In today's passage, David receives instructions for taking a census of the people.
There will always be someone whose achievements we can never match, but we can all do something mighty at our own level. Today we will learn three characteristics of David's mighty men. By putting these characteristics into play in our own lives, we too can become God's mighty ones.
God can build something good from our deep, repentant confessions. But if we don't confess in a humble way, we miss this blessing and simply repeat our sin and consequences again and again.
Ask God Himself to be the one who punishes you according to His mercy. 2 Samuel 24:14
After David's confession, the prophet Gad comes to him and announces a choice between three consequences: a seven-year famine, a three-day plague, or having to personally flee from his own enemies during a three-month pursuit. In verse 14, David decides that he is willing to face whatever befalls him according to God's wisdom.
And David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man."
True repentance has no defense. If you make a confession, express your wrongdoing, but don't try to justify it. If you give reasons or excuses, you are explaining, not confessing. Accept the result with humility.
2. Ask God to show you the consequences of your sin. 2 Samuel 23:9-10
God sends a plague on Israel and seventy thousand die.
Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, "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." (v. 17)
You have no idea how much effect your actions have on other people.
You have no idea how much effect your actions have on other people. Ask him to show you how you have hurt others. The pain and discomfort you experience now will make you rethink your future actions.
3. a meaningful sacrifice to thank God for His forgiveness. 2 Samuel 24:24
David erects an altar to the Lord and must buy the land for the threshing floor from Araunah. Araunah offers to give David whatever he needs for this sacrifice because he is the king, but David insists on purchasing it himself.
But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." (v. 22-24)
You don't want to offer God something in your confession something that costs you nothing. If you are really repentant, you will be willing to give or do something costly. Maybe God will ask you to confess to someone without offering excuses, costing you pride. Maybe he will ask you to right a wrong, costing you money and time. Maybe He will ask you to change your behavior, costing you discipline and self-control. But when you are willing to personally sacrifice these things, lasting change can be made in your life.
4. Expect eternal value from a good confession.
David buys the land from Araunah and builds the altar. As we learn later in 2 Chronicles 3:1, this very property purchased as a sacrifice of David becomes the ground of the Solomon's great temple.