Give it up for the Sheep


Mercy, have we prayed enough for mercy for others and not just ourselves? God’s mercy is real. A dear friend always prays the blood of Jesus to cover people, meaning she asks on their behalf for Jesus’s forgiveness – given thru His blood to cover their offenses. May none of us lack this coverage. May we all extend prayers to even the worst offenders.

God’s Mercy is shown throughout the scriptures. God’s STRENGTH is in how He RESTRAINS His punishments, how He restrains the evil as well.  Mercy IS Jesus in saving us, being the Blanket of Forgiveness, a blanket of His own blood not a blanket of wool sheared from His sheep. He requires nothing of us but our following of Him as Shepard. To believe in Him because God sent Him. He is our Shepherd. We are His sheep.

We, the sheep, have wool, warmth, and surely wandering. Jesus the Shepherd has blood forgiveness, a burning LIGHT of HOPE, and TRUTH beckoning us to get back on track. 

Give it up for the sheep. Jesus did. 

David, the KING and once earthly shepherd, was the always returning servant. David realized when he went astray and he returned to petitioning and sacrificing for God. David knew he needed repentance (so do we).

“These are but sheep. What have they done?”

In David’s realization of wrong, he knew to ask to be in the Lord’s courts of trials (once again) because he KNEW the Lord to be MORE merciful than human man. God gave David choices but David left it up to God to inflict punishment with mercy.

David said to Gad, “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 human hands.”

AND the Lord SHOWED mercy and restraint for He could have destroyed more, as His anger burned against Israel, but at one point God stopped the angel who was dosing out the plague. 

When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.”

God, our Lord God, we beseech you to take these current plagues and roll back the forces of destruction. We beg if we have done wrong to become a repented land. We find hope in You Jesus. 

Restraint. God gives us restraining pens of hedges of protection. God puts up blockages for where we should not go. He restrains our free will with a will to be free in Him. God begs us restraint over retaliation by telling us to forgive and turn the other cheek. Restraint on our part will let Him work out long terms of His Grace over our hurried judgment. 

Wouldn’t it be best for us to pray mercy over all? Over those we don’t know and especially our enemies. Drop our grudges and give Him rights for His Judgments. Perhaps our trials are partially our training to pray, pray, pray – to pray mercy for our enemies and not just ourselves. Yes our anger burns, the Lord Himself has anger, but our prayers rise like incense to God’s pleasure even more.

Give it up for the sheep, Jesus did.

(And WE TOO must return to God knowing His mercy. Don’t stay out in the cold if you are drifting or have drifted. Be sure to come back, hear Jesus calling, be still and know His forgiveness and love.) 

Pray mercy. God is great. 

Accept mercy. God is giving it.

Give mercy. God is for all.


2nd Samuel 24

Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”

But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.

After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah.

After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.

David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”

Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”

So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”

David said to Gad, “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 human hands.”

So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”

David Builds an Altar

On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.

Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”

Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. Your Majesty, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”

But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.

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