Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 24

David’s extraordinary prayer for Israel’s people

2 Samuel 24:17

It surprises many people that God considered David a very holy man (1 Kings 15:3-5). David did the same kinds of wrong things that other people do. In fact, sometimes he was guilty of much worse acts than most people do. So, we ask how he was such a holy man.

The answer is this. What makes a person truly holy, is that person’s relationship with God. Many people have just a weak relationship with God; they do not truly know God’s character. A truly holy person desires to have a character like God’s character (Matthew 5:43-48). That person desires constantly to know God better and to love him more (Philippians 3:7-11).

The evidence of that is in a person’s prayers. Such a person speaks to God as a friend. That person’s selfish desires for himself disappear: he wants only what God wants.

So in his prayers, a very holy person often desires nothing for himself; but rather, he expresses God’s love for other people. That person would even give up his own relationship with God, if other people could receive a relationship with God. That was the kind of unselfish prayer that Moses prayed in Exodus 32:31-32. Paul also prayed like that in Romans 9:1-3. In the same way, David offered to God his own relationship with God, to save Israel’s people (24:17). Of course God did not accept that – he wanted to carry out the promises that he had made to David’s family (7:5-16). So instead, God provided a way to mend his (God’s) relationship with Israel’s people. He provided the temple: the place of prayer that was God’s house on the earth (1 Kings 8:27-53).

Next part: Araunah's threshing-floor (2 Samuel 24:18)


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