The Devastating Effects of Sin (2 Samuel 24:17) - Radical

The Devastating Effects of Sin (2 Samuel 24:17)

Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people and said, behold, I have sinned and I have done wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house.
– 2 Samuel 24:17

Now, let’s make sure we have the context for what David just said to the Lord. This chapter begins with David, in his pride, conducting a census to exalt basically himself in a way that displeased God. And God said, there will be consequences for your sin. And those consequences lead to the death of 70,000 men. David’s one sin leads to the death of 70,000 men. The Bible is shouting in this story, don’t underestimate the effects of sin, the seriousness of sin, in your life and especially as a leader, which is why David then prays.

He says, behold, I’ve sinned, I’ve done wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house. But 2 Samuel 24:17 is making clear that the consequences of sin in our lives don’t just affect our lives. The consequences of sin in our lives oftentimes affect others lives. And when we read a story like this, we need to have a view of sin that is all the more serious, that causes us all the more to run from sin, to resist temptation. And one of the lies of the adversary when we are attempted, is to say that this will only affect us.

2 Samuel 24:17 Reminds Us of the Consequences of Sin

But the reality is I think about my life when I sin against God. Even if I’m sinning in a way that no one else knows about, or I think no one else will see, the reality is that is going to have an effect on my relationship with God, on my relationship with my wife, my relationship with my kids, my relationship to the church that God’s entrusted me to lead, my relationship to people around me.

You say, how does it affect all of those different people? Well, my wife’s greatest need from me is my closeness to God. Am I walking humbly with God? If I am walking humbly with God and obedient to his word, then it’s going to be good for my wife. That’s going to be good for my kids. That’s going to be good, the best thing my church needs from me is me walking with Jesus. And the people I interact with today, even people I don’t even know, their greatest need from me is to be walking with Jesus in that moment. And when I’m not doing that, when I’m sinning against God, when I’m walking in disobedience to God, it affects all of those people.

2 Samuel 24:17 Reminds Us Sin Affects Everyone

So to realize, based on the 2 Samuel 24:17, that your sin, my sin, doesn’t just affect us. It affects people around us in ways we oftentimes don’t even realize. And so we pray, God help us to hate sin today, help us to run from temptation to sin at every turn.

Please help us to walk in obedience to your word in ways that are good, not just for us, but in ways that are good for the people around us. I think about how we pray so many days on this podcast for unreached people in the world, thousands, millions, literally billions of people who have not heard the gospel, who are on a road that leads to an eternal hell without ever even hearing how they can go to heaven because we have been and are being disobedient to your command to make disciples of all the nations.

This Verse Leads Us to Pray for the Unreached

God, we pray that you would help us to obey you for the sake of the Messiah. People in Malaysia, who’ve never heard the good news of your grace and your love. God, we pray you’d help us to obey for their sake. For the sake of, it just so happens, to be about 70,000 of them.

God, we pray for the Bisiah in Malaysia. We pray for people groups around the world to hear the gospel because of our obedience to you, that you would deliver us from disobedience that is keeping them in the dark. God in our lives right around us in ways that extend far beyond us, help us to obey you today. We pray, by your grace, by the power of your spirit, Jesus, inside of us, help us to obey you in ways that lead to good for us, good for others, and ultimately glory to your name. We pray 2 Samuel 24:17. In our lives and among the nations, in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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