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The Mercies of God are Great

II Samuel 24:14: “Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

The context of these words is that David has sinned in numbering the people (II Samuel 24:1-9). His heart troubled him even before a prophet came to him to rebuke him. David confessed his sin (II Samuel 24:10). He prays for forgiveness, and it seems God grants this (II Samuel 24:10).

But sin is so serious that sometimes even after forgiveness, one must face the consequences of sin. The prophet Gad comes to him and tell him to choose between three types of punishment (II Samuel 24:12-13). It is in this context that David makes the statement above, begging to fall into the hands of God instead of the hands of men for God’s mercies are great.

Another reason it is better to suffer directly from God’s hand than man’s hand is that suffering directly from God’s hand does not bring with it the temptation to take vengeance that suffering from man’s hand brings. Vengeance is the LORD’s prerogative (Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30). We must wait on Him (Prov. 20:22).

To practice that is much harder than saying that, especially when someone we love suffers at the hands of wicked people. A good understanding of God’s wrath and vengeance can prevent us from taking matters into our own hands.

Tommy Peeler


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