Falling into the Hand of the LORD
2 Samuel 24:14 (ESV) -- Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”
David had sinned against God. This wasn’t his adultery and murder sin. It was his census that he took of the nation. Why was it sinful? Because it was a boast and pride to David’s ego. The census only served to buff David about his greatness and power. God determined to bring judgment for this sin by David. But it is David’s response that is interesting and noteworthy.
We read in 2 Samuel 24:14, “Then David said to Gad, ‘I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.’” David’s words here give us insight into what he believes about the character of God. It reveals what he believes about the justice and grace of God.
He is torn. His spirit is distressed. He was given options of what punishment he wanted to receive from God. Rather than choosing between the options, he chose to let God decide. Rather than making a decision that was going to result in afflictions for someone, he put it in God’s hands to choose the punishment. David chooses to “fall into the hand of the LORD.” What he means by that is he is going to trust God’s discretion and decision. God is merciful. God will not punish beyond what is deserved. But man cannot be trusted like this. David fears falling into the hands of man. Why? Because man’s character is not as sure as God’s character.
This passage is one of those glimpses into the lives of people that show their trust in God. David had sinned. He messed up big when he took the census. Rather than trusting himself with the decision about what punishment best suited his sin, he let God decide. We should trust the character of God in all situations. He is faithful. His character is trustworthy and sure. Fall into the hands of God today. Put your full confidence in His wisdom over your life.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why did David prefer to have God choose his punishment?
- What was the risk David ran if he decided to choose for himself?
- How does this passage challenge us today? What does it reveal to us about trusting God?
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