Stress and Distress: Some of Our Distress Is Caused by Our Sin

Sunday Sermon Series Stress and Distress


2 Samuel 24

We’ve looked a few types of stress from outside sources already, but today we look at stress that we cause for ourselves through sin. 

Why does 2 Samuel 24:1 say the Lord incited David to take a census, while 1 Chronicles 21:1 says Satan incited him? … We don’t really know why these accounts differ. It doesn’t make sense for God to incite someone to commit a sin. One possible explanation is that God allowed Satan to incite David to sin. This is what happened to Job and to the Israelites when God allowed more sin influence in their lives as an act of discipline. 

What was wrong with taking a census? … It seems like a strange act to consider a sin. Was his motive wrong? Was the method incorrect? 

Joab tried to persuade David not to take a census (2 Samuel 24:3). What can we learn from this? … Whatever made it sinful was obvious to Joab as he protested immediately. Often when we are about to go down a bad path, God sends someone to warn us. Joab was far from perfect but he was God’s messenger (apparently along with other commanders) in this case. David would not listen and overruled them and carried out the census. 

2 Samuel 24:10 shows what truly made David great. He wasn’t great at avoiding sin, but he was great at confessing it. He knew he had sinned and he immediately confessed it to God. Then he’s given three options that he must choose from as punishment. The three options show us that our sins have consequences not only for ourselves, but also for innocents.

David said, “Iam in deep distress” (2 Samuel 24:14). Is sin the root cause of any distress in your life? … Have you been dishonest? Consumed by greed? Wronged somebody?

In Psalm 25:18, David prayed, “Look on my affliction and distress and take away all my shame.” … 70,000 people in Israel had died because of his sin. David felt some heavy shame and distress from his own sin. David knew that God could remove that shame and he asked God to take it from him. 

David bought Araunah’s threshing floor, which would have been on the top of a hill, so he could build an alter and make sacrifices. Araunah offered to give it to him free, but David insisted on paying. David didn’t want to offer sacrifices that cost him nothing. 

What is the significance of the threshing floor of Araunah? … But what makes it more significant than any other threshing floor? This is Mt. Moriah where God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. This is the place where Solomon would later build the temple. Later, the temple was destroyed and rebuilt in the same place. It was destroyed once more in the first century A.D. All that remains is one wall that has been a pilgrimage destination since then. 

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