2 Samuel 24:16-25
Of that great population, in whose number David had sought food for his pride, the plague swept away seventy thousand men.
2 Samuel 24:16
The angel of pestilence, appearing in visible shape, added a special terror to the judgment. Solemn must have been the state of men’s minds as they saw the destroyer unsheathe his sword to smite the capital city of the empire.
2 Samuel 24:17
Was not this well and bravely spoken? Like a true patriot the king is moved by the woes of his subjects, and, like the father of his country, he would sooner perish himself than see Israel smitten. These people had often acted like wolves to him, but he forgot all their injuries and calls them sheep; they had been guilty of a thousand sins, but, in his zeal for them, he makes himself out to be a far greater sinner, and would have the bolts of vengeance spend themselves upon him and his. Even thus does “that Great Shepherd of the sheep” interpose between the destroying angel and his own redeemed. “If ye seek me,” saith he, “let these go their way.”
2 Samuel 24:18
On that very spot where the angel held the knife of Abraham from killing his son, there God restrained the sword of the angel from destroying his people.
2 Samuel 24:18-24
Here two bountiful spirits entered into holy competition, and one hardly knows which to admire most. True devotion is never sting miserly : to godly men that service of God tastes sweetest which costs them most. Nothing is dear enough to give to God; expense is not to be reckoned when the gift is for him. We would not be as those who only bring to God what they can collect from other people. Our gifts shall be from our own store.
2 Samuel 24:25
Thus was the site of the temple marked out in a very special manner. Zion, the church of God, of which the temple was the type, is founded on the hill of sacrifice; it is a monument in praise of sparing mercy; and there the sword of justice is for ever sheathed. Have we come unto mount Zion? Are we resting upon the precious blood of sprinkling? These are grave questions, which it behoves each one to answer on his own account as before the great heartsearching God.
The Lord beheld the sacrifice
There to be offer’d once for all,
He heard his Son’s expiring cries
For mercy and forgiveness call.
It is enough—our lives he spares,
For Jesus, our Atonement, died,
He sheathes the sword; he hears our prayers;
His justice now is satisfied.