Pride and Pestilence 2 Sam 24(10)
During the Battle of the Wilderness, Union general John Sedgwick was inspecting his troops. He came to a parapet and gazed out in the direction of the enemy. His officers suggested that this was unwise and that he should duck while passing it. “Nonsense,” snapped the general. “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist—.” then he fell to the ground, fatally wounded.
Pride has to be one of the most reoccurring and damaging. C.S. Lewis once said that “Pride has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began!” If we were all honest with ourselves, we would admit to being a Prideful people. Benjamin Franklin once said of Pride, “Even if I could overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”
Pride steals God’s glory and keeps us from trusting Him completely him. Pride leads us to self reliance and every time I have relied on my self I have found nothing but trouble. King David, like all of us struggled with Pride and in this text we see the great suffering the Pride brings.
CPS: Sin always has consequences, even when it has been confessed. We need to guard ourselves from Pride and rely on God least we suffer great loss.
I. Pride brings Self-reliance (2)
I. Pride brings Self-reliance (2)
Pride is a sin we all deal with . Pride is the feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction that is derived from our own achievements. Notice David’s words, “That I may know the number of people.”
Pride steals Glory from God and ascribes glory to man. But Isaiah 42:8 says “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.” And ultimately Pride is a breeding ground for self-reliance.
In our text David takes a census so that he will know hoe many men are in Israel who can bear a sword. Simply put, he numbers his army. There is nothing wrong with taking a census. through out Israel’s history census’ had been taken before. But, as Warren Wiersbe notes, a census that praised men would never glorify God.
Through out David’s life God brought him victory after victory. Victory while a lowly shepherd protecting his father’s sheep. Victory against a giant, a king who sought his life, a rebellion, and nations. There isn't enough time to tell of all the victories God brought King David.
In this text, we find David no longer a youth but an older man. And somewhere along the way Pride has gotten its nose under David’s tent. He was no longer trusting God but trusting his own might as he desired to in his success.
Verse one often causes trouble for its readers, 2 Sam. 24:1 “Now again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” Context is important so we must look to other text that may shed more light on the scene. 1 Chron. 21 is a passage that parallels out text. In the first verse we read, “Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.” God is not the God of confusion nor the author of sin, But there is a tempter in this world who is the enemy of God and man., his great desire is to sift you like wheat. One preacher rightly stated, “It was Satan who precipitated it, David performed it, and God permitted it.”
We are responsible for our sin, even when tempted by Satan. And the Pride of life is a sin as old as the fall, one that Satan uses often. He used it in the Garden, he used it against David, and he uses it against us. When we rely on ourselves we no longer trust God who gives us life, breathe, and all things.
Its easy to fall victim to pride, we take our eyes off of God for one moment and BAM, we are the greatest thing since slice bread. But we are only great in our own estimation, to everyone around us we look foolish!
When I was a kid dad took me fishing on the pier at Fort Clinch with some friends, and I caught the biggest Angel fish I have ever seen. It had to be a state record! I was maybe 10 years old and so proud of my great accomplish that put that Angel Fish under my arm and walked up and down that pier showing it to everyone. I had a strut that would make Tom the Turkey Jealous. At the end of the day the fish was stiff and dry as card board, Dad says he didn't know who smelled worse me or the dead fish., people held their nose and turned away as I showed them my catch. I bet for years, those people remembered and talked about that time that smelly little boy walked up and down the pier with that stiff dead Angle Fish under his arm.
Pride smells much like I did that day, dead fish, because that is all sin brings. Death.
David’s Pride brought him to rely on himself and when we rely on yourself suffering follows nearby!
II. Pride Brings Suffering (15)
II. Pride Brings Suffering (15)
The Bible teaches us that the wages of sin is death! There is always consequences to sin, even confessed sin. Perhaps before we sin we should weigh the consequences then ask ourselves if are willing to pay the price.
Sin is cheap but its penalty is great! Notice that David confessed his sin in verse 10, “Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” The bible teaches us that when we confess our sin Jesus will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness! However, every decision on earth has its consequences.
God sent Gad to deliver the news to David, there were still consequences. David was given 3 choices, 7 years of famine, 90 days of fleeing for his life, or three days of pestilence. David then chooses to entrust himself to God.
God’s send pestilence upon the men of Israel (Sin always involves others). Pestilence is the Hebrew noun dě·ḇěr, it means disease or plague. It’s a sickness that causes widespread death. Becasue of David’s pride 70,000 people died.
Note the Irony, David wanted to number his forces so he could bask in his power. But God diminished his forces by 70,000! Pride precedes a great fall! Pro. 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.”
Sin causes suffering! Our sin effects us and those around us. We may not think that pride is a serious thing, we may believe that sin is sin. However, David confessed “I have sinned greatly.” Greatly is the Hebrew noun meʾōḏ, it means very greatly. It pertains to a very high point, or degree on a scale. Pride produced greater sorrow and tragedy in David’s life than his adultery.
In regards to his adultery with Bathseba and the murder of Uriah David says (2 Sam. 12:13 ) “I have sinned against the Lord. With Bathsheba, David acted hastily, he was suddenly overwhelmed with fleshy desire for Bathsheba but in his census he carried it out with cool and calculated precision.
From a human point of view, numbering the people does not seem a greater sin than adultery and murder; yet from God’s point of view, taking the census was a sin greater in its disobedience and consequence
When Jesus was on the earth, He was forgiving toward the publicans and sinners but severe with the proud and rebellious. Both sins are serious and we should not be involved in either one, but we dare not underestimate the awful results of pride and stubborn disobedience! (WW)
We know about Pride, Suffering, and Pestilence.. Don’t we! I believe with all my heart that Covid-19 was judgment sent from God because of the Prideful self-reliance of the world. People are trusting in everything but God and 6.6 million people have died.
David was aware of his sin, David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people, and the people who died were not innocent either! They chose a man to rule them over God and sin always has its consequences.
Pride brings suffering, and I believe with all my heart that suffering on earth is meant to bring about repentance and faith. I though that Covid-19 would turn the hearts of man to God but it hasn't. Church’s are empty and people have no desire for a relationship with God!
The difference between David and we us is that He acknowledged his sin and returned to the Lord!
Pride brings self reliance and suffering, and it demands sacrifice!
III. Pride Demands Sacrifice (25)
III. Pride Demands Sacrifice (25)
The Bible teaches us that (Heb. 9:22), without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Sin demands sacrifice! Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Sin brings judgment, but God’s desire is for none to perish. God did not want David to fall into sin and neither does he want us to fall into sin. God gave David so many chances to change his mind about the census.
God’s Patience: Being rich in mercy and slow to anger God gave David 9 months and 20 days to change his mind. But David continued in his Pride.
Joab’ Counsel: Joab, the commander of the Army asked “why do you delight in this thing.” In 1 Chron. 21:3 “Joab said, Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?” Even Joab knew this was not a good Idea and there was going to be consequences.
The Word’s Warning: David had the Word of God to warn him, record of the exodus and when God ordered Moses to take a census. READ EXODUS 30:11-16
There was redemption money required by the people. This money was a reminder that they were God’s purchased possessions and that a plague would strike the people if it were not paid. God Himself warned David and spoke against his Pride… HEY DAVID YOU WERE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE!
God is patient with us, giving us the span of our life to repent and trust Him. He often sends wise counsel through a trusted friend or brother in Christ. And we have the Word of God and the events of the Cross to remind us that we are God’s purchased possession! PAID FOR BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS!
As pestilence crossed the land, and men were dying, as God entered Jerusalem He stayed His hand as the angel of the Lord was at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
David pled with God, 2 Sam. 24:17 ““Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”
God hears our pleas, and He always responds to repentance and faith! God sent Gad and instructed him to build an alter on the threshing floor where the Angel of the Lord had stood. He was obedient and built an alter and offered sacrifice!
Sin demands death, blood is the only currency God receives, and on that place where the alter was built stood Jesus! The Angel of the Lord and on that very sight David’s son Solomon would build the temple, where countless sacrifices were offered. But there is only one sacrifice that was eternally accepted by God the Father and it was the Sacrifice of His Son Jesus, who died for the sins of the world, even the great sin of Pride!
Application: Pride is costly, our sin cost Jesus His life. Has your pride be covered by the blood of Jesus? Has your self-reliance turned to faith in Jesus? Sin is dirty business but God graciously gives us time to repent.