The Hands of the Lord – Gospel in Life

The Hands of the Lord

Tim Keller |  March 14, 2004

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  • Repentance
  • Atonement
  • Salvation
2 Samuel 24:10-19
RS 172-14

2 Samuel 24:10–19

In 2 Samuel 24:10-19, David makes a mistake, and we see its effects. This story raises questions about why God judges, why counting a population was wrong, and why God showed David mercy. Understanding these issues helps us grasp the message of this story.

1. Why this judgment?

God’s judgment might seem harsh, but it’s actually a powerful tool against human violence. Believing in a God who will judge and stop violence is the only way to end a cycle of revenge and bitterness. So, God’s judgment is a strong force that stops violence and brings justice.

2. Why is this a sin?

In the book of Numbers, David counted his fighters, which was against God’s command. This story reminds us to follow God’s rules, even when they don’t make sense to us. Today’s society often determines right and wrong based on personal happiness and whether something hurts others. But this approach can be problematic, as it can lead us to pick and choose which rules to follow. It also reminds us to consider cultural context when understanding the Bible, and to prioritize God’s commands over our own understanding. We’re also warned about relying on money and military strength instead of trusting in God.

3. Why this grace?

Even though David messed up, God showed him grace because David was truly sorry for his mistake. This kind of repentance is hard because it means admitting we’re wrong. But when we do it, we can let go of the need to protect ourselves and trust God instead. We’re reminded that only God can offer forgiveness and love. The story also talks about substitutionary sacrifice—Jesus taking the punishment for our sins. We’re urged to trust in God, acknowledge His love and sacrifice, and find peace in Him.


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