Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 28, 2015

“please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Chronicles 21:9-17.

“9 The Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I offer you three things;  choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’”  11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Take for yourself 12 either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’  Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.”  13 David said to Gad, “I am in great distress;  please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great.  But do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

14 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel; 70,000 men of Israel fell.  15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.”  And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.  16 Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem.  Then David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces.  17 David said to God, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people?  Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done?  O Lord my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”  1 Chronicles 21:9-17.


We remember from the prior Scripture that David sinned by numbering Israel, showing trust in man and the number of his soldiers rather than showing trust in God.  Here, we read the choice of punishments that the LORD offered David.

Today’s Scripture sharply contrasts the mercies of God compared to “the hand of man”:  “please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great.  But do not let me fall into the hand of man.”  Verse 13.

Generally, Psalm 145:8-21 speaks about the great mercies of God.

“8 The Lord is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
9 The Lord is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;
12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14 The Lord sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.
20 The Lord keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.”  Psalm 145:8-21.

Specifically, Romans 5:6-15 speaks of God’s supreme act of mercy in sending His only beloved Son Jesus Christ to die for us and thus assume the punishment for us. 

“6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man;  though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the transgression.  For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”  Romans 5:6-15.

Other doctrine wants us to fall into the hands of man.  “Just give us free-will”:  it pleads. 

But, Reformed Doctrine pleads for “Unconditional Election”, the “U” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  It pleads:  “please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great.  But do not let me fall into the hand of man.”


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