Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 24.15-17

2 Samuel 24.15-17
So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”

In yesterday’s passage, David has confessed his own sin to God (10) and repented and sought God’s forgiveness.  In our passage today we see God’s wrath and mercy towards both Israel and David.

God’s wrath was delivered by an angel who sent a plague across Israel.  While the plague was underway, God chose to show mercy towards Jerusalem.  Later in verse 17, while David was still unaware that God had stopped the spread of the plague, he saw the angel and sought God’s mercy on behalf of his people and asked that God instead punish his family.  Interestingly, when God stayed the angel’s hand, the angel was conducting the plague from the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, echoing another act of God’s mercy toward Abraham and Isaac in this same location in Genesis 22.  There will be more to come on this location in tomorrow’s passage.

Many religions depict a god acting in wrath toward the disobedient.  Sadly, billions of people today live under a cloud - wondering whether they are living a life good enough for their distant god, hoping they’ve crossed the finish line by the time they die.  But our God runs after us in love (Luke 15).  While we were sinners, He showed His great love and mercy for us in offering His Son Jesus (Romans 5:8) so that we can be free from sin and death and be assured that it is God’s grace and not our good works that have secured our eternity with Him.  Much as God’s covenant with David was unconditional (2 Samuel 7), our eternity with God is not dependent on our good works (Romans 10:9-10, 8:1).  That’s the gospel!

Let’s tell others about our great Savior today and the hope and freedom that comes from a relationship with our loving Father.

1 Thessalonians 4.3: For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.