In our closing passage in the book of 2 Samuel, David disobeys God by taking a count of his army. At first glance, this does not seem to be that big of a deal, right? But consider what it is saying about David’s trust in the Lord: instead of trusting God to provide and fight the battles, like he had done countless times before, David wants to take control over the situation and know for himself what type of power he has. Have you ever been in a situation that your sin seemed small but when you really reflected on it, it revealed a lot about your heart?
In verse 10 that David soon recognizes his sin: “But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” David recognizes his sin, but there are still practical consequences because of it. In a seemingly odd interaction, God gives David three options for how his punishment would be handled.
In verse 17, David tries to protect the people of Israel and Judah, wanting to take the punishment on himself instead of allowing them to bear the brunt of it. But because David is a representative of the people, God says no. It gives greater significance to David’s descendant Jesus, who as another representative of his people, is able to take on the punishment of sin and successfully apply it to all who believe and repent. We also see that our sins and our obedience has affects on the people we lead and represent.
How does this passage point you to Christ and the gospel? What has stood out to you throughout the book of 2 Samuel?
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate