7 God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it. 8 Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.”
9 Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer. This was the message: 10 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’”
11 So Gad came to David and said, “These are the choices the Lord has given you. 12 You may choose three years of famine, three months of destruction by the sword of your enemies, or three days of severe plague as the angel of the Lord brings devastation throughout the land of Israel. Decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”
Life is filled with many choices to choose from. The choice to go to school or not, a choice to work or not, even choices what to watch on TV, or who you’re going to hanging out with, games that you play, the list is endless! But with every choice that we make was it the right choice? Dose our choices make God happy? Bad choices come with punishment and consequences at times, most often for e.g. you skip school, you don't finish or don’t even start your homework, the outcome you get is a bad mark for assignments. Good choices sometimes come with a reward or a good feeling, like getting to school…on time, doing and finishing your homework that will help you do well on exams.
1 Chronicles 21:7-8 explains that David had done a census, (which is like a survey to gather info of or about population in a town, city country etc.) but God was not very happy with the census that was taken. David had realised he felt really bad about that of what he had done and owns up for his mistake, asking for forgiveness. Verses 9 and so on says God then tells Gad his seer, to tell David he will get 3 choices of punishment to choose from to be punished for his actions.
Like David we are the same way, we are human and we sometimes make bad choices that we end up feeling bad and horrible about. One summer I made a bad choice on something that I should have but didn't find out enough about. It was the weekend and thought we should go see a movie. We decided/planned on to go see Ice Age 3, but halfway down the road we changed our mind to see this other movie. Saw commercials/movie trailers for both and they both showed comedy and seemed okay. Except I assumed wrong! Got a text on my phone from a friend and I replied back telling about my day, watching this movie and whatever. My friend was like "get out of there, it’s not where God would want me be." I thought about it and ended up walking out and realise yeah, my friend is right and God's right, it’s not a choice that God would have wanted me to make. I felt horrible and angry with myself for choosing that movie. God was not happy and I deserved to be told I was doing wrong. Just like David, I prayed and owned up to my mistake and asked God to forgive me.
We are not perfect, and we will make many choices in life that are not of God or for God, but when we know we’ve stumbled that is when we need to ask and make peace with God. Ask for forgiveness. Sometimes we get side tracked that we don't always realise at first what we did wrong until someone, like a good friend that God placed our lives to keep us accountable and tell us to "get out!" when they see what is wrong.
As for David in this case, we often don’t get a choice to pick our punishments, they’re simply given. What do you think David chose?