But David’s heart (conscience) troubled him after he had counted the people. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the sin of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” – 2 Samuel 24:10
Satan’s temptations can be strong, but our victory over sin is found in the power of the Holy Spirit. Victory is found in being filled with the Holy Spirit. This is God’s will for our life.
It is the Spirit of God that is best able to discover Satan’s plots against us; it is only He that can point out all his snares – Thomas Brooks
Resist temptation by making prayer of first importance. – John Owen
But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the [a]sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. – Galatians 5:16
Let us all be acutely aware that we are fully capable of committing the sins David committed, or ones just as evil. Some may already have walked in David’s footsteps. Others may be on the verge of doing so. Let us listen well to the words of our text and to the promptings and conviction of the Holy Spirit, so that we need not learn David’s lessons the hard way as he did.
Wiersbe lists six practical lessons —
- We never outgrow temptation
- God graciously gives us time to repent
- Sins of the spirit do great damage
- Our sins involve others
- True confession is a costly thing
- God will forgive and bring blessing
Haven’t you had a similar experience? Perhaps even recently you did something wrong, and God used your conscience to convict you of the wrong you have done, and you could feel it in your gut. That is not a pleasant experience, but it is needful. Don’t suppress the voice of conscience, or the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Don’t ignore that inner voice. Respond to it like David did and take the next step.
The Lord God desires our hearts and minds to be focused upon Him, and His might, not upon the arm of flesh. We are to trust in Him, and not in our own efforts. We also learn that even though His judgments can be harsh against those who turn from Him, His grace and mercy are abundant to those who repent. David was not a perfect man; he committed some horrible sins; yet he was a man who loved his God, and who was loved by his God. When David sinned, they were whoppers; when he repented, it was with all his heart and soul. Thus, years later, when David finally walked through the valley of the shadow of death, the Great Shepherd was there to lead him home to the green pastures. Praise God for His amazing grace!