Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psalm 2:12 (b) Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, There is no help for him in God. But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. Psalm 3:3-4
God spoke to the prophet Samuel that King Saul had stepped beyond His boundaries and He would appoint another King, “a man after God’s own heart.” “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart.” (1 Sam. 13:14).
Yes, young David was selected, anointed, and appointed by God to replace the disobedient King Saul when he was 15 years old. David was a meek shepherd boy who possessed the courage to kill wild animals and Goliath. Still, for the next 15 years, David lived a wilderness life. During that time, He became a man of war, which was necessary for the Nation of Israel to have a fearless leader to defeat the heathen nations.
Most are aware of his sin with Bathsheba. Yet, David committed another sin, the sin of pride and self-confidence. Because God blessed Israel to become prestigious in their military accomplishments, the people developed a spirit of conceit. Instead of giving honor and glory to God, King David and Israel strived for worldly greatness among the heathen nations.
The Census of Israel and Judah: “Then Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, ‘Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan and bring me a report, so that I may know their number.'” (1 Chronicles 21:1-2 BSB).
For this sin of pride, David received this message from the prophet Gad:
God’s Judgment: “Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, ‘Go and tell David, saying, Thus says the Lord: I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.’ So Gad came to David and said to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Choose for yourself, either three years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the Lord—the plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel. Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.'” (1 Chronicles 21:9-12).
The Punishment: “So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell.” (2 Chronicles 21:14).
God’s Love and Mercy: “And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was destroying, the Lord looked and relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.’ And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.” (1 Chronicles 21:15).
Great had been David’s fall, but deep was his repentance, ardent was his love, and strong his faith. He had been forgiven much, and therefore he loved much. “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” (Luke 7:47). Our love for God is demonstrated by our humility and conviction to repent and ask for forgiveness of sins. When we contemplate the many times we have fallen into sin and have relied on God’s loving mercies to save our souls, we love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind.
The psalms of David pass through the whole range of experience, from the depths of conscious guilt and self-condemnation to the loftiest faith and the most exalted communing with God. His life record declares that sin can bring only shame and woe, but that God’s love and mercy can reach to the deepest depths, that faith will lift up the repenting soul to share the adoption of the sons of God. Of all the assurances which His word contains, it is one of the strongest testimonies to the faithfulness, the justice, and the covenant mercy of God. EGW
Prayer: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” God, we thank you for your great love and mercies toward us. Great is Your faithfulness. Please examine our hearts and reveal the things that are displeasing to you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.