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What is the anger of the LORD as recorded 2 Samuel 24:1?


What had Israel done to incur God's wrath?

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2 Samuel 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.

From coming out of Egypt as a nation the people of Israel continually provoked God to anger by disobeying his commandments and breaking his covenant.

A few of many examples:

In the wilderness:

Numbers 32:13 And the LORD’S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.

When they entered the land:

Joshua 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

In the days of the Judges:

Judges 3:8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia...

In the days of the kings:

2 Kings 21:15 Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.

2 Kings 22:13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.

Israel’s dispersion among the nations to this day is witness to God’s prophecy that Israel would continue to provoke him to anger until he removed them from the land promised to their fathers. The curses they would be subjected to have been fulfilled to the letter.

Deuteronomy 29:24 Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger? 25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt: 26 For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them: 27 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:

Israel will not be restored to God’s favour until Christ returns and they (as a nation) recognise him as their messiah.

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

In 2 Samuel 24:1 we are not told why God’s anger was kindled on this occasion. We might speculate that they had recently rejected David, God’s anointed, in favour of Absalom. Then Israel had followed Bichri (2 Samuel 20:1). It may have been some other reason.

2 Samuel 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.

God tempts no man to sin (James 1:13) but in Scripture what God permits, he is said to ‘do’.

David was at fault for ordering the numbering; the people were God’s not David’s.

We might speculate that following the numbering the people were punished because they had failed to pay the ½ shekel for atonement specified in Exodus 30:13; but no explanation is given.

Exodus 30:13This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. 14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. 16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

70,000 died throughtout Israel from Dan to Beersheba.

Notwithstanding the reason the lesson to be drawn is clear: We should put our trust in the mercy of God.

2 Samuel 24:14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.

David and Israel are humbled and suitably prepared for God to reveal the place of his sanctuary, the place where he would place his name. The punishment was stayed when David built an altar and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings in the place specificed.

2 Samuel 24:16 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.

2 Samuel 24:18 And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite.

2 Samuel 24:25 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

From Araunah David purchases the site on which the Temple would be built.

2 Chronicles 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free Bible study course on www.thisisyourbible.com? You may take this course either online or by regular mail.

This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort. You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.

I hope you have found this helpful.

May God bless you,
Glenn,
www.thisisyourbible.com

 
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