I guess 1 You expect us to mess up and sin since the devil is here to help us out in doing so, but if our sin was not for the purpose of defying you and we ask for forgiveness then You forgive us, as long as we are sincere in our heart.
And of course, You know if we are sincere or not – I mean, You’re God and You know everything.
After David’s acts of adultery and murder, did he fly right?
“And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.
And Joab said unto the king, Now the Lord thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?” (2 Sam 24:1-3).
So Joab went out to number the people, passing over Jordan and pitching in Aroer. They went to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodhi, and then to Dan-jaan, and Zidon.
Then they arrived to the strong hold Tyre, and all the cities of Hivites, and the Canaanites, to the south of Judah, and even to Beer-sheba.
Nine months and twenty days later they returned to Jerusalem with the results of their count, which was 1,300,000 fighting men, they didn’t count women and children.
“And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,
Go and say unto David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me (2 Sam 24:10-13).
David told Gad to have God choose which punishment so the Lord sent a pestilence that killed 70,000 men. When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem God stopped Him and said that was enough.
David then asked God to only punish him and Gad said to, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Sam 24:18).
And David went up to do as the Lord had commanded. Araunah saw the king and his servants coming toward him and David said he wanted to purchase the threshing floor to build an altar unto the Lord so that the plague be stayed.
Araunah offered to give David oxen, threshing instruments, wood, and other instruments for free.
“And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver…
And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel” (2 Sam 24:24-25).
The census David takes to count his fighting men is not in itself a sin (although I Chr 21:1 tells us that Satan was the instigator). It seems that David’s motive in counting the men is the problem, although we’re not told what that is, since David did not answer Joab’s question in verse 3.
Perhaps he did the count as a way to gloat about in his military might. Whatever the reason, David realizes the census was a faithless, sinful act (v. 10) and indeed God is very displeased with David because of it.
1 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no differences:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God (Rom 3:21-25).
City of Ebla
Excavating the city of Ebla (modern Tell Mardikh) in northwestern Syria, archaeologists have discovered the single largest collection of third-millennium B.C. cuneiform tablets unearthed to date.
Immensely important in the study of the ancient Near East, this site has yielded tens of thousands of complete texts and fragments.
These texts, which include administrative, lexical, literary and diplomatic tablets, were discovered in the palace, which had been destroyed by fire.
Ironically, the conflagration may have helped to preserve the tablets by baking them, although some more important tablets would have been purposely hard-baked when created in order to preserve their information for generations.
The Eblaites utilized the Sumerian cuneiform writing system, adapting it to their Semitic language. This has made decipherment and translation of the texts both difficult and tedious.
In fact, early translations often vary drastically from more recent ones as more is learned about the Eblaite language.
As a result, earlier scholars believed they had found a text parallel to the familiar Biblical proverbs, while today this so-called proverbial text is considered to tie merely a list of Sumerian terms for cuts of meat.
Some scholars had thought they saw references to the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel) in the Ebla tablets, but this also has turned out to be a false lead.
At one point, ancient historians believed that information in the Ebla texts indicated that the city, during its zenith, controlled a vast empire from Egypt to the Persian Gulf.
Many of these early readings have now come under renewed scrutiny as well, with the result that the extent of Ebla’s former power remains in question.
The importance of the Ebla documents for Biblical studies probably lies in what they can tell us in general about life in 3rd millennium B.C.
Syria-Palestine, as opposed to their providing any specific parallels to the Bible, as had been hoped.