2 Samuel 24:16-17…17 When David saw the angel striking the people, he said to the Lord, “Look, I am the one who has sinned; I am the one who has done wrong. But these sheep, what have they done? Please, let your hand be against me and my father’s family.”
As promised the plague started the next day at morning and continued for three days, with the judgment angel ending his work at Jerusalem, just as Joab and his men had done A. We know that 70,000 died, 5% of the men counted died in 3 days. David’s heart was broken because of this judgment, and he pleaded with the Lord to punish him and his family instead. Why would God kill seventy thousand men and yet keep David alive? V.24:1 says that God was angry with Israel, so He was punishing the people for the sin they had committed and possibly David’s punishment was the anguish over Israel.
David begged the Lord to let His hand be against him and his family and for mercy for “the sheep of His pasture” B. The elders of Israel were with David C and with him “fell on their faces” in humble remorse and worship. David’s sin had precipitated the crisis, but the elders realized that the nation had sinned and deserved to receive God ’s discipline. David’s willingness to offer up himself and his family may have been a part of stopping the plague.
We can compare this judgment to the great 1918-19 flu epidemic which may have killed as much as 5% of the world’s population. D My mother was 4 years old in 1918, caught the flu, and refused to take the medicine available. The doctors told her mother don’t worry she is going to die with or without the medicine, but she survived! A plague that killed 5% of today’s population would kill 365 million people.
The sacrifice of Jesus made possible the forgiveness of sin and stopped the plague of eternity in hell for all who believe in Him.
Notes: A- 2 Samuel 24:8; B- Psalm 100:3d; C- 1 Chronicles 21:16d; D- Estimates of deaths from the 1918-19 flu epidemic are from 50-100 million. WW 1 military and civilian deaths are estimated at 21 million and certainly, a high percentage of these deaths were caused by the flu.