king. Take the cattle to offer, their yokes for wood to burn and the wheat here for a grain offering. You can have it all.”
David shook his head. “No. But, I will buy it from you at full price for I cannot offer to the LORD that which costs me nothing.”
The treasurer counted out more than enough money for Ornan to begin again elsewhere.
After the sacrifice was complete David watched the angel return his sword to its sheath then disappear.
Here’s another interesting prayer exchange where God talks to David through another person. This time it’s his seer Gad.
Similar to a prophet a seer had a special connection to God. God was known to speak through them with messages for people to follow.
When David’s pride led him to have a census taken of the people he ruled his guilt led him to admit his sin immediately. He had learned his lesson about trying to hide it.
This is the only time God is known to give someone a multiple choice as to what penalty their sin would cost them.
Neither choice sounded good. David had lived long enough to know some consequences would have deeper impact than others would.
A famine could cause a revolt from the people.
Running from one’s enemies could have these men taking advantage of people in unpleasant ways.
Plague is never good when people die indiscriminately.
David was known as a man after God’s own heart. The reason was because he knew God’s heart so well and he enjoyed being close to it.
That’s why David chose the third option. God’s mercy was attached to it most closely.
There was a reason for all this confusion and chaos. Ultimately the area for the temple was purchased at the place the angel stopped at God’s command.
The area where David sent up his sacrifice on the altar would be the spot so many sacrifices and offerings would be sent up to God.
It was the same place Abraham was told to offer up Isaac. Mt Moriah is the place Jerusalem stands today.
David wanted to build the first temple. God told him no. David did all he could to assure that his son would complete that task.
Once this spot was set aside David collected as much of the material as he could.
This sacred place was made personally sacred by David’s pride and the consequences of it.
Your mistakes and failures hold a promise, too.
Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.
Your hurts, pains, regrets, mistakes and failures are all working to mature you into a marvelous work of God.
Unfortunately that doesn’t mean you will stop making mistakes and failing. It means there are lessons being learned that you can’t learn any other way.
Admit to needing God’s intervention in your life at all times. He’s listening.
Deal with the consequences of your life episodes. You’re learning.
Grow into the person God is creating you to be. You’re maturing.
If your goal is to become more like Jesus Christ you’re on the right course. Stay with it.
If you remember God is in control of everything you’ve got your mindset correct. Never forget this.
If you want to honor God in all you do your motives are pure. Keep that focus.
David was far from perfect, but he was still known as a man after God’s own heart. That’s what we need to strive for.
Perfection will always be elusive. You’ll never achieve it.
Maturity will always be attainable. You can be better.
Turn to God as soon as you recognize your sin.
Deal with the consequences as best you can.
Do your best to learn from your past and move forward with your life.
Keep an open line of communication with God at all cost.
That’s your lifeline.
I’ll see you later. Wade