Punish Me!

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I was telling a coworker today that I have so much in common with King David, not the king part though. We were both chosen by God though David was given tremendous responsibility and grace. We both screwed things up especially in the sin of adultery. We both are repentant sinners. We both are given to suffer for our sins and we both really love God.

In today’s passage from 2 Samuel 24, David is given 3 choices of punishment and I immediately chose the one he chose.

Choice 1: three years’ famine to come upon your land;

Choice 2: flee from your enemy three months while he pursues you;

Choice 3: have a three days’ pestilence in your land.

David chose the third one. I wonder if like me he reasoned that 3 days are better than 3 months or 3 years. Then the passage continues;

“Now it was the time of the wheat harvest when the plague broke out among the people. The LORD then sent a pestilence over Israel from morning until the time appointed, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beer-sheba died.”

David was very distraught and said to the Lord;

“It is I who have sinned; it is I, the shepherd, who have done wrong. But these are sheep; what have they done? Punish me and my kindred.”

Now I have a chance to rethink this. David’s sin has caused the death of seventy thousand people! David says “punish me and my kindred.” I think I disagree with David. I say, punish me! It’s my sin and not the sin of my family and friends. I am the one who made the bad choices and even in my repentance, there is justice to pay. I say let me flee from my enemy for 3 months and if I am captured, tortured or I die, it’s on me. But it is not my will be done, but his will be done. I just hate that what I did brings destruction to those I love. SIN IS BAD and there are consequences for my sin.

This so reminds me how devastating my sins are. They offend God and all of heaven. How many lives have my sins affected? As I write, I am looking at the cross. If it were not for the cross, I will be in hell where I belong with no hope of heaven. But because of the love of Jesus poured out for me, I have great hope in God’s mercy. Amen.

Mike Burke; Wednesday, February 3, 2016
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Punish Me!

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