2 Samuel 24:1-17 also records that the Lord gave David the choice of three punishments for counting the men able to fight.
Actions have consiquenses. Trust, humility, and obedience will bring blessing. Doubt, pride, and rebellion will bring punishment. This is the clear message of the Chronicler(s). Is this true? It is true only for believers in Jesus, or rather those who have made a decision to live by faith in Christ.
Why are the principles of punishment and reward so fundamentally true and important? The declaration of the Lord to Israel at Mount Ebal when they entered the promised land and this chapter validates these basic principles are true (Deut. 27). They are not only in the Old Testament. Jesus’ parables also validated the principles. The fact that Jesus and the apostles taught that when he comes again he will send out his angels to separate the lambs (the faithful) and the goats (the rebellious).
Maybe the only reason that the principles of faithful trust and obedience bring reward and faithless doubt and rebellion bring punishment for those who have decided to live according to Jesus’ teachings is because the sinful nature will wage war in the soul of God’s children until the day we are transformed at his second coming.
The fact that I have a choice to do what is good and right or not is helped by the understanding and acceptance of these two principles. The fear of the Lord for the believer is the beginning of wisdom, fear of the consequences of making the wrong choice. There are consequences. This is as sure as the truth that as long as the world spins gravity will continually pull my body to its center. Someday the gravity of punishment-reward will not be needed for I will be given the ability to fly. Until then I will learn to walk in the Lord.
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