2 Samuel 24:16 (KJV) And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.
One truth about life is that it happens. It honestly does not matter whether or not we were involved with certain events. We, unfortunately, are indirectly affected by the actions of others merely by association.
At other times, it is our actions that directly cause us to reap undesirable consequences. As much as we do not want to admit it, we have brought certain things upon ourselves. So what can we do about it?
Understanding The Text
In this text, the narrative begins in a few verses above our key passage. In verse 10, David acknowledges his sin before God. Having been in a similar situation previously (ref. to 2 Sam. 12:1-23), it can be assumed that David had already known he was going to have to face the consequences for his actions.
Later in verse 13, David is approached by the prophet Gad. In Biblical times, when a prophet made an appearance unannounced, it brought fear among the people. The prophet’s appearance typically meant there was a message from God. So after Gad presents God’s three options to David, David’s humbly makes the appropriate response (vv. 14). Although there would dire consequences, David reverted to a posture that was familiar to him: reflecting on the grace and mercy of God (2 Sam. 15:25-26; 16:11-12).
Although David repented, he knows that God’s holiness will not allow sin to go unpunished. The punishment begins in verse 15, but an extraordinary event takes place: God’s grace and mercy begins to manifest themselves. He speaks to the Angel and tells Him, “It is enough: stay now thine hand!”
Turning to God in humility can lead to limitless possibilities…
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because we often find ourselves in similar situations as David. Every one of our actions have the propensity of affecting others to the degree of warranting serious consequences. As we travel through the corridors of history, we can pinpoint many events that have landed us on the precipice of where we currently stand: face to face with the massive loss of life on a global level. Am I saying that you or I am to blame directly for what is taking place in our world? No, but we can, however, each contribute in some way, shape or form to what will happen next.
Like David, we find ourselves faced with a decision to make:
1) We can repent for dismissing God from our everyday lives and appeal to His “throne of grace, that we may obtain to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). Who knows? Perhaps God will be gracious to us and speak to this pandemic and say, “It is enough: stay now thine hand!”, or
2) We can continue to engage in our normal everyday routine of excluding God from our lives while we try to figure out how to combat this pandemic alone. Truthfully speaking, this option is an effort in futility.
Either way, a decision must be made…
We can be comforted by the promises within the Word of God. We know that although we cannot always see His hand in any of what is taking place, God has promised to never leave nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). God has promised that if we would “…humble ourselves, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways; then will He hear from heaven, and will forgive our sin, and will heal our land…” (2 Chr. 7:14).
To this, some may say, “I didn’t make any of this happen!” To those persons, I would say, “None of us are without sin.” We may not be the ones whose sin led us to this point of warning before judgment. But we are the ones who are in a position to avert God’s judgment…even if but for a little while. If we do not stand in prayer, then are we not as guilty as the ones who have come before us?
Who knows? Perhaps God will turn away this pandemic. Maybe He will not. What I do know is that He is more than able to bring forth healing whether He does or not. What I also know is that it is a chance I am willing to take…how about you?