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Scripture: 1 Chronicles 21:29-30

“The tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burn offering were at the high place in Gibeon, but David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was terrified of the sword of the Lord’s angel.”

Key Ideas

God called King David “a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Yet, David still sinned against God. In 1 Chronicles 21, David’s sins drew God’s punishment upon the nation: an angelic plague.

The angel of God delivered God’s plague with his sword. The plague killed 70,000 Israelite men, but God graciously stopped the angel before it destroyed Jerusalem.

David saw God’s angel in the sky, with sword drawn, about to strike and destroy the city. That sight prompted both repentance and fear. He fell facedown before God.

Though God did halt the punishment and destruction of Jerusalem, David never recovered from the sight of the angel striking God’s people because of his sin. He never recovered from seeing God’s people suffer because of him. He never recovered from seeing the angel ready to destroy Jerusalem.

David’s fear of the angel’s sword continually haunted him. Because of it, he never traveled to Moses’ tabernacle at Gibeon to inquire of God and seek direction.

Ultimately, David’s sin in conducting a military census damaged and altered his relationship with God. He became estranged from God, though he still sought and served the Lord.

The damage David’s sin inflicted on his relationship with God also hurt other people and weakened his leadership of the nation.


How have my sins’ consequences affected my relationship with God?

What residual sin effects hinder my interaction with God?

How might a damaged relationship with God affect saints near me?

What might my relationship with God look like if sin had not damaged it?

Ideally, how would God want me to interact with Him?

The Takeaway

Sin always damages a person’s interactions with God.


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