“David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”
~ 2 Samuel 24:10
Hi James and Ellen,
Have you ever made a gaffe? Your grandpaa believes that every guy, gal and kid makes gaffes – that every guy, gal and kid says or does things that he or she wishes that he or she had not said or done. Something that your grandpaa liked to do when he was a kid around the 4th of July was to put a firecracker under the rim of an upside down, empty tin can and then to light the firecracker to see how high the firecracker could blow the tin can up into the air. The gaffe that your grandpaa made one day while he was using firecrackers to blast empty tin cans into the air to see how far that they would go up was to lean over a tin can after the firecracker that your grandpaa lit did not go off as quickly as other firecrackers had. The firecracker went off just as your grandpaa leaned over the tin can. Your grandpaa by this time was wearing glasses. When the firecracker went off, the firecracker blew the tin can smack into one of the lenses of your grandpaa’s glasses. The lens shattered into pieces. None of the glass from the shattered lens ended up in your grandpaa’s eye. Your grandpaa remembers wishing that he did not have to tell his dad and ma what had happened. Your grandmaa and grandpaa a number of years ago visited your grandpaa’s dad and ma over the 4th of July. One of your grandpaa’s bros liked to shoot off fireworks at dusk on the evening of the 4th of July. Your grandpaa’s bro had your grandmaa and grandpaa over to his house to watch him shoot off some skyrockets. Your grandmaa and grandpaa took your grandpaa’s ma along with them to watch your dad’s Uncle Joel shoot off skyrockets. Your dad’s Uncle Joel’s son-in-law – Grady, was at your dad’s Uncle Joel’s place. Grady and your dad’s Uncle Joel were shooting off different skyrockets in the middle of your dad’s Uncle Joel’s yard when one of the skyrockets tipped over just after Grady lit it. The skyrocket could have tipped over in any direction but . . . it tipped over in the direction of where your grandpaa’s ma, grandmaa and grandpaa were sitting. The skyrocket was probably about one hundred or so feet away from where your grandpaa’s ma, grandmaa and grandpaa were sitting. The skyrocket blasted between your grandpaa’s ma and grandmaa crashing against the closed garage door that was right behind where your grandpaa’s ma and grandmaa were sitting causing a dent in the garage door. Even though your grandpaa’s ma had one of her legs slightly burned by the skyrocket, it could have been a much horrible gaffe because a guy was not as careful as he should have been with something as potentially dangerous as a skyrocket.
David wrote psalm songs to thank God for what He had done and was doing for him. In spite of writing psalm songs to thank God for what He had done and was doing for him, David’s pride at times smacked him with tragic results. The Samuel Books editor finished what became the second Samuel Book – in 2 Samuel 24, with an incident that was the result of what David had demanded to be done. Joab – who was David’s army commander, told David that it was not a good idea what he wanted done. Even though one of David’s kids – Absalom, was able to amass a following and another guy – Sheba, had started up a short-lived insurrection against David, David did not have any reason to be concerned about being overthrown as God’s anointed king over God’s specially chosen guys and gals who were living in the land that God gave to them to always to have to live in as their very own land if . . . in spite of Joab’s reservations, David continued to insist that he wanted to know how many guys who were twenty years old and older who were living in the land area that he ruled over as king and who would be able to fight if there was a war. This land area by this time was known as Israel. It took census counters nine months and twenty days to find out how many fighting guys that there were in all the land area that was ruled over by David. The census counters began taking the census on the Transjordan side – which is the east side, of the Jordan River to find out how many fighting guys there were in the two and a half tribal clans that had settled on the east side of the Jordan River. After completing the Transjordan side – going south to north, the census counters did their thing going north to south in Canaan or the land that God gave to His specially chosen guys and gals to always have to live in as their very own land if . . . the census that David mandated discovered that there where somewhere around 1,300,000 able bodied guys who were living in the land area that God gave to His specially chosen guys and gals to always to have to live in as their very own land if . . . who would be available to fight if . . .
When David got the final number from his census takers, David felt horrible. David knew that he had made a serious gaffe. David knew that what he had ordered done was not something that God had told him to do. Verse 10 says, “David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”’ God just did not say to David – okay, I will forget what you did without first asking Me if it would be okay to do it; God gave David three choices as a punishment for what he did. God told David to choose between a three year famine, persecution for three months by an enemy people group’s guys and a three day plague. David chose the three day plague. Because of David’s stubborn pride, 70,000 guys, gals and kids from all over the land area that made up Israel’s land area had to suffer and die. By the time that God stopped His angel from totally destroying the city of Jerusalem, David had grasped God’s mercy. Have you ever made a gaffe that led you to get it how God’s mercy works? God will make sure that you will have life gaffes so that you will internalize His mercy.
2 Samuel 24 (526)