David said to God, “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.” 2 Samuel 24:14 (NIV)
David knew God well. He was a “man after God’s own heart”, and though he was far from perfect, he loved God deeply, and worshiped Him intimately, and knew His character personally. Because of their close relationship, David was sure God to be merciful. David knew that, even though his actions warranted punishment, God would temper justice with mercy. “Let us fall into the hands of the Lord,” David said, confident that even in punishment, that was the best place to land.
If I’d had David’s options, I’m not sure I would’ve left it up to God. In fact, I don’t even like to let God choose the every day details of my life, let alone my divine punishment! I like to have a say…to be the one in charge…to control outcomes as much as possible. “Leave it in my hands, please Lord, and I’ll take it from here.”
Why? Obviously I’m not in charge, even when I think I am, but why would I not trust my life to my God? Perhaps it’s because, sadly, I have not grown the kind of intimate friendship that David shared with God. I don’t depend on His character like David did. I don’t trust Him with every outcome—good or bad—because I am not completely assured that He will be completely merciful. It’s scary to fall into the hands of someone I don’t know or trust.
God, I want to know you like David knew you—I want to follow after your heart as he did. Let me rely on Your faithful, merciful character. Just as David didn’t want to fall into the hands of the people he didn’t know, let me know You so completely that Your hands are the only place I want to be. I want to “know and rely on the love” You have for me. Amen.
From the archives. Originally published April 20, 2009.