2 Samuel 24/ 1 Chronicles 21  David’s Greatest Sin


Intro: In the minds of most people, when they think of David’s greatest sin, their minds race immediately to the story of David and Bathsheba

A)David had an affair with Bathsheba and then had her husband, Uriah the Hittite, murdered in order to cover his sin.


B) Others might think of the time when David lied to the priests at Nob and as a result 85 of them were killed at the hands of king Saul.

1) Some might think of the time David backslid & was going to fight w/  the Philistines against Israel or the time he Pretended to be Insane /


C) And Some might think of David’s failure to be the Spiritual leader to his family


Though David had many sins in his life, the GREATEST of his sins is one that most people pass over as insignificant, or many fail to even recognize it as sin. / Found here in 2 Sam. Ch.24 / Sin of Pride

A)Notice how it was MANIFESTED – read v.1


B) Now if you have a newer translation- like the NKJV which I am reading from the He in v.1 is capitalizedthat is unfortunate

1)    Many of you are aware that when the OT was originally written there were no capital letters –


C) So it was up to the translators to determine whether or not to capitalize any given word

1)   In the Old KJV it is not capitalized and that is correct –


You see it has been said that the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible itself – And in the Book of 1 Chron. 21 given good insight

A)1 Chronicles 21 is the parallel passage to 2 Samuel – 24 – another account of this story/ given further insight & details & we find who the he is { turn


1And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

B) Now this is a radical statement – Satan provoked David – word provoked means, to seduce: entice, move, persuade, stir up,


C) How does Satan do such a thing? Eph. 6 – Paul talking about the Spiritual battle we face as believers – Fiery darts { Thoughts thrown at our minds

1)   Thoughts like : You are an Evil person { You are a Crazy person

You are a Loser – forms of CONDEMNATION


D) Lustful thoughts / Where did that come from / And  thoughts that are in the form of ideas – why don’t you do such & suchTEMPTATION TO SIN

1)    Followed by the thought Who will know – or what will it hurt / what will it matter


E) The most intense part of the Battle is in our Minds – That is where Satan attacks the Fiercest – which is why we need to daily put on the armor

1)   Next Sunday night series – Spiritual Warfare & the Armor of God –

Many are ignorant of the Devil’s Schemes & what Armor represents



So it was Satan moved David / he enticed David / Seduced David into numbering the People Read v.2,3

A)Now why was Joab so concerned about numbering the People ? God had forbidden Israel to number themselves : Reason


B)For in numbering the people David was attempting to determine his own power and his own success.

 1) He was becoming INDEPENDANT of the Lord and RELIANT upon his own resources instead of on the Lord


C)The Lord created us to be in a place of complete dependence upon Him.

1)    But all too often we become INDEPENDENT from Him and become reliant upon ourselves..... Our own wisdom.... our own strength.


D) Not dependent upon how big we are – but dependent upon how BIG HE IS { Reporter/ How large Church { Not Big Church but Big People!!!

David here was taking stock in how Big his Kingdom had become – that is the Sin of Pride – David’s greatest Sin

A)Pride is nothing more than taking the middle letter of the word PRIDE and exalting it.


B) It is no wonder that Satan used this particular sin, because it was THIS sin that knocked Satan out of HEAVEN


Isa 14:12- 12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13     For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven,

I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’

15  Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.


C) NOTE: What Satan is saying is the essence of pride I will be like God.

1)   Pride means: “I can do it myself.... Even as God makes His sovereign decisions I WILL  make my own sovereign decisions. I’ll call the shots.


D) I don’t need to pray or seek the Lord. I don't need to depend upon the Lord.... I can take care of myself...... I will be INDEPENDENT


Now most if not all of us would never say such things / but do we depict that by our actions

A)Think about your actions this past week / decisions that were made / things that were pursued / responsibilities that you were involved in


B) How much time was given to prayer concerning those things / those decisions / those actions { How much was preceded by PRAYER

1)   And how much of the Prayer was asking God to bless what you had already decided to do / or telling God what you were doing ?


C) How much time was truly spent in seeking His direction concerning those endeavors decisions & Responsibilities

1)   You know it so often is Pride that causes us to leave God out of our lives and to Act in our Own Understanding


D) Pride is the UGLIEST of all sins

Prov 6:16-17a These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 1st thing mentions  A proud look......


C. S. Lewis called pride "spiritual cancer," which eats up love and contentment. /  Pride is a telescope turned the wrong way. It magnifies self and makes the heavens small.


The smallest package I ever saw was a man wrapped up wholly in himself.

Billy Graham,


But the Bible is Clear that Pride Comes before DESTRUCTION  & a Haughty Spirit before a Fall –  Clearly seen in David’s life here Rd  v.4-8

A)Now in v. 10 of 2 Sam.24 we are told that after David had the people numbered that his heart troubled him – he was CONVICTED


Aa) The Hebrew word is Nakah = attacked & assaulted – it is a word that is sometimes used of a city that has been destroyed or slaughtered


B) It conveys the idea of being wounded or crippled – and that is how we should feel after we have sinned / Conviction { Assaulted or attacked{ unrest

1)   That is how David felt – Deep inside his inner man there was the disturbing reminder of God’s displeasure


C) If that is lacking – it is only an indication that your heart is getting hard & that is a dangerous place to be !!!

1) Heb 4 given a Warning to not harden our hearts like Israel who missed out on entering into the Promise land – because of their hardness of heart



Read a story this week about a young Bible School graduate who had just been assigned to Pastor  his first Church. The church was a small one and was composed entirely of the population of a small logging town. Everyone in town worked for the town's lumber mill, which was its only business and was involved in fierce competition with the Lumber mill just upstream.

The preacher wasn't in town long before he saw a grave problem –workers at the town mill were pulling logs branded for the other mill out of the stream, cutting off the branded ends, and running them through their own mill.  The People doing this were in his Church.


Well this young  preacher was very distressed with this and so worked the rest of the week on a powerful sermon. That Sunday he got up and preached his sermon entitled "Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Property." The sermon seemed to go over well. Everyone told him, as they went out the door, just how much they loved his preaching. "You really moved me preacher" and "Best sermon I ever heard." were some of the remarks they made.


But that next Monday morning it was business as usual at the mill. They were still stealing logs. So the next Sunday the preacher delivered a real "pulpit pounder" called "Thou Shalt Not Steal." /  "Fantastic!" the people told him. "Wonderful!" they cried. But on Monday morning the other company's logs were still being swiped by the town mill. Enough was enough!

The following Sunday right to the point - he got up and preached on the topic, "Thou Shalt Not Cut the Branded Ends Off Someone Else's Logs!" Guess what they:  They ran him out of town!


D)You know what we can do that same thing w/ the HS – seek to run him out of our lives when the Conviction – gets a little to close to home

 1) Question: Are you presently troubled about something in your spiritual walk ? If so what are you doing about it – Repenting ? Changing ?


E) Or ignoring ? More you ignore – more you give place to the Devil

     So David was troubled in his heart & he confessed his Sin v. 9-12

A)Now this is an unusual thing happening here – it is the only time in the entire Bible that I know of where something like this occurs


B) Where God gives someone the Choice concerning their Punishment but that is exactly what God is doing here /     Notice David’s response v. 13


C) David says I am in great distress here – it is a word that means to be tied up restricted & cramped

1)   We might say that his stomach was in knots – he was aching on the inside { David is just miserable


D) But David makes a wise Choice here – He says I would rather place myself in the merciful hands of God / than the Brutal hands of Man

1)   David knew God was merciful / but Men can be brutal  Read v.14-17


When a spiritual leader wanders from the things of God the consequences are often devastating & far reaching

A)What a deterrent to sin it would be if before the fact we could be given a glimpse of sin’s impact – the damage that sin would do


B) The sorrow & grief that it would bring upon others / family / kids / the body of Christ   /       Sin pays a terrible wage !! Never forget that


Sin does not serve well as a gardener to the soul. It landscapes the contour of the soul until all that is beautiful has been made ugly, until all that is high has been brought low, until all that is promising is wasted. Then life like a desert is parched & barren. It is drained of purpose. It is bleached of happiness. Sin then is not wise but wasteful, it is not a gate but only a grave!


C) Here David sees every ounce of payment that sin demands. He sees the ugliness, he sees it’s devastation & its horror

1)   And he is a broken man facing the consequences of his sin – Cries out Lord why them – when it was me !!!!!


D) That is the heart of the shepherd: “Spare the sheep”.

You might be thinking  “That is pretty heavy that 70,000 people should die for David’s sin”  Doesn’t seem Fair

A)NOTE: In v.1 of Samuel’s account of this story a very important perspective given to us.


2 Sam 24:1  And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.


B) The nation had fallen into sin..... It was NOT just David.


C) Satan was the one who tempted David to number Israel. But God is the One who was angry with the nation of Israel as a whole.

1)   What David did here was merely the means that God was going to use to deal not just w/ David but the nation as a whole


D) But I think the greatest punishment a true leader can face is to watch his people suffer for sins he has committed

1)   So this was a wake up call both for David & the nation of Israel


E) Notice that when David cries out to the Lord/ the Lord responded v.18-24


The Lord has a plan & he wants David to build a never to be forgotten Memorial – Great testimony of How God would deal w/ Sin

A)Now David says something here that is a very good Principle to remember David goes to Ornan’s threshing floor & wants to buys altar to Sacrifice


B) Ornan says You don’t need to buy it you can have it – Anything that will stop this plague

1) But David says: I will NOT give to the Lord that which costs me nothing.”


C) This is the Principle:  SACRIFICE always COSTS. Really if it doesn’t cost me something it is not a true Sacrifice

1)     Tithe: House Payment / Car payment – but I am going to give to the Lord – He honors that


D) In Worship we talk about the Sacrifice of Praise: Cost me Time / Energy often don’t feel like it / Cost me Self Consciousness { Can’t care


E) The Sacrifice of Ministry: Again time / Inconvenience / Energy / Resources / Time w/ family / might mean I don’t do something I used to


Sacrifice always cost and the Ultimate example is seen in the Sacrifice of our Salvation

A)God gave His Beloved Son in order for us to be saved


2 Cor 8:9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich.


B) Jesus completely lowered Himself & Emptied Himself of His power & Glory as God to become a man & come to this earth give His life a ransom…


C) SO Sacrifice is always going to cost me something – and that is why David was willing to pay the full price !!!!            V.25-27


NOTE: The fire came down on the sacrifice, not upon David

Even as the fiery wrath of God came down upon Jesus and not upon us

A)When Jesus was Sacrificed the Judgment of God for the Sin of man was put away !!!!


B) Salvation was made possible thru everyone who put their faith & trust in the Sacrifice of Jesus

1)    Recognizing that He paid the price for their Sins so they could be spared from the Wrath of God


John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes  in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


C) Those who Believe are saved / those who don’t will face the punishment for their own sins !!!!

Now as I look at the Life of David there is one thing that strikes me every time I read thru his life & that is this :

A)There seems to be a Simplicity a Humility & a dependency upon the Lord that marks David’s life in his earlier yrs / that is missing in later yrs


B) A Simplicity about life that he possessed as a Shepherd Boy – a simple faith in God that moved him to fight against Goliath

1)   A HUMILITY  to do the most mundane of task


C) Like running  an errand for his father & play the harp for Saul even after his great victory over the Philistine Champion Goliath

1)    A DEPENDENCY upon the Lord – that led David to say I won’t take matters into my own hands


D) I won’t kill Saul even though I have the opportunity to do so here – But I will depend upon the Lord to put me on the throne in His time


So there was this Simplicity about life & this humility about himself & dependency on the Lord that marked David’s earlier life

A)But those 3 things seem to diminish greatly & at times seem non-existent when he finally becomes King


B) It is those 3 things that are missing when he arrives at the desired goal in his life to be King !!

1)   The Simplicity is replaced by a complexity of the responsibilities that

      he has


C) His HUMILITY is replaced by A pride concerning his position / Power and his Prosperity

1)   His Dependency upon the Lord is replaced A Self Sufficiency as David so often takes matters into his own hands


D) He acts & reacts instead of Praying & looking to the Lord



So is the Lesson in this: Don’t seek to Expand – Don’t take on more responsibility : Ministerially / Vocationally or in your family

A)No, that is not the answer – The Bible clearly teaches that we are the Lord’s workmanship –created in Christ for Good works


B) We are His Ambassadors – God wants to use us / He wants to shine thru our lives { He wants to Expand us

1)   The Lesson is this : Always remember this side of Heaven We will never arrive !!!!


C) You will never come to a place here on this earth where you ever need to think – I HAVE MADE IT !!!!

1)    Because the real goal – Listen … THE REAL GOAL is to become more like Jesus


D) That is to be seen in every new Dimension that life brings our way

1)    God has put you in that place to grow you & stretch you to purge the sin out of you – To make you more like His Son !!!


E) To be in a situation because I think that God put me there because he really needed me is the essence of Pride – Courson Oregon

1)   Not thru You but In You !!!!


F) God is seeking first & foremost to do a work in you – where ever you are currently at is His training ground for you in the Future

1)   And the effectiveness of what God does thru you is only going to be to the degree of what He is doing in you at that time