Offering And Sacrifice even stopped a plague allowed by the Lord. A part of the power of Offering And Sacrifice is to Stop bad things from plaguing your life. We have national leaders, like David, who make bad/horrible decisions. This is why we should always pray and know as much as we possibly can about a person wanting to be a national leader. Their decisions bring blessings or plagues even if they are people, like David, after God’s own heart.

Offering and Sacrifice
By Pastor Delbert Young

Stopping the Plague

Stopping the Plague

Scriptures: Romans 12:1, 2 Samuel 24:15, 2 Samuel 24:25, 2 Samuel 24:10, 2 Samuel 24:11-14, 2 Samuel 24:15, 2 Samuel 24:18-21, 2 Samuel 24:22-23, 2 Samuel 24:24, 2 Samuel 24:25

Today, I have another interesting and challenging thought to face you with concerning our study on OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. Again, our study is not discussing the sacrifice the Lord God gave through Jesus Christ to each of us. We are acquiring truth about WHY we OFFER AND SACRIFICE back to him. You may say, “Delbert, we are in the New Testament. We are not required to offer sacrifices.” You are so wrong.

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, TO OFFER YOUR BODIES AS LIVING SACRIFICES, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.

So, exactly how does offering your own self work out? This is what we are gaining truth concerning and here is our basic thought for today. OFFERING AND SACRIFICE are a large part of stopping bad things from happening in our lives.

2 Samuel 24:15 So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.

2 Samuel 24:25 David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. THEN the LORD answered prayer in behalf of the land, and THE PLAGUE ON ISRAEL WAS STOPPED.

The OFFERING AND SACRIFICE even stopped a plague allowed by the Lord. A part of the power of OFFERING AND SACRIFICE is to STOP bad things from plaguing your life.

2 Samuel 24 is a very interesting, confusing, and complicated chapter. It is full of interesting thoughts and truths of which we could easily become bogged and moved off point. Yet, you must grasp the context in order to grasp this power of OFFERING AND SACRIFICE.

Here is the essence of the context. It was late in the life of King David who had successfully led Israel for forty years (1Ki 2:10). In 2 Samuel 24, David was an old man. There was only one more chapter to write about his life. This chapter begins by saying how the Lord was again angry against Israel (v.1). It does not say why the Lord was again angry. David, the national leader, was incited (by God 2Sa 24:1; by Satan 1Ch 21:1) to make a decision to take a census. Though David’s army commander, nephew, and dedicated friend, Joab, warned David doing this census was not a good thing (v 3), David did not listen (v 4) and as a result of this bad decision a plague came upon Israel.

Before we move on, I want to make this relevant. We have national leaders, like David, who make bad/horrible decisions. This is why we should always pray and know as much as we possibly can about a person wanting to be a national leader. Their decisions bring blessings or plagues even if they are people, like David, after God’s own heart. I do not think any of us would argue many issues plaguing our great nation today are from bad decisions our leaders made.

However, making this relevant, we all lead something and we all make decisions. Mothers lead children. Dads lead families. You may be a leader at work or church. Some of you lead your businesses. Teachers lead students. Young people follow their leaders. Older siblings lead younger siblings. People lead this and lead that. You lead something. So, I need to ask you, WHAT IS IT YOU LEAD? Do you lead a business, a home, children, organization, classroom, church, work group, a community, state, aspect of government, etc.?

The reason I ask is to remind you the decisions you make as a leader affect others and bring blessings or bring plagues upon you and upon them. The financial decision the financial leader in your family or business makes affects the entire family or business. Discipline, or lack of it, can bring a plague upon an entire family. If you are a student, the decisions you make affect other students. If you are a teacher, the decisions you make affect your class(es). Decisions we make affect others. Here is the point. Most plagues we experience in life are caused by decisions we make as leaders or decisions made by those leading us.

Now with this in mind, I ask another question. HOW IS WHAT YOU LEAD DOING? Is it blessed, or does it seem plagued? If you are like me and like King David, you would just say, “Yes!” This meaning, some things are blessed and some things seem plagued. David was a great king. His numbering of the people in this chapter proved it. The population had more than doubled under his leadership from the population of the great Moses (Num 1:45-56) and great Joshua (Num 26:51). David was tremendously successful and victorious and usually made great decisions, but sometimes a plague got in. It’s this way with me. I am such a blessed man. When I look at what I lead and have led, it is blessed, but occasionally, a plague gets in. Do you know why plagues got into my land most of the “times”? It was because of my decisions. I will tell you about one of my plagues in a few minutes.

I want us to learn what to do when a plague hits our lives and hits what we lead. Let’s see what the Lord instructed David to do to stop his plague.

(1) The first thing David did was admit he sinned and acted foolishly.

2 Samuel 24:10 David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I HAVE SINNED GREATLY IN WHAT I HAVE DONE. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a VERY FOOLISH THING.”

David did not blame what happened on the people of Israel, or Absalom, or Sheba. He forthrightly said I HAVE SINNED GREATLY in what I have done. I HAVE DONE A VERY FOOLISH THING. David was BIG enough to say he sinned, which made him POWERFUL enough to be the king. The point is if we want to stop the plagues attempting to come into our lives, we must begin by being BIG enough to say I have sinned greatly! I have done a very foolish thing! Here is another question for you. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU ADMITTED YOU SINNED AND ADMITTED YOU DID A VERY FOOLISH THING? Or, was it easier to blame others and watch your plague keep on going?

I want to take a moment here and point out something. We think of David’s “greatest” sin in connection with Bathsheba. The Bathsheba sin affected David, his family, Bathsheba, and her family. This sin affected 70,000 people and countless families. We tend to grade sin moralistically (i.e. adultery, homosexuality, etc.). However, the Lord also judges sin according to the affect our decisions have on others. The person who does not make proper financial decisions and brings a plague on their home has sinned. It will bring consequences and sometimes a plague just as the person committing adultery brings consequences and a plague. The parent who will not properly discipline their children will bring consequences and eventually a plague. Delbert, is not disciplining my children sin? Does the Word of the Lord instruct you to discipline your children? If you disobey then it is sin, right? My wife was sharing with me a sermon she heard Andy Stanley preach. Andy said we have gotten to a place in society where we no longer call a person a “sinner.” We call them “a mistaker.” So, people make “mistakes” today instead of sin. You can call it what you want, but you know a tree by its fruit and you can look at the consequences/harvest in your life and determine the tree.

(2) Next, after David admitted he had sinned greatly and did a very foolish thing, he received the word of God. Notice the options.

2 Samuel 24:11-14 Before David got up the next morning, the word of the LORD had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the LORD saysI am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.'” So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come upon you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” David said to Gad, “I AM IN DEEP DISTRESS. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, FOR HIS MERCY IS GREAT; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.”

David CONFESSED he sinned and did a very foolish thing and REPENTED, but notice confessing alone was not enough to stop the consequences! David was in deep distress. Has a bad time ever stressed and depressed you? When this happens, the Lord wants to send you a word. The way David received the word of the Lord was through Gad, David’s seer. If the Lord wanted to send you a “Thus saith the Lord,” how would he send it? Here is another question. TO WHOM DO YOU LISTEN TO GET THE WORD OF THE LORD? Most people have no Gad. Do you?

David had options. He could choose the option he wanted. When plagues and bad times come into our lives, we have options and there are always two or three. We select the most convenient and economical option, but David did not do this. Instead, he would leave it up to the Lord for his mercy is great. OH, IF I COULD DO THIS! I immediately begin thinking over my options. David said he was not making any decisions at this time. He was in this mess because of making a decision, so he was keeping his mouth shut and turning it over to the Lord God. When we are in a plague/bad time, we actually are not capable of making quality decisions. We are upset, angry, emotional, and in deep distress. It is a time to trust God and say I am not doing anything. I am going to give it to God for HIS MERCY IS GREAT. David gave it to the Lord to work out with mercy. The remainder of the chapter explains how the Lord did just this.

2 Samuel 24:15 So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.

Notice the plague came for the time designated. It was not specifically three days. David confessed to the Lord he had sinned and acted foolishly, yet the plague came anyway. There are consequences to our sins and decisions. Confessing them does not stop the harvest (Gal 6:7-8). However, as we will see, it did help shorten the time.

The plague began and here is how the Lord worked out his mercy.

(3) The third thing is David went up…

2 Samuel 24:18-21 ON THAT DAY Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” SO DAVID WENT UP, as the LORD had commanded through Gad. When Araunah looked and saw the king and his men coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” “To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “SO I CAN BUILD AN ALTAR TO THE LORD, THAT THE PLAGUE ON THE PEOPLE MAY BE STOPPED.”

Notice the OFFERING AND SACRIFICE David is about to give was not for forgiveness of his sin. It was THAT THE PLAGUE ON THE PEOPLE MAY BE STOPPED! So David went up… on that day… the day the plague began. There are times you must get your deeply distressed self UP, stop moaning and groaning, get UP to the place God has told you to give OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. It amazes me how people will stay home in their deep distress when there is a way to stop the plague. It is not a time to wallow in deep distress. It is not a time to stay home and not make OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. It is a time to get UP and accelerate OFFERING AND SACRIFICE.

2 Samuel 24:22-23 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever pleases him and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. O king, Araunah gives all this to the king…”

Araunah was very sweet trying to help David give OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. He told David he could HAVE the threshing floor FOR FREE and use his wooden handles and wooden yokes for firewood. Araunah would even supply the oxen for the offering. But, you can’t provide the OFFERING AND SACRIFICE for a plague for which you are not responsible. It is like getting a pair of pants for Christmas you don’t want, so you rewrap them and give them as a gift to someone else. This will not stop any plague in your life. It must cost YOU something. Watch!

2 Samuel 24:24 But the king replied to Araunah, “NO, I INSIST ON PAYING YOU FOR IT. I WILL NOT SACRIFICE TO THE LORD MY GOD BURNT OFFERINGS THAT COST ME NOTHING.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.

Your OFFERING AND SACRIFICE must COST YOU SOMETHING and I am not speaking only monetarily. It will cost you your Sunday morning to come to church (Heb 10:25). It will cost you your pride to give a sacrifice of praise (Heb 13:15). It will cost you some TV to read your Bible (Jam 1:21). It may cost you some sleep to pray. It will cost you money to give tithes and offerings and alms (Mal 3:9-10). But, is it not worth it to stop the plagues in your life and the plagues in the lives of those you lead and love? I watch people go through plagues and I say, “Had they only been at church Sunday and heard the word of the Lord the plague would not have happened.” I say, “If they would do what the Lord says to do, they would not be facing a plague with their finances, or work, or family.” Instead, we allow the plague to continue because we refuse to pay the cost.

2 Samuel 24:25 David built an altar to the LORD there and SACRIFICED burnt OFFERINGS and fellowship OFFERINGSTHEN THE LORD ANSWERED PRAYER IN BEHALF OF THE LAND, AND THE PLAGUE ON ISRAEL WAS STOPPED.

I need to ask you one final question. HOW DID KING DAVID STOP THE PLAGUE HE FACED?

Let me tell you about a bad decision I made bringing a plague on this church. I was very upset about something. On the morning of my “bad decision,” Judy, my wife, called me. She read me a prophecy showing the upsetting thing that happened was of God. Through it, God would bless us. All I needed to do was be calm. Later this day, I was not calm and made the bad decision. I did something foolish. Within a short time, a plague came upon Life Gate. We lost people and some of them died spiritually. All the money was gone and we could not pay for our facility. I was in deep distress. (1) I told the Lord I had sinned and had done a very foolish thing and repented. I had options. One being leave town and terminate Life Gate Church, but I did nothing. We kept our mouths shut and waited on the Lord’s mercy. (2) The word of the Lord came to me AGAIN through Judy. She said in essence; build an altar (pledge board), give OFFERING AND SACRIFICE, ask the people to give OFFERING AND SACRIFICE, and God will end the plague. (3) I immediately got my deeply distressed self UP. The next Sunday, in twenty minutes, the Lord ANSWERED OUR PRAYERS AND STOPPED THE PLAGUE. He paid off the building totally. We burned the mortgage note, paved the parking lot, and put in new carpet. How did we,” all of us,” stop the plague? It was by our giving OFFERING AND SACRIFICE. Many of you were here and you gave. Some of you told me the wonderful things God did in your lives afterwards. He stopped some of your own personal plagues as well as the corporate plague. When you are experiencing personal plagues in your life: (1) Admit you messed up, sinned, and did a very foolish thing and REPENT. (2) Hear the word of the Lord. (3) Get your deeply distressed self UP and get to where you can give an OFFERING AND SACRIFICE to STOP THE PLAGUE.

Other Related Sermons:

David, How’s Your Family? sermon video audio notes

Uzzah Uzzed – sermon video audio notes

Stronghold – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young