Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thoughts about David and the census

"This story of David [the census] brings together several key motifs observed elsewhere in the book of Samuel. First, confession of sin once again appears as a key initial step in dealing with sin. In this case, this confession is preceded by the 'troubling' (נכה Hiphil) of the heart. Second, the prophet has a role to play in dealing with sin, not only in identifying sin as seen in 2 Samuel 12 but also in announcing God's judgment. Third, there is an expectation that Yahweh can and will take away (עבר Hiphil) iniquity (עון). Fourth, a request of this sort does not eliminate divine discipline but only mitigates the punishment. Fifth, the sin of one, especially in this case of the king, has implications for the entire nation. Sixth, great hope is placed in the gracious character of Yahweh, who can withdraw punishment at any time. Seventh, Yahweh responds to the intercessory cry of his mediator in conjunction with sacrificial offerings at the altar in Jerusalem."—A Severe Mercy, page 162

<idle musing>
That's a lot to digest in one paragraph! The thing that jumped out the most to me as I read it was the corporate nature of sin. Our individualistic society tends to downplay the side effects of individual sin, but they have repercussions...
</idle musing>

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