Five Reasons Success is Spelled Surrender
2 Samuel 24, we are ending our study on 2 Samuel today, and all that the Lord has taught us there. This has been, for me, a beautiful book to go through in my relationship with the Lord. I hope you’ve enjoyed just going through the content that God has taught us through these sections of scripture together. 1 and 2 Samuel, beautiful story that we’ve really followed the life of David in all of it. I know we’ve talked about a few characters through it, but it really focuses on the life of David.
We’ve said together, out of all the characters in all of ancient literature and all of ancient antiquity, there is not more written about any other figure than King David. When you read about this, it’s pretty neat, I think, to see, to hold God’s word and realize, as we’re reading about King David in these stories, he is the most written about historical figure in all of antiquity and to see his journey and his relationship with the Lord. It’s an encouraging journey because it starts off with such humble beginnings. He’s just a shepherd boy, the least appreciated in his family.
God calls him out of that and makes him a shepherd of people. He goes from this young boy to fighting giants, to unifying a kingdom, to making Jerusalem the capital, to bringing the ark and fighting battles victoriously. I mean, Saul killed his thousands, David his 10 thousands. He is a warrior king for the Lord. Not only do we see these great things that David goes through in his life, we also see some tragedy. David goes on, he commits murder, adultery. He’s seen at least three of his kids die.
A lot of hardship in his life too, but we see through all of it how he continues to seek after the Lord. In fact, the phrase that’s used about David is he’s a man after God’s own heart. It’s, I think, wonderful and a very gracious statement to even have in the scripture to see with all that David goes through in his life with the good and the bad, he’s still credited to that way. In fact, David writes over half of the Solomon. We’re here 3,000 years later, still singing some of the lyrics of David from the Psalms and even in our own worship at church.
Just think of the impact that’s been made known through David is God has worked in his life and you never know how God’s going to do that. Here we are looking at David and how the Lord has done it in his life. Now, we’re going to look at the last, really, lesson I think that we can pull from 2 Samuel 24 that ties a greater narrative to all of the Bible. We’re going to use this last lesson, this last chapter of David’s life to talk about five reasons why success is spelled surrender. David goes into his later years of life and he’s still learning how to depend on God in his circumstance.
I love that with us, that God just doesn’t … When you meet the Lord and start walking with the Lord, God just doesn’t show up and says, “Here, here’s everything you need to know and just enjoy your life.” Rather, God has set up life in such a way that as we go through life, he’s made us dependent upon him each step of the way. That is for good, godly healthy reasons. If God gave us everything we needed right in the beginning, we’d never turn to him again.
When you think about the times in your life where you’re the most desperate in seeking after God, it’s when you face a challenge. It’s like if things always went easy for you, how much would you think about God? It’s in the obstacles of life, the transitions of life that you tend to seek God more than any other time. I think the same thing is true with David. He’s in these moments has gone through, he’s later in life and he’s trying to reflect back on life and he wants the people of Israel, I think, to see him in a godly way or in a great way at least, not necessarily God the way.
He wants the people of Israel to think highly of him. He really makes some poor choices here because of it. God shows him, once again, why everything is dependent upon him and why David needs to continue to look to him. Point number one I want to make this morning is this, if you’ve got the notes, you have a couple of blanks to fill these in. It says, stop counting on yourself when you should be depending on the Lord. Stop counting on yourself when you should be depending on the Lord. In 2 Samuel 24, if we start off in verse 1, I’m going to read eight verses.
This is the longest section I’m going to read with us, but I want us to get familiar with this story. Verse 1 it says, now the anger of the Lord burned against Israel. Again, always a great topic to talk about the anger of Lord. We’ll get to that. He incited David against them to say, go count Israel in Judah. The king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, roam about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba and conduct a census of the people so that I may know the number of the people.
Joab said to the king, may the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as there are, while the eyes of the Lord the King can still see, but why does the king delight in this thing? Nevertheless, the king’s order prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army. Joab and the commanders of the army left the presence of the king to conduct a census of the people of Israel. We’ll skip down to Verse 8. When they had roamed about through the whole land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of 9 months and 20 days.
Joab gave the number of the census of the people to the king in Israel. There were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword. The men of Judah were 500,000 men. Now David’s heart troubled him after he had counted the people. David said to the Lord, I have sinned greatly in what I have done, but now Lord, please overlook the guilt of your servant for I have acted very foolishly. The anger of God, let’s start there. What do you do with the anger of God? That is what you see in the very first verses, God’s anger is against Israel and now God’s anger will be against David.
What do you do with the anger? I know sometimes we come to verses like that in scripture and we want to make that more palatable. It’s not quite what you think. I think it is what we think. God’s angry at Israel in this story. Sometimes it’s good to reason through sections of scripture and try to understand from one angle, God is angry, and am I understanding this correctly? Nonetheless, God is angry. Here’s a couple of things I want to say about this in a general sense, and we’ll get with the specific of this text.
God’s anger doesn’t have to be a bad thing, especially if you’re on the right side of justice. Does that make sense? In fact, God’s justice can only be good if God himself is able to execute that justice. God’s nature is good because God can execute justice, and God is just. God can’t claim the idea of being a just God or our good God, excuse me, unless he can carry out justice. That’s what his anger represents here. One of the reasons that we have a hard time when we read the idea that God is angry is because we like to attribute concepts or words to experiences that we have in life.
When you experience anger in life, typically, it comes through other people. Typically, it’s because they’re flying off the cuff. It’s this emotionally charged reaction to a circumstance. I can’t think of very many moments where maybe I’ve been around someone that’s been angry and like, I’m really glad they’re angry. You realize it’s destructive. That’s typically how we experience anger, is through someone else out of control of their emotions and it wreaks havoc on other people. God’s anger isn’t that way.
Because in our anger, we use it to try to control things and we can’t anticipate things that are going to happen. When God becomes angry, God’s not surprised in his anger. His anger is not this emotional charge that’s just out of control. God already knows what’s going to happen before it happens. What he’s saying is now God chooses to execute his justice in a particular way. God is acting reasonable in his behavior because God is the only one in any circumstance that is fully just in how he behaves. God is not surprised by anything we do.
God is not emotionally just waiting on you to blow one more time and that’s it, he can’t take it. Rather, God has a cup that when it gets to a certain point, he says, “Okay, it’s enough. I knew this was going to happen, but now I’m going to respond to the circumstances.” That’s how God’s justice is executed. When you think about God’s justice, God is just to choose to do within his own will, according to his own nature, when he desires, however he desires. As long as it doesn’t violate his character, which God does not do. God is just to respond to creation. This is why.
God doesn’t owe us anything. He’s completely holy. When we sin, we mess up, God is just to bring judgment at any moment. He doesn’t owe us today. He certainly doesn’t owe us tomorrow. Anything that we receive from God is an act of really his grace and the gift that you have in life. God’s anger is for discipline and judgment. Meaning, with his children, God’s not interested in just punishing you for the sake of punishing you. God’s got an end goal in mind for your life. It’s like when you parent your child, your child may look at your discipline like it’s the worst thing in the world.
Come on, dad. I can’t believe it. You, as a parent, have a greater goal for your child in mind and you want to see them succeed. You put certain things around them as a communication of really your love because you’re thinking of the ultimate picture. When God’s discipline comes in line with his people, it’s for a greater purpose that he’s driving to for their lives. It’s not just to hurt them or to ruin them, but to discipline them with the end goal. When we think in terms of God’s judgment, even when God judges the wicked, he doesn’t delight in the death of the wicked.
God is not just looking for blood. He’s not this God that just delights in destruction. Certainly, God is just in bringing his judgment against sin. He’s not just looking at circumstances thinking, how can I just wreak havoc today? I love death and destruction. God does not delight in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 33:11, 18, 23 tells us that. 2 Peter 3:9 says, God is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but all come to repentance. When we look at the anger of God, I think it’s important to first reflect on the fact that God can’t be good without his justice.
This isn’t this emotional human anger. This is God looking at sin and God doing what God does when sin takes place. When you look at this passage and you see God’s anger burning specifically against Israel and then using David, it’s important for us to work through specifically why that’s happening or why is God reacting in this way. When you look at Israel leading into this chapter, what we find is that Israel has gone through a period where they have repeatedly rejected God because they have repeatedly rejected the king that God has put to lead Israel.
If you remember the stories we’ve gone through with Absalom, Absalom stood in opposition against David and overthrew David to the point that David had to go into hiding again and had to fight to get his kingdom back. Then Sheva comes in Chapter 20 of 2 Samuel. He attempts to do the same thing. Israel has rejected God by rejecting the king that God has appointed. God has this anger towards Israel and their constant rejection of him because the rejection of David. God is bringing a judgment against them. How does he do it?
Well, it says that God incites David against Israel in order to enact this judgment. Now it’s important to ask what in the world is happening here, because God is going to also hold David accountable for his actions. Scripture very plainly tells us James 1:13, that God doesn’t tempt us to sin. How in the world is God going to be mad at David for doing this or angry, excuse me, at David for doing this when he bring justice against David for doing this if God doesn’t tempt us to sin.
The answer for that is just to recognize how it’s describing the nature of God in this circumstance. If you were to read the same story, there’s a parallel story to it in 1 Corinthians 21:1. 1 Corinthians 21:1 says this, then Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count Israel. David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, go count Israel from Beersheba to Dan. You have in one story in 2 Samuel 24, where God is telling David to do it or inciting David to do it and then in 1 Chronicles 21, Satan is inciting David to do it.
Now I don’t know about you, but I can see that as just two polar opposites. Like, which is it? It can’t be both. Is God or is it Satan? I think what 2 Samuel is saying to us is, it’s wanting us to recognize that God is always in control. God is always in control. David’s heart desires is actually sinful, but what God is going to do is use the sinfulness of David’s heart for a greater purpose. I think Satan is directly enticing David, inciting David to do this, but God in his sovereignty is saying, “And even if he does it, I’m still in control of this moment.”
Samuel is recognizing for this, that nothing is outside of the hand of God and God will allow nothing to go to waste. David counts Israel. Now we can look at this story and be like, now why is God so frustrated or angry about a census? What is it about just counting people? We do this every so often in America, we’re going through a census again like, is God going to strike us? What’s going to happen with us? Well, the reason David finds himself under the judgment of God in Israel in the census is because God has particular laws. He wants Israel to obey when they take a census.
The reason for this, that God established these laws, is because he doesn’t want Israel to become boastful as if what’s happened to them is because of them. Rather, the Lord wants Israel to consistently see that the things they have in life and the reason they are where they are is because of his grace made known in their lives. This is why Joab in this story tries to stop David from counting. Joab knows it’s not right. David wants to count anyway.
If you read this in the Old Testament, it says in Exodus 30, this is God’s law, then the Lord also spoke to Moses saying, when you take a census of the sons of Israel to count them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord when you count them so that there will be no plague among them when you count them. This is what everyone who is counted shall give half a shekel. What the Lord is saying is, look, you’re going to go around and count and you might see a great number of people. You might think that you guys are great because you look great in size.
When you count, I want you to stop and I want you to give an offering to the Lord for each person that’s counted because I want it to be a reminder that you don’t belong to you. You belong to me. When you read the story of David, if you just keep in mind everything that’s happened to David over the last few chapters, he’s been rejected by his own people multiple times. David, I think, in these moments is feeling vulnerable. David wants the people to know how great he is.
The reason he wants the people to know how great he is, is so that they can honor him rather than the Lord. In order to do that, David says, let’s count the people. When we count the people, he’s not just counting the people to count the people, he wants Israel to see how large the military has become, our army, and to think I’m great because I’m the great military leader. David has Joab go and count and what happens in David’s life as David becomes prideful. What’s interesting when you think about this idea of pride, pride is something that we always need to be mindful of.
Because pride leads to destruction and pride can happen in our lives even not just when we are successful, but when we’re weak. We oftentimes think in terms of pride, when someone has everything gone for them and they’re going to just think about how great they are, but the reality is, is pride can also creep in when things aren’t going so well. In the life of David, this is true. Pride is certainly harder to detect when you’re weak, but pride nonetheless can creep up in their lives no matter the circumstance. It’s like this.
Just because you don’t have, doesn’t mean that you might lack in the ability to sin. Like oftentimes in life, we tend to think it’s rich people that are greedy and rich people get the wrath for being greedy. Reality is, poor people can be greedy too. We think in terms of pride that way, it’s the people that are in the spotlight that just think they’re something great. Those are the people that can be proud. Well, people that have been humbled by them circumstances can be proud too. They may not be humble within themselves, but they can be proud too.
We got to be careful here because this is the kind of … In our culture, in those circumstance, we want to turn to people and say, “Look, you’re great because you’re great. Just believe in yourself more, just trust yourself.” We’re very me century culture that likes to tell people to look within themselves to find out how great they are. This is where David is in this moment. He feels weak, he feels vulnerable, he’s like, you know what, I’m going to prove to people how great I am by demonstrating and putting out before my resume of all the success that I have built for them.
Then they’re going to think that I’m amazing. In that weakness, he turns within himself to develop his own pride. In our culture, we’re told to look to ourselves as the center of everything. You’re great because you’re great. What if the solution to life struggles aren’t in you? What if the reason for many of life’s problems are, but the ultimate reason for life’s purposes aren’t? What if the answer to something greater than you isn’t found within you, but rather outside of you? Pride looks at self, but surrender looks to the Lord.
The truth is, if you take the spotlight for your successes, you’ve also got to take the spotlight for your failures. What the Lord is teaching David in these moments is stop counting on yourself when you should be depending on the Lord. David thinks the census is going to make him great. The Lord is reminding him, no, it’s me that’s made you everything that you are. Number two, you aren’t a fool to lose what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose. I wish I could take credit for that great little thought there.
That’s actually Jim Elliot, the missionary that served Auca Indians in 1950s. He and a group of missionaries went down to Ecuador and gave their lives to reach the Auca Indians in Ecuador. He said this about his life. You are no fool to lose what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose. If you read in Verse 12 a little bit further, it says, go and speak to David. This is what the Lord says. I am imposing upon you three choices, choose for yourself one of them and I will do it to you.
God came to David and told him and said to him, shall seven years of famine come to you in your land, or will you flee for three months before your enemies while they pursue you, or shall there be three days of plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to him who sent me. Then David said to God, I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hands of the Lord for his mercies are great, but do not let me fall into human hands. God gave three interesting choices here to David on judgment.
Seven years of famine, three months of being attacked by your enemies, or three days of a plague. If you were in David’s shoes. What choice would you pick? How could you even make the decision? I think seven years, it doesn’t matter. Any of those circumstances, it seems difficult. How could you even reach a conclusion on one of the three options like, oh, could you beg for an option four from God? What would lead you to do that? In Verse 14, you find how David reaches his conclusion on the choice that he makes. He says this to us.
He recognizes something about the first two plagues or the first two judgments that God that’s different from the last one, which is the plague. He says at the end, let us now fall into the hands of the Lord for his mercies are great, but do not let us fall into human hands. What David is saying in this lesson is, look, I’m seeing the error of my ways. What I would rather do is I’m going to depend on God no matter what, difficult or great. No matter what it leads, I’m going to lean into the Lord.
Because what David recognizes in the first two judgments that God could bring against them, is that they’re going to be at the mercy of people. If David chooses to battle with Israel and flee from their enemies for three months, they’re at the mercy of another army to do to them what they desires. If David chooses famine, they’re going to be at the mercy of going to another nation and begging for food for their people. Choosing plague, David falls into the hands of God. What David is learning here, is to get rid of his autonomy as it relates to the Lord.
Everywhere else he would turn in this instance, he would be depending on man or depending on himself. What David desires to do now is to turn to the Lord. He finds the reason he’s successful is because of surrender. One of the tragedies I find in doing ministry over the years, and especially here in Utah, is when people finally realize what they’ve trusted in is bankrupt and they get to that place in life where they’ve got a decision to make of what they’re going to fall to, what will I trust in? Rather than turn to the Lord, they go agnostic or atheist. They turn to themselves.
I get why people do that, is they don’t want to be lied to anymore. Maybe they think that the only thing they can trust in is themselves. Rather than try to believe in anything, they choose to believe in nothing and just depend on them and live an isolated life. I want to encourage us to think a little deeper about decisions apart from God. I know in our culture today, we try to emphasize the secularization of society and the need to like in public schools to not bring faith in and just to make it secular and apart from God.
Can I just tell us the deception of those types of thoughts to not believe in something is to believe something, to buy into the lie that life can really be secular is still communicating the truth. Is that truth really freeing? I know sometimes when you’ve been lied to in life, it might be hard to believe again, or to find someone to trust in, or even want to look. Can I tell you, if you’re designed for a purpose greater than you, you’re not going to find it within yourself. Discover it outside of you. If God has created you, the only way to discover that purpose is to look to him.
That’s why we say here as a church, if you’re just now beginning that journey in your relationship with God and you’re trying to figure out something to trust in, what I find people do is they get into this panic place and they want to look at everything before they believe in anything and just find out if there’s one thing somewhere hidden that they’re unaware of that might just unravel the whole thing. Let me just say, if you’re going to wait to become an expert in anything before you do something in life, then you’re going to accomplish nothing.
Because there’s not a person in this room that is, or watching online, or wherever you are. I love the fact that God made it this simple for us. Just start with Jesus. Just answer the question, who is Jesus? Learn to trust in the simplicity of what that is and allow the Lord to grow you through that. The reality is, as you go on this journey in life, as your seasons of life change, you always come back to that. That’s where David is here in these moments. He’s gone through an experience where he’s always won the people’s hearts.
All of a sudden, it doesn’t seem like the people are with him now. He’s later on in life and he wants to reflect back the great things that he’s accomplished. To do that, he’s turned to himself and God’s stopping the party for a minute and just saying, look, David, come back to me. Let’s start here and build from there in the season where you find yourself. You aren’t a fool to lose what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose. David, in these moments, he could have justified his autonomy or his independence from God.
He could have said, no, God, look, look how great we’ve been. Don’t worry about this. Just let me climb the corporate ladder. Once we get to the top floor, then, then I’ll do the things that you want me to. Just let me do me for a minute and then we’ll come back and honor you. God is saying, look, stop using your success as an excuse to keep you from following me. If you’re not going to follow God now, you’re not going to follow God later. Follow God. Number three, you spell success with surrender. This way, Godly change happens when you surrender.
In 2 Samuel 24:17, then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking down the people and said, 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. David, in these moments, reverts back to really how we all began as this shepherd caring for sheep. He’s laying his life down for Israel. He’s saying, look, God, I was the final provoking in this circumstance. Let me take the responsibility. David surrenders to him.
God will not let David look like everyone else in this story. Here’s why David’s doing what he’s doing. He’s in this moment. He’s looking around at all of the other kingdoms around us and the military power and the things that make them great and how the people praise the kings of all the other nations around them, because the king has established some sort of leadership there. David, in these moments, wants to be like every other king, to build this military and to show and display his power throughout all the land. What’s interesting about Israel?
They didn’t really have a military. They had more of a militia that God would raise up just the average people in the land. He would count in the census a certain number of people within an age group, and that would become Israel’s army when they needed an army. It was a militia that God raised up. The reason God worked that way, at least for Israel, I’m not saying armies are wrong or anything, but at least for Israel, was to display that it was the Lord that was always directing them. Now David wants to develop this autonomies.
He’s getting the the end of his life to pass on to his son, Solomon, to show this great military power. God’s saying, look, you’re not like everyone else. The thing that leads you is me. The scripture says seek first the kingdom. Jesus is calling in your life. Matthew 4, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Your calling is to pursue the Lord, to seek the kingdom of God. I love the parable Jesus says, the kingdom of God is like a man that finds a treasure in a field and from his joy, goes and sells everything that he has and buys that field. That’s the kingdom of God.
Godly change happens when we surrender. It reminds me of Martin Luther, not King Jr., but the monk in the 1500s. If you know the story of Martin Luther, Martin Luther drove himself crazy over the piety of his life. He tried to live law as best as he could in order to demonstrate God has worthiness. Martin Luther drove himself to the point of insanity trying to prove to God and never feeling good enough. Then Martin Luther read this phrase in scripture, the just shall live by faith. Those that are justified in God live by faith.
Then he said this, here I felt as if I were entirely born again and had entered paradise itself through the gates that had been flung open. Godly change happens, not when you bolster your strength, but when you surrender. Number four, a gift to God is worth nothing if it does not cost you something. You should get that. A gift to God is worth nothing if it does not cost you something. Look at this, in Verse 18, he says this, so God came to David that day and said to him, go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite.
In Verse 22, if I skipped down a little bit, Araunah said to David, let my Lord the King take an offering up what is good in his sight. Look the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yolks of the oxen for the wood. Everything, o king, Araunah gives to the king. Auranah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price. For I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God, which costs me nothing.” A gift to God is worth nothing if it does not cost you something. I love this.
Out of all the section of scripture, this thought on David’s mind is, here comes a guy that just wants to give David this handout and just make it easy for him. David’s saying, no, no, no, no, no. This is about me and the Lord. I want to display my love for the Lord and demonstrate my love to God by the way I give to him. That is my act of worship. It needs to cost me something to show the depth of my commitment and love for the Lord. When I think about this passage of scripture, it’s this passage that really helps me appreciate who we are as a community in Christ.
When I think about the history of our church family, our desire in starting this church was to build the first freestanding building in our community, the first church building to exist in our community as a beacon of light or valley. All the sweat and the tears and the blood literally that has been poured into this building just to have that opportunity in it and it doesn’t end there for us. We see this place not just a building and not just something that we did, but this becomes a sacrifice of praise to God.
This burnt offering that is referred to in this passage of scripture literally means it’s defined as the Holocaust. If you want to know where the Jews got the word for the Holocaust in World War II, it’s this idea of burnt offering. The burnt offering was a total and complete sacrifice to God where you laid it all down for him because of your faith. It’s this attributing to God the beauty of who he is and your love for him and a demonstration to, really, yourself and others of how great he is. That is how the Lord builds a mission through his people.
When our love for God is connected to the giving of our hearts, our time, our resources, our talents for him, it’s this display of great worship to the Lord. When you think about the history of our church and all that God has done, we’ve done … The way we contain a serve, even on Tuesday nights, the community outreach that we do in providing groceries, the trips we’ve taken as a community, we’ve gone to Colorado City together multiple years, we brought the first Christmas to ever exist in Colorado City to the Warren Jeffs group.
I think the first year we went down there, we provided Christmas for over a hundred families. Taking trips to India to help orphans, and now we have an opportunity to make a difference in Uganda. My family has been a little tongue tied over the last few weeks or over the last few months I should say, because we’ve not been able to share everything that’s been happening at least publicly, but now they’re all gone. Now we have a little bit more freedom to share.
I want you guys to know, we didn’t get to tell you this publicly, but Harriet who sang with us in worship through the summer, you guys remember Harriet, she’s a part of a missions organization in Uganda. She works as a social worker for missions’ organization for children that have been victimized by child sacrifice. Even this past month, we had the pastor of the organization in our house a couple of days ago in this past month. He says that they’ve had over two dozen cases to have to go through and only six children have survived.
There’s an opportunity of a window to see some of these kids that have survived that need medical attention to come to the States and to get the medical attention they need to be able to function in life. ABC may be a part of that. That’s a beautiful story, to make a difference where we are. A sacrifice that costs nothing or doesn’t cost something, excuse me, is worth nothing to the Lord. When his people get a heart, the way God has a heart for others, how beautiful that is.
Zechariah 7 says this, this is what the Lord almighty says, administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress them. They call this the quartet of the vulnerable. Listen to this, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the immigrant, or the poor. God’s given a place for us to show his goodness. Those aren’t the only places to show God’s goodness. Here’s something that we recognize in scripture that God seems to be a God for those that are down now. I think the reason for that is because they’re more apt to call on the Lord for rescue.
When you have everything you need in life, you look at God and you think, why add him? I’ve got what I need. It’s when we struggle, we start to question and seek and cry out. When you minister to the broken, you carry the hands and feet of the Lord. Godly change happens for us when we surrender. A gift to God is worth nothing if it does not cost something, let me just say this at the very end. God makes a beautiful story from the place where lives are given to him. Verse 25, then David built there an altar to the Lord and he offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
The Lord responded to prayer for the land and the plague was withdrawn from Israel. David goes in, he buys this land. He offers to the Lord. The Lord from the place that he offers, he makes a beautiful story. God makes a beautiful story. Here’s the reality, David doesn’t quite understand how beautiful that story is going to be yet. Certainly, David goes in and he makes an offering. Immediately, he sees a response from Lord. That is a beautiful thing, that lives were spared. God’s judgment ceases, and Israel turns back to him. That is a beautiful story.
David doesn’t see how glorious the story is going to become. Let me tell you why this becomes so glorious. The place that David makes this offering is also the same place where Abraham offers Isaac. It’s also the same place for Solomon’s going to go on to build the temple. It becomes the very place where Jesus enters into Jerusalem to offer himself as our sacrifice. David, in these moments, I’m sure didn’t understand the fullness of what that place would become. In the place where lives were turned over to the Lord, God wrote a beautiful story.
I say the same thing for us. We see great things that God does now, but we have no idea what’s possible. We can’t even, the scripture says, begin to imagine the things that are possible in the Lord. When his people turn their hearts over to him, God writes a beautiful story. A story for David became a song of freedom for everyone. Because of this sacrifice or in this sacrifice, this became the place that Jesus would give the ultimate sacrifice to end all pain, all suffering, all injustice for us if our hearts would be given over to him.
Now because of that, God continues to write his story in us. I know what this is like, because in my life, you take a step of faith and you look at where the Lord has called you and you have no idea how it’s all going to play out, but you carry these prayers before the Lord. God, my kids, can my kids just be faithful to you? Or God can this church, can this church continue to just be a light into the future for you? You have no idea what could happen, how the Lord can move. We have this walk of faith of just saying, God, I don’t have control. I don’t have control. What I do know is you do and you are good. Lord, in these moments, if I could just surrender to that, I’ll leave the success up to you.
This message has been brought to you by Alpine Bible Church in Lehi, Utah. If you’d like more information, please visit us online at alpinebible.com.