David’s Other Great Sin and Prayer

Praying Through the Bible #28 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: 1 Chronicles 21:13-17

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible”. The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the new Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have done 27 messages in this series.

This is message #28 titled “David’s Other Sin.”

We oftentimes talk about David’s sins of adultery and murder. But, we rarely hear about David’s sin of pride as recorded in our passage today. This sin came at a time late in David’s reign, when the nation was at rest from all of its enemies, when the country was prosperous and at peace. Oftentimes, when things have been going well for people for some time, they have a tendency to make a mistake which causes them to mess things up. These mistakes happen because they grow lax in their devotion to God, they are not as vigilant in resisting the devil, and they allow a little temptation to slip past the door of their hearts. Just this past week, I had to remind my family that when things are going well, they have to be extra soberminded, and extra prayerful, because those are the times when the devil is waiting in the corner ready to pounce on somebody who has let their guard down.

In our passage today, we find that David let his guard down at a time when things were doing well. And because he did not resist the devil, he messed up in a big way.

1. How did David let his guard down? In the midst of the prosperity and success of the kingdom, the Bible says that “Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” This is the first time the word “Satan” is used as a proper name in the Bible. The name “Satan” means adversary or one who withstands. Satan was the enemy of Israel and he was trying to get King David to do something that he knew God would be displeased with. He was trying to get David to number the fighting men of Israel. The Hebrew word for “provoke” means to “incite” of to “lure”. Satan started to mess with David’s mind, telling him how great he was, feeding his pride and his ego, until David decided he wanted to know how many men he had at his command.

2. Notice the punishment that resulted from David’s sin. The Bible says that after Joab brought the results of the census back to David, “God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.” The Hebrew word for smite has several meanings ranging from killing someone to a plague that affects crops. But verse 14 of our passage tells us that God sent a pestilence against Israel that caused seventy thousand men of Israel to die. The very thing which had become the source of David’s pride was now the source of David’s pain and punishment.

3. Notice how David repented. The Bible says that when David saw the destruction of the people of Israel, he said to God, “Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.” David admitted his sin and admitted that he deserved his punishment. He asked God to have mercy on the children of Israel. Thankfully, David was a man who kept short accounts with God. He did not let sin pile up in his life. Whenever he was confronted with his own wrongdoing, either by God or by others, he immediately confessed and repented in prayer to God.

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