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Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

by Ken Barnes  
7/17/2019 / Christian Living

When David saw the angel, he said to the Lord, “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? Let your anger fall against me and my family.” (2 Samuel 24:17 NLT)

Many of us, when confronted by our sin, will justify or blame shift.  David was a man that understood justice, and therefore, God could give him mercy.

David numbered Israel, and for some unexplained reason, it displeased the Lord.  In (v. 3), Joab tries to admonish David.  Some say that before any significant sin, God tries to warn us.  In (v. 10), we see that what human words could not do, the conviction of God accomplished.  In this verse, we see no justification or shifting of blame for his action. He simply said that he was foolish, which is the best explanation of any sin we might commit.

God sent Gad, the Prophet, to give David his consequence for his sin.  He had three options (v. 13); seven years of famine, three months fleeing before his enemies, or three days of pestilence. David chose the shortest but the most severe punishment.  He had learned that God is far more merciful than man.

 In (v.16), God suddenly instructs the destroying angel to put away his sword, and the pestilence stops before the appointed time.  Mercy always triumphs over judgment (James 2:13 NASB). David sees this unfolding and renews his repentance. (v.17).  He tells the Lord that it is his sin and asks God to punish him and not his people. The goodness of God always leads us to repentance.

Those who accept God’s justice, most freely receive mercy.  I don’t pray much for justice anymore; I am afraid I might get it.

I worked for seventeen years as a missionary with Youth With A Mission. My missionary work has taken me to Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and Ukraine. I hold a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. [email protected]

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