David has a sudden desire to count the fighting men in Israel. He knows this is not something God condones because it creates a feeling of pride that does not seek dependence upon Him. Joab tries to convince him not to do it, but David's word overruled and the count was made. Immediately afterwards, David is convicted of his sin and seeks God's forgiveness. God promises to forgive him but also gives him three punishments to choose from. The one he chooses kills 70,000 Israelites. Each of those people died because of David's sin. We deal with the same predicament in our own lives when we suddenly decide to give in to a sinful urge. The consequences of that sin do not just impact the one who sinned, but many others will be impacted, as well. Maturity normally dictates how quickly a person confesses sin and seeks forgiveness. God always forgives our sin, but He does not remove the consequences of our choices. Those we must deal with. Grace is a word commonly thrown around in these situations. We know without question that God is giving us what we do not deserve, but we must understand the seriousness of sin; therefore, those consequences still follow our sin. David was in agony watching all those people die because of his sin, but a lesson was learned that would not be forgotten.

Help me, Lord, to stay away from sin and stay on the narrow path You have called me to. Help me to confess quickly when I make a mistake and to handle the consequences with grace and strength.