Turning Disobedience Into Blessing – II Samuel 24

In this final chapter of II Samuel, King David sent Joab, his military commander, to take a census of Israel. By numbering the people for military purposes (vs. 9), David apparently showed a lack of trust in God to supply the necessary men when needed and wrongful pride in the hundreds of thousands of forces at his command (see vs. 10). As a consequence of David’s sin God offered David three choices: 1) three years of famine in the land; 2) three months of fleeing from his enemies; or 3) three days of pestilence in the land. David chose pestilence reasoning that he would rather fall into the hand of God than men because God’s mercy is great (vs. 14). So God sent pestilence into the land, and even though it killed 70,000 men (vs. 15), God stopped the destruction before it came upon Jerusalem. Then God told David to build an altar on a certain hilltop near Jerusalem. God accepted David’s burnt offerings and responded to David’s plea for the people of Israel. This altar site becomes significant in the future for as the parallel account in 1 Chronicles 22:1 indicates, this hilltop threshing floor becomes the site on which Solomon builds the temple of the Lord. So God used David’s act of disobedience to accomplish His purposes for Israel! God is sovereign over His creation and His plans and purposes are not hindered by our disobedience. God is almighty to the extent that He can use even the evil and sinful actions of individuals to work His good purposes.

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