Week 21, Day 5 in the LEB

May 24, 2024

Podcast: Play in new window (Duration: 17:00 — 5.86MB)
The reading for today is 2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21; Romans 4.

Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

2 Samuel 24

Again Yahweh was angry with Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go count Israel and Judah." The king said to Joab, the commander of the army who was with him: "Please go about through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people that I may know the number of the people." Then Joab said to the king, "May Yahweh your God increase the people a hundred times what they are as the eyes of my lord the king are seeing. But my lord the king, why does he desire this thing?" But the word of the king prevailed over Joab and over the commanders of the army, so Joab and the commanders of the army went out from before the king to count the people of Israel. They crossed over the Jordan and camped at Aroer to the south of the city, which was in the middle of the wadi of Gad, and up to Jazer. Then they went to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim Hodshi. They came to Dan Jaan and around to Sidon and came to the fortress of Tyre and all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went out to the Negev of Judah at Beersheba. They went about through all the land, and they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

Then Joab gave the number of the counting of the people to the king. Israel was eight hundred thousand valiant warriors wielding the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand. The heart of David struck him after he had counted the people, and David said to Yahweh, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done! So then, O Yahweh, please forgive the guilt of your servant because I have acted very foolishly." When David got up in the morning, the word of Yahweh came to Gad the prophet, the seer of David, saying, "Go and speak to David, ‘Thus says Yahweh, three things I am laying on you; choose for yourself one of them and I will do it to you.’" Then Gad came to David, and he told him and said to him, "Shall seven years of famine in the land come to you? Or three months of your fleeing from your enemies while he is pursuing you? Or should there be three days of pestilence in your land? Now consider and decide what I must return to the one who sent me a word." Then David said to Gad, "I am greatly distressed. Please let us fall into the hand of Yahweh, because he is great in his compassion; but into the hand of man don’t let me fall." Then Yahweh sent a plague into Israel from the morning until the agreed time, and from the people from Dan to Beersheba, seventy thousand men died.

When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, Yahweh regretted about the evil, and he said to the angel who brought destruction among the people, "Enough, now relax your hand." Now the angel of Yahweh was at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David spoke to Yahweh when he saw the angel destroying among the people, and he said, "Look, I have sinned and I have done wrong, but these sheep, what did they do? Please let your hand be against me and against the house of my father." Then Gad came to David on that same day and said to him, "Go up and erect an altar to Yahweh at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." So David went up according to the word of Gad, as Yahweh had commanded. Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants coming over to him, so Araunah went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. Then Araunah said, "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?" David said, "To buy from you the threshing floor, to build an altar to Yahweh who brought a halt to the plague on the people." Araunah said to David, "Let my lord the king take and offer what is good in his eyes. Look, here are the cattle for the burnt offering and the threshing sledge and the yokes of the oxen for the firewood. All of this Araunah hereby gives to the king." Then Araunah said to the king, "May Yahweh your God respond favorably for you." Then the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will certainly buy it from you for a price; I don’t want to offer to Yahweh my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the cattle for fifty shekels of silver. David built an altar to Yahweh there, and he offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then Yahweh responded to his prayer for the land and brought the plague to a halt from upon Israel.

1 Chronicles 21

Then Satan stood against Israel and urged David to count Israel. So David said to Joab and to the commanders of the nation, "Go, count Israel from Beersheba to Dan and bring a report to me that I might know their number." But Joab said, "May Yahweh add to the people a hundred times what they are! Are they not, O my lord the king, all of them the king’s servants? Why does my lord seek this? Why would he bring guilt to Israel?" But the word of the king prevailed over Joab. Then he went about through all Israel and came to Jerusalem. And Joab gave the number of the enrollment of the people to David. And it happened that all Israel was one million one hundred thousand men drawing a sword, and in Judah were four hundred and seventy thousand men drawing a sword. But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the word of the king was repulsive to Joab.

But this word was displeasing in the eyes of God, and he struck Israel. Then David said to God, "I have sinned severely in that I have done this thing. But now, please forgive the sin of your servant, for I have been very foolish." Then Yahweh spoke to Gad the seer of David, saying, "Go, you must speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh: "Three choices I offer to you. Choose one of them for yourself that I will do to you."’" So Gad came to David and said to him, "Thus says Yahweh: ‘Choose for yourself: whether three years of famine or three months of devastation by your enemies while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or three days of the sword of Yahweh, with disease in the land and the angel of Yahweh destroying throughout all the territory in Israel.’ So now, see what word I should return to my sender." Then David said to Gad, "I am very troubled. Let me into the hand of Yahweh, for his compassion is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of a man."

So Yahweh sent a pestilence through Israel, and seventy thousand men from Israel fell. And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, and as he was about to destroy it, Yahweh saw and was grieved on account of the calamity. Then he said to the angel, the destroyer, "It is enough; slacken your hand." And the angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of Yahweh standing between earth and heaven, with his sword drawn in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. Then David said to God, "Was it not I who gave a command to count the people? Now I am he who has sinned, and I have certainly done wickedness, but these sheep, what have they done? O Yahweh, my God, please let your hand be against me and against the house of my father, but against your people, let there be no plague."

Now the angel of Yahweh had spoken to Gad to say to David that David should go up and erect an altar for Yahweh. So David went up at the word of Gad that he had spoken in the name of Yahweh. Now Ornan was threshing wheat, and Ornan turned and saw the angel, and his four sons with him hid themselves. Then David came to Ornan, and Ornan looked and saw David. And he went out from the threshing floor, and they bowed down to David, faces to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, "Please give me the place, the threshing floor, that I might build an altar on it to Yahweh; at full price please give it to me, that the plague against the people might be stopped." And Ornan said to David, "Take it to yourself; let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. See, I give the cattle for the burnt offerings and threshing sledges for the wood and wheat for the grain offering—I give it all." But King David said to Ornan, "No, for I will certainly buy it at full value; indeed, I will not take what is yours for Yahweh and offer burnt offerings for nothing." So David gave to Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place. Then David built an altar there to Yahweh, and he offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and he called to Yahweh. And he answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. Then Yahweh commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath.

At that time, when David saw that Yahweh answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. Now the tabernacle of Yahweh that Moses had made in the desert and the altar of burnt offering were at that time at the high place of Gibeon. But David was not able to go before it to seek God, for he was afraid on account of the sword of the angel of Yahweh.

Romans 4

What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness." Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited according to grace, but according to his due. But to the one who does not work, but who believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness, just as David also speaks about the blessing of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

"Blessed are they whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
    and whose sins are covered over.
Blessed is the person against whom the Lord will never count sin."

Therefore, is this blessing for those who are circumcised, or also for those who are uncircumcised? For we say, "Faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness." How then was it credited? While he was circumcised or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised but while uncircumcised! And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness by faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he could be the father of all who believe although they are uncircumcised, so that righteousness could be credited to them, and the father of those who are circumcised to those who are not only from the circumcision, but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants, that he would be heir of the world, was not through the law, but through the righteousness by faith. For if those of the law are heirs, faith is rendered void and the promise is nullified. For the law produces wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there transgression. Because of this, it is by faith, in order that it may be according to grace, so that the promise may be secure to all the descendants, not only to those of the law, but also to those of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (just as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations") before God, in whom he believed, the one who makes the dead alive and who calls the things that are not as though they are, who against hope believed in hope, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was said, "so will your descendants be." And not being weak in faith, he considered his own body as good as dead, because he was approximately a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. And he did not waver in unbelief at the promise of God, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God and being fully convinced that what he had promised, he was also able to do. Therefore it was credited to him for righteousness. But it was not written for the sake of him alone that it was credited to him, but also for the sake of us to whom it is going to be credited, to those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over on account of our trespasses, and was raised up in the interest of our justification.