|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:10-15 It is well, when a man has sinned, if he has a heart within to smite him for it. If we confess our sins, we may pray in faith that God would forgive them, and take away, by pardoning mercy, that sin which we cast away by sincere repentance. What we make the matter of our pride, it is just in God to take from us, or make bitter to us, and make it our punishment. This must be such a punishment as the people have a large share in, for though it was David's sin that opened the sluice, the sins of the people all contributed to the flood. In this difficulty, David chose a judgment which came immediately from God, whose mercies he knew to be very great, rather than from men, who would have triumphed in the miseries of Israel, and have been thereby hardened in their idolatry. He chose the pestilence; he and his family would be as much exposed to it as the poorest Israelite; and he would continue for a shorter time under the Divine rebuke, however severe it was. The rapid destruction by the pestilence shows how easily God can bring down the proudest sinners, and how much we owe daily to the Divine patience.
Verse 14. - Let us fall now into the hand of Jehovah. David had sinned against God, and to God he humbly submitted himself. There would thus be nothing to come between the soul and God, and prevent the chastisement from having its due effect upon the heart. A famine would indeed equally come from God, but would necessitate effort and exertion on man's part. In the pestilence he would wait patiently, nor look to anything but prayer for averting God's judgment. In Psalm 51:1 David refers to God's mercies, in much the same way as here, as being a motive to repentance.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait,.... Not knowing well which to choose, each of them being so grievous, and an answer being to be returned immediately; but by his next words, and by the event, it seems he chose the pestilence, though that is not expressly said:
let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; the Targum in 1 Chronicles 21:13, is"into the hand of the Word of the Lord:"
(for his mercies are great), and let me not fall into the hand of men; indeed all the three judgments mentioned are by the hand of the Lord whenever they come; but in the pestilence the hand of the Lord is more visible, it coming immediately from his hand, as especially this was to do, and did; it did not arise from second causes, a noxious air, &c. but by means of an angel of God: David chose this, because he and his people would have nothing to do with men, as in famine they must have gone into other countries for food, and in war flee before their enemies, and lie at their mercy, and either of them more disgraceful than this; and which he might the rather choose on his own account, that his people might not be able to say he sought himself and his own interest; for had he chosen famine, as his people had been lately distressed that way already, they might, besides urging that, say, that he could lay up stores for himself and family; or had he chosen war, they might observe he had fortified places to flee to, one after another, and shelter himself; but for the arrows of the pestilence he was as likely a mark as the meanest of his subjects: but what seems to have moved him chiefly to make this choice is, that it would not only be the soonest over, but that it wholly depended on the pleasure of God what use he would make of it in that time; and chiefly because he knew God was gracious and merciful, and it was upon his great mercy he cast himself and his people.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. David said, … Let us fall now into the hand of the Lord—His overwhelming sense of his sin led him to acquiesce in the punishment denounced, notwithstanding its apparent excess of severity. He proceeded on a good principle in choosing the pestilence. In pestilence he was equally exposed, as it was just and right he should be, to danger as his people, whereas, in war and famine, he possessed means of protection superior to them. Besides, he thereby showed his trust, founded on long experience, in the divine goodness.
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