From Tragedy to the Temple

Posted: September 29, 2010 in 1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 21-22, “From Tragedy to the Temple”

Have you ever messed up so bad in sin that you wondered, “How is it that God could ever love a person like me?” (For some of us, that may be a daily occurrence!) We get into a mess & we’ve got a ton of consequences to deal with we wonder how God will ever be able to work with us again.

The Bible has some good news for people like us: God specializes in redeeming terrible situations for His glory. Praise the Lord for it!

That’s exactly what David demonstrates in Ch 21-22. Thus far in 1 Chronicles, the author has described David as the ideal king. He was exalted by God among the people – he was exalted by God among the nations – He was graced by God with an everlasting covenant. He had experienced blessing upon blessing. But (as we all know) David wasn’t perfect. Far from it! The author of Chronicles may have left out the story of David’s sin with Bathsheba, but he doesn’t leave out another sin of David that ends with 7,000 people dead by the hand of God Himself. At this point, surely God is done with David, right? There’s nothing that God will bring out of this tragedy – it’s just a waste, right? Wrong. In the midst of tragic sin, God does something absolutely wonderful – and we see a marvelous demonstration of His sovereignty & grace.

1 Chronicles 21 (NKJV)
1 Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

A. Right off the bat, we have a bit of a problem, when compared with the account in 2 Samuel. 2 Samuel 24:1 Again the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” [] Is this a contradiction in the Scriptures? No – simply a different perspective. In 2 Samuel, we see that God allowed this temptation to take place; in 1 Chronicles, we see HOW God allowed the temptation to take place.

B. 1st theological question: So is God to blame for the evil temptation that Satan brought to David? No. God does not tempt anyone with evil (Jas 1:13). … Yet, God CAN and DOES allow Satan to roam in this world, and along with our own evil desires (Jas 1:14), Satan will tempt us & engage us in spiritual warfare. Just ask Job.

C. 2nd theological question: If Satan “moved David” to conduct the census, is it David or Satan at fault for this sin? David. Satan is certainly involved, and Satan will answer for his involvement with sin (that’s part of what he will experience when he’s finally cast into the lake of fire), but we cannot blame Satan for the sin that David commits. David is ultimately responsible for his own sin.

2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.” 3 And Joab answered, “May the LORD make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel?” 4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came to Jerusalem.

A. Is a census by itself necessarily wrong? No. The book of Numbers is specifically named for the census Moses made of the children of Israel. (There were actually two preformed…) Here, the problem isn’t so much the act, but the attitude. This wasn’t a God-inspired census as in Numbers, when the purpose of the counting was to show how small in number the people were & thus show the miraculous power of God to bring them through the wilderness & give them a land they did not deserve. This seems to have been a census of pride, as David said: “that I may know it.” This wasn’t a census to give God glory; this was a census that seemed to puff up the pride of a man.

a. Beware of pride! Pride caused Adam & Eve to eat of the fruit – pride caused Moses to strike the rock rather than speak to it – pride caused Samson to tell the secret of his strength to Delilah – pride caused David to number Israel – pride caused Satan to rebel against God. Pride will take us down! Stay humble & submitted to the Lord Jesus, and we’ll stay out of a lot of trouble!

B. Joab understood the danger here better than God’s own anointed king. It didn’t matter how many people were actually in the land, because they were to trust the promises of God. God had promised Abraham that his children would number more than the sand on the shore and more than the stars in the sky (Gen 15:5). The idea was that God promised that there would be more people than could be counted – so why would the supposed servant of God throw this in the face of God by actually performing a count of the people? David’s census was an insult to God, and Joab knew it & he even knew the result: “guilt in Israel.” The nation would suffer as a result of the sin of the king.

5 Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword. 6 But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.

A. Joab was obedient…to a point. As the servant of the king, he was compelled unto obedience, so Joab numbered a million-man army. (Huge, even by today’s standards!) But even in his grudging obedience, Joab only went so far…he purposefully neglected to count Levi & Benjamin.

B. Was Joab in sin? No. Joab certainly had a duty to his king, but he had a greater duty to God. The Bible makes it perfectly clear we are to obey our rulers & those in authority over us (whether they be the government, our employers, our parents, etc.). Yet when forced into a choice between obeying God or obeying man, we are to choose God every time. That’s what the apostles did in regards to the Sanhedrin… (Acts 4:19)

7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel.

A. This was exactly the result that Joab feared. The whole nation of Israel was struck due to the sin of its king. The representative of the people sinned, and the whole nation paid a price as a result.

B. Question: knowing that it was originally God who had allowed Satan to move David to do this, why would God be displeased? After all, isn’t this the result of what God allowed to happen? Yes – it is the result, but that doesn’t take away our individual responsibility. God is indeed sovereign over all the earth…there is nothing He cannot do. God is absolutely omniscient…there’s nothing He does not know (including the choices we will make regarding sin). God is not surprised by our sin, but neither is God responsible for our sin. We alone are responsible for our actions – and though God knows our sin, it nevertheless grieves God. [] He desires so much better for us!

a. Yet, this just goes to emphasize the depth of the love of God for us. God knows not only every single sin we’ve already committed, but He knows every sin we’ve yet to commit – and He STILL called us His own & makes provision for our sin through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ one sacrifice at the Cross is absolutely sufficient for ALL our sins: past, present, and future.

b. Does this give us free reign to sin as much as we want? As Paul asked, “shall we sin in order that grace may abound?” (Rom 6:1) Absolutely not! On the contrary, this should give us even MORE motivation to walk in righteousness – to live in such a way that we please the Lord who has purchased us with His blood.

8 So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

A. Say what you want about David’s sins…when he sinned, he sinned big! But David always gives a wonderful model of confession & repentance. Said something similar with his sin of murder & adultery… Psalm 51:3-4 (3) For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. (4) Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. []

B. This is the model of what it means to confess & seek forgiveness. We often quote 1 John 1:9 (rightly so) in regards to being forgiven – but if we ever want an illustration of what confession looks like, we need look no further than David.

a. David agrees with God that sin is sin. That’s the very essence of confession.
b. David acknowledges his total helplessness. The iniquity is already upon David, and he can’t remove it himself. God is the one who has to take it away from him.
c. David submits himself to God. He doesn’t try to run away from God’s discipline; he humbly submits himself to the Lord.

C. Too often, we don’t even get past step #1! We might understand our fellowship with God is hindered & we need God’s help to fix it – but we don’t want to admit that what we’ve done is actually sin. It’s always someone else’s fault – our response is always totally justified… [] Beware! We’ve got be willing to face reality about our sin if we want it dealt with – otherwise the results of it are going to hang over us for a very long time.

9 Then the LORD spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “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.” ’ ” 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Choose for yourself, 12 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.”

A. Objection: “David confessed his sin, shouldn’t that have been the end of it?!” Of course not. Obviously David’s relationship with God was no longer hindered; his confession dealt with that in the mercy of God. But there are always consequences for our sin. That’s simply a universal truth – we reap what we sow… (Gal 6:7) Even when it comes to our personal salvation in Jesus Christ, there were still consequences to our sin – only we didn’t face those consequences; Jesus faced them for us. But be assured, there WERE consequences.

B. God gave David three options: (1) three years of famine – (2) three months of military defeat – (3) three days of judgment from God Himself. None of these are easy choices. Three years of famine could be survived, but a lot could happen in that time when the people were weakened. Three months of defeat could be dealt with (the nation of Israel had done it many times before in the time of the judges) – but the result would be that the nations would blaspheme the God of Israel for supposedly being weak. Yet three days of the sword of the Lord would be extremely harsh. One minute of the judgment of God could wipe out a nation! To endure three days would be terrifying.

a. How long was Jesus in the grave? Three days. It’d be a stretch to make too much of an application here, but there aren’t coincidences in the Bible. Just like Abraham dealt with the impending sacrifice of his son Isaac for three days as they went to Mt. Moriah – just like the prophet Jonah suffered in the belly of the fish for three days – just like the people of Israel (and the anointed king of Israel) would suffer three days of judgment due to sin in the land – so the Son of God, the Anointed Messiah Jesus would suffer three days in the grave for the sin of mankind.

13 And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

A. Out of all the choices, David chooses the most severe. He could have trusted his own armies to minimize the losses in battle, but instead David casts himself into the hands of God, even knowing that there would be no relief from the plague until God Himself chose to stop it.

B. So why did he do it? Because although God is the source of the severest judgment, He’s also the source of the greatest mercy. David trusted the Lord God & understood that God would do exactly what was just & perhaps even show grace beyond any expectation.

a. Do we trust the Lord in the same way? Even when David was in exile from his kingdom & had to deal with the insults of Shimei (2 Sam 16), David trusted that the Lord would do what was right. If God allowed Shimei to shout insults & curses, then so be it; David’s confidence wasn’t in his ability or ego, it was in the Lord God. That’s the way it ought to be with us!

C. Why can we trust God in this way? Because we serve a most merciful God!

14 So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell. 15 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.

A. The fact of this plague is so desperately sad. Just as God sent a destroying angel to take the lives of the 1st born in Egypt – just as God would later send the angel to destroy Sennacherib’s army – likewise God sent His angel to destroy the people of Jerusalem & 70K men died in the plague.

a. The wages of sin is death – and there are always consequences. People always suffer. And it’s still always tragic.

B. Who was the angel? Vs. 16 tells us this was “the angel of the LORD” – many times a reference to the pre-incarnate Christ. Is this the Lord Jesus who destroyed 70K men with the sword of the Lord? Would Jesus do such a thing? Although we cannot say for certain that this particular angel is THE Angel of the Lord (i.e. Jesus), we can say with certainty that yes, Jesus would do such a thing. We don’t often like to think of it, as we know Jesus in the gospels as being meek & inviting… Yet meekness is simply “strength under control,” and Jesus has ALL strength! When Jesus returns in His 2nd coming, there will be far more dead than what we see here – 70K is relatively a drop in the bucket.

a. That’s not said with glee or in childishness – that is simply a fact. The Lord Jesus is not the “good” version of God while the OT presents the “bad” version of God. God is simply God. He’s always been gracious – He’s always been righteous. God has always been forgiving & God has always poured out His wrath. One aspect of God does not contradict the other; God simply is God. And since Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15) – since those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father (Jn 14:9), we have to affirm that Jesus is no different (because Jesus IS God). As much as Jesus can demonstrate His love, compassion, and mercy, so can Jesus demonstrate His righteousness, wrath, and judgment.

16 Then David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 And David said to God, “Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O LORD my God, be against me and my father’s house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”

A. David sees the Angel & it (rightly) causes him to fall on his face! He responds in two ways:

i. David takes responsibility for his sin. He doesn’t dodge anything; he doesn’t attempt to shift the blame. He says, “It’s my fault – blame me.”
ii. David intercedes for the people. He steps into the gap for people who could not speak for themselves to God. He prays for them when they may not even realize their own need for prayer.

B. This is what Jesus does for us, with the exception that it’s not HIS sin for which He takes responsibility. Jesus takes responsibility for OUR sin, and bore the weight of our sin upon the cross. (2 Cor 5:21) … On top of this, Jesus continually intercedes for us. Not only is He our one mediator between God & man (1 Tim 2:5), but Jesus prays for us continually (Heb 7:25) – surely in ways & for things that we have no idea in which we need prayer!

18 Therefore, the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David that David should go and erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 So David went up at the word of Gad, which he had spoken in the name of the LORD. 20 Now Ornan turned and saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves, but Ornan continued threshing wheat.

A. Why an altar? Because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. (Heb 9:22) The proper response to sin is sacrifice – again, exactly what Jesus did at the cross for us.

21 So David came to Ornan, and Ornan looked and saw David. And he went out from the threshing floor, and bowed before David with his face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, “Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar on it to the LORD. You shall grant it to me at the full price, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.” 23 But Ornan said to David, “Take it to yourself, and let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. Look, I also give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing implements for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering; I give it all.” 24 Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.” 25 So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place.

A. Ornan may not have responded to the angel of the Lord, but he did respond to David – offering him the whole plot of land as well as animals for free. Gracious offer!

B. David obviously does not take the gift, but instead pays more than what the land is worth, with the best of reasons: “[I will not] offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.” Sacrifices are personal by definition; otherwise the gift isn’t “sacrificial.”

C. FYI, 2 Sam 24:24 states that David only paid 50 shekels of silver for the threshing floor & the oxen. Vs. 25 plainly states it was 600 shekels of gold. Is this a contradiction? Not necessarily – most likely the different authors of Samuel & Chronicles record different purchases. The author of 2 Samuel states the specific items bought for 50 shekels of silver were the floor & oxen, yet 1 Chronicles just lists the purchase as “the place.” Likely David bought not only the threshing floor but the whole plot of land & all the buildings on it, which later became the Temple complex.

26 And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the LORD; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering. 27 So the LORD commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath. 28 At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29 For the tabernacle of the LORD and the altar of the burnt offering, which Moses had made in the wilderness, were at that time at the high place in Gibeon. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.

A. Immediate answer from God! … The plague was visibly ended, through the sacrifice that was brought…

B. The whole experience brought about a lifetime change in David: he couldn’t go into the altar at Gibeon because “he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.” Instead, David’s worship remained at the place that God had marked by the Angel. Rightfully so! David saw 1st hand what the Lord was capable of doing & it had a lasting impact on him. David now had regained the fear of the Lord – which he seemed to have forgotten in the census…

1 Chronicles 22 (NKJV)
1 Then David said, “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”

A. Outside of the altar, nothing yet was built on the threshing floor – but already David saw it as the house of God. He recognized it was the future home for the temple.

B. Think about that for a minute. Why was this particular spot chosen for the temple? Because David had seen the Angel of the Lord. Why did David see the Angel of the Lord? Because the Angel was carrying out the judgment of God. What made the judgment of God necessary? David’s sin in the census. What started out in sin ended in sacrifice. What began as man’s pride ended in the glory of God through the temple. THIS is the power of the redemption of God!! What an amazing thing, that God could take something so evil & rebellious & turn it into something wonderful where people would come & worship the Lord!

C. Understand, this is exactly what God did through the Cross! There can be no more evil act in all the universe than to kill God. Homocide is evil – it’s murder. Genocide is truly terrible – an entire race of people are killed. Deicide is unthinkable – it’s the murder of God…the whole universe should come unraveled at the seams. But that’s what happened when Mankind put Jesus on the cross: they killed God in the flesh. But what God did through that death is mind-blowing! God willed that Jesus bear that death in His body – God choose to send His Son to the grave for us – God purposefully allowed our rebellion to run amok…for His own glory, with amazing results. Isaiah 53:10-11 (10) Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. (11) He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. []

D. If God can do that through such evil circumstances – what can’t He do with our own? David’s sin & evil was the direct instrument God used to begin the Temple construction. What can God do with the circumstances of our own lives? Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. [] We serve an absolutely sovereign God!

2 So David commanded to gather the aliens who were in the land of Israel; and he appointed masons to cut hewn stones to build the house of God. 3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails of the doors of the gates and for the joints, and bronze in abundance beyond measure, 4 and cedar trees in abundance; for the Sidonians and those from Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.

A. Now that the location was settled, David could begin preparations for the temple in earnest. He got skilled workers & prepared material in abundance… (Walvoord & Zuck) “The king had accumulated 100,000 talents of gold (3,750 tons) and 1 million talents of silver (37,500 tons)—together, 41,250 tons (or 821½ million pounds)—a staggering amount of weight and value!” As of Tuesday, September 28, 2010 gold stood at $1306.60 per oz & silver at $21.68. The value in today’s terms is absolutely staggering…$166+B.

5 Now David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries. I will now make preparation for it.” So David made abundant preparations before his death.

A. Why did David take this task so seriously? Because as much as he loved Solomon, he knew that Solomon wasn’t yet up to the task. Solomon was young & didn’t have the proper understanding of how the temple was to reflect the glory of God. David may not have been allowed to actually build the temple, but he could take steps to ensure that it would be built properly.

B. It’d be easy to take application to modern church buildings today – but that’s probably not the best idea here. What’s the temple of God today? The Church. WE are the temple of the Holy Spirit; He dwells within Christians individually & within the Church corporately. (1 Cor 3, 6) Guess what? The Church (the temple) is STILL to reflect the glory of God! The unbelieving world ought to look at Christians & absolutely understand the goodness, holiness, righteousness, love, and grace of God. They ought to be able to look at Christians & see the work of Christ within each of us because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

6 Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the LORD God of Israel. 7 And David said to Solomon: “My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name of the LORD my God; 8 but the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight.

A. When did God say this to David? We don’t know – it’s not recorded for us. In the original prophecy David received from Nathan, God had given a totally different reason. Originally, God told David that it was because David wouldn’t be ‘gracing’ God with a house, but instead God Himself would be gracing David with an everlasting house. God is always the initiator & man is always the recipient – and God was going to bless David with a family line that would include the Lord Jesus. Yet apparently, at some point later God gave David another word & reason why David would not personally be building the temple.

B. What did God mean when He told David that he had “shed much blood & have made great wars.” Was God referring to the battles that He Himself had called David to fight? Or was God referring to sinful battles, and the blood of Uriah that was on David’s hands? Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly – but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. David’s hands were defiled with blood, and the building of the temple required purity because the temple was to be pure.

9 Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’

A. Partial fulfillment in Solomon. He indeed would have a reign of mostly peace, and he indeed would build the temple (the house).

B. Primary fulfillment in Christ. Obviously there are some parts of this prophecy Solomon can’t possibly fulfill. He was a son of David, but he’s not the Son of God. He was a king of Israel, but his throne wasn’t established forever. That is only fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

– David commissions/charges Solomon for the task…
11 Now, my son, may the LORD be with you; and may you prosper, and build the house of the LORD your God, as He has said to you. 12 Only may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. 13 Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the LORD charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.

A. Charge #1: Build the temple. David notes that it’s not just him as Solomon’s father telling him to build the temple, but God (vs. 10). Solomon would be wise not to delay, but to get to it!

B. Charge #2: Keep the law. Obviously building the Temple is important, but it’s not the only responsibility Solomon had as king. Solomon needed to be a just king as God’s representative to the people – and thus he had a weighty responsibility to walk according to the law of Moses.

a. How to keep the law? By receiving the wisdom of God. Which is exactly what Solomon ended up praying for & receiving.
b. The result of keeping the law? The blessing & prosperity of God. … We are not saved by keeping the law (we can’t; only Jesus can – our salvation is based on HIS keeping of the law). But there IS blessing in obedience.

C. Charge #3: Be strong & courageous. Solomon would have trials in the construction of the Temple – he’d have peace from his enemies without, but he wouldn’t be without troubles at all. Solomon needed courage in addition to obedience & wisdom.

14 Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the LORD one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them. 15 Moreover there are workmen with you in abundance: woodsmen and stonecutters, and all types of skillful men for every kind of work. 16 Of gold and silver and bronze and iron there is no limit. Arise and begin working, and the LORD be with you.”

A. IOW: no excuses. Every provision has been made; now Solomon was to go & do the work.

B. Likewise for us in Christ. God has already made every provision for us that is possibly needed. Now we are to walk empowered by the Holy Spirit & follow after Christ.

17 David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, 18 “Is not the LORD your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and before His people. 19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy articles of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the LORD.”

A. David didn’t only charge his son; he charged the people. They were to help Solomon do the work of the temple construction. The time was right; don’t delay.

B. The key to success? Vs. 19: “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God.” How is it possible for people to walk in obedience to God? 1st our hearts have to be set towards Him. We have to seek His face. This is no different than what Jesus said in the Great Commandment: the 1st & greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength…and the 2nd is like it, to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mt 22:37-39). EVERYTHING else that follows hinges upon that! If our obedience does not 1st start in the love of God, then there is no way we will ever walk in obedience. We’ve got to love God more than we hate sin…

David sinned. God responded. David repented. God blessed.

It’s absolutely amazing. God took what was absolutely tragic & rebellious against Him – He took the very thing that had wrought the wrath of God & destroyed thousands of people in the process – and THAT thing is the very thing God used to demonstrate to David where the temple would be built for the glory of God. At that site, thousands of people would worship – prophecies would be proclaimed – the glory of God would enter & leave…and through the centuries even the Son of God would be presented & rejected & sent to die a death on the cross. All at the very site designated through David’s sin.

Was God done with David? Not by a long shot! Likewise, is God done with us? Praise God, not by a long shot! God can and will glorify Himself through His Church in every situation. Even in the things in which we fail completely – even in the areas in which we still face consequences, yet will God work things for good & His own glory. Our very faith is based upon a tragedy that God turned to ultimate triumph. What can we possibly face that would be a challenge to our loving Almighty God to do the same thing?

In your own sin, admit it – confess it. Respond to the call of God & be done with it at the cross. And then through the power & wisdom of the Spirit, walk with Christ Jesus & experience the blessing of living day-by-day with your Lord & King.


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