Wednesday, December 26, 2012

David-Greed and Pride

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 24

From David's Journal

I don't know why I did it. I shouldn't have.

I called Joab, the captain of my army. He met me in my chambers. "Joab, I want you to go throughout all the tribes of Israel, from the far north corner of Dan to the farthest south in Beersheba and count the people in our land."

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Joab stood silent for a minute. He stoke his beard. "May the Lord your God multiply the people before your eyes as a blessing. Why would you want a census taken? The Lord has blessed us with enough fighting men."

"It is not your business," I answered. 

He didn't bother to argue any longer. He took the other captains with him and went about the land counting all the people of Israel.

After going through all the land, Joab and the other captains returned to Jerusalem. They were gone nine months and twenty days. Joab came to my chamber and reported the numbers he collected: Eight hundred thousand valiant men who could fight with a sword and five hundred thousand men from Judah.

The second the words fell from Joab's lips I knew I had sinned. My heart ached with guilt and forced me to go to the Lord and confess. "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Oh God, please forgive me for I have been foolish."

The next morning the prophet Gad came to me with a message from the Lord. "My lord, God has spoken His judgement against you. He will allow you to choose one of three punishments: 1. seven years of famine will strike the land. 2. you will run from your enemies for three months while they attack you. 3. Three days of plague in the land. Which would you have me say is your choice?"

"This is terrible. Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great. Do not let me fall into the hands of man like the first two choices would bring."

The prophet Gad took my answer to the Lord. I didn't know how to prepare the people for the next three days.

The Lord sent a plague upon Israel from the morning to the appointed time. From the north in Dan to the south in Beersheba seventy thousand men died. The angel stretched His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, but the Lord stopped the destruction and told the angel to stop.

I cried to the Lord as the angel struck the people, "I am the one who sinned. I have done wickedly. These people of yours, what have they done against You?"

The Lord ended the plague.
1. What did David ask Joab to do?
2. Did Joab agreed with the command?
3. Did Joab carry out the order?
4. What happened?
5. What did God say?
6. Which punishment did David choose and why?
7. How did David show he was sorry?

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