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Sin & Grace

It became the place where the sin of man met the grace of God. You and I know it to be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. So profound is this single piece of real estate, that Judaism, Christiainity and Islam all vie for its control today.

When King David determined to number his troops instead of trust in the Lord's ability to defend his kingdom, judgment fell upon Israel. The prophet Gad delivered God's judgment to David- allowing him to choose the consequence for his unfailthfulness: three years of famine, three months of fleeing from enemies, or three days of the "sword of the LORD". Dreading the thought of falling into hands of enemies, David instead chose the sword of the LORD- relying on God's mercy to prevail. And so it did.

1 Chronicles 21:14 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. 15 And God sent an angelto destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah[b] the Jebusite.

16 David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown.

17 David said to God, “Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I, the shepherd,[c] have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family, but do not let this plague remain on your people.”

18 Then the angel of the Lord ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 19 So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the Lord.

David's plea for mercy was met with God's grace. The picture is dramatic: the angel of the LORD desists in his slaughter and destruction at the command of the LORD. However, he continues to hover over Jerusalem with drawn sword until such time as David, humble and obedient, chooses to do exactly what he is told.

David purchases the threshing floor of Arunah for over $300,000 in gold and builds an altar of sacrifce to God. THEN, and only then, does the angel of the LORD sheath his sword- averting the complete destruction of Jerusalem!

David's lack of respect for God led to the national disaster. David's renewed respect (actually reverent fear) led to national restoration.

Many things could be said of this scene (and you would do well to study and mediate upon it yourself), but it stands as one of history's most profound moments of interaction between man's sin and God's mercy.

One thousand years later, within site of Arunah's threshing floor, Jesus would make the ultimate sacrifce for the sin of man.

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