And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. ~1 Chronicles 21:13
In a court of law, a defendant is subject to the laws of justice. If the evidence against the defendant strongly indicates that he is guilty of the crimes he is charged with, he faces punishment that can be harsh. It is this realization that compels him to throw himself at the mercies of the court. He wants mercy and not justice. Mercy is pity for our situation. Mercy is grace being extended to us, even though we are not deserving of it. Mercy is favor bestowed on someone who is in an unfavorable situation. Let us see, this morning, the great mercies of our Lord.
We see David’s wrong.
“And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.” David, out of sinful pride, wanted to find out how large his military force was. Instead of glorifying God for every victory, David felt he deserved the glory and credit for his accomplishments. Joab tried to persuade him that numbering the people was wrong, but David prevailed over him. David sinned by conducting a census count of every soldier he had. We must be very careful of self-exaltation and thinking we are better than we really are.
We see David’s repercussion.
“And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.” David’s sin resulted in the chastening hand of God against him and Israel. God sent an angel throughout Israel who took the lives of 70,000 men. What an incredible number of men who lost their lives because of David’s desire to see how big and powerful his army was. Sin affects more than just the one who has sinned. There is always collateral damage to people closest to us when we sin. God is holy and must punish sin.
We see David’s reasoning.
God gave David three choices for his punishment. This was the mercy of discretion. David selected the punishment that placed his outcome into the hands of God and not the hands of man. David said, “For very great are his mercies.” From experience, he knew the goodness of God’s mercies. There is the faithfulness in God’s mercies. There is the forgiveness in God’s mercies. There is the Fatherliness in God’s mercies. He knew there would be passion, pity, and patience in God’s mercies. God’s mercies are what we need when we are in a difficult circumstance.
We see David’s request.
He prayed, “Let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies.” Years before, David prayed, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” He experienced God’s lovingkindness and the multitude of His tender mercies in the past. He called on the God of mercy to lovingly display His mercies again.
We need God’s mercies over and over in our life. We need the mercy of forgiveness, the mercy of His cleansing, the mercy of healing, the mercy of divine intervention, the mercy of answered prayer, the mercy of vindication, and the mercy of acceptance. Like David, let us remember that very great are God’s mercies for our life.
Have a mercy-enriched God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 1-3