Sunday, November 29, 2020, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


I had a blessed Thanksgiving week.  My Holy-days usually turn into Holy-weeks.  My grand-daughter, Brooke and her friend Sarah came to grandmother’s house via airplane. Then we took a car trip south through the Texas prairie, on to San Antonio, traveling over the hills and through the valleys to a stone cottage in Texas Hill Country, now dubbed, Casa Rio Iverson.  This is surely a place where angels dwell.  Certainly, we were wrapped in goodness, blessings, and love. 


The days were filled with laughter and good times, but my Spirit was continually praying asking he Lord, “How do we pray for this nation?”  All we desire is to agree with You and partner with all You are doing.  Surely, the remnant (wheat) is being separated out and the tares are being exposed.


What do you want me to preach on Sunday?  Since the plague hit the nation in March, I have faithfully preached the Word as a weapon of warfare, repented, decreed, and declared as the Spirit has led me.  We are standing on your Word.  We are agreeing with your prophets.


We the church have surely fallen short of our assignment to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.  But Lord, even in our failure, You are able to overturn kings, nations, and every evil work.  We the church fall short in your mighty power; but Lord in our weakness, Your strength is made perfect in weakness.  Lord your grace is sufficient for the day, because it is Your day.


The great men and women of Faith through whom you worked your awesome power were like us. 


Hebrews 11:34:  Through faith, they Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.


Then I realized following the leading of the Word of God, the Word has led me to today’s message.


I submit this Word as an offering to the Lord and ask Him for His mercy and pity to again stay the plague from out land as well as to overthrow the political corruption in our nation. 


1 Samuel 24, we see the nation of Israel in a comparable plight of where we find our nation today.  Not the same circumstances but in the judgment of God due to the sin of hardened pride to sound reasoning; as well as the innate weaknesses and fickleness of the human soul.


I found my path of redemption and victory for the weakness and failures of the church, our nation and myself through these words:  2 Samuel 24: 16: When the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the destruction, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, it is enough, stay now your hand. The angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite.


The story begins:  1 Samuel 24:1: Again, the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, Go and count Israel and Judah.


1 Chron 21:1: Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.


Again, refers back to a three-year famine traced to the blood-guiltiness upon the land from Saul’s murder of the Gibeonites, who were under a covenant of God’s protection (2 Sa. 21:1-22; Josh. 9:25-27).  Saul broke the covenant.


God using Satan to incite David recalls the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart to bring judgment on Egypt; and the lying heart in Ahab’s prophets.  Just as Satan was allowed to test Job, he is used by God to prove men’s hearts.


“There is a difference between the trying of a man, which God does (Psa. 105:19), and the tempting of a man, which God does not (Jas. 1:13).  God provides man with the opportunity to sin in order to prove his response, that is trial.  Satan is there to provide the stimuli to entice to sin; that is temptation.  Man gives the consent of his will and yields to the temptation.  This brings accountability” (Walter Beutler). 


The scripture is clear, the Lord used Satan to bring David into judgment.  God knew what was in his heart.


1.       David numbered those who were under 20-years of age yet sufficiently developed to be able to bear arms (an illegal act not formally entered in the state records.   1 Chronicles 27: 23-24:  David did not take the number of those twenty years old and under, because the LORD had said He would multiply Israel like the stars of the heavens. Joab the son of Zeruiah began a census, but he did not finish, for wrath came upon Israel because of this census; nor was the number recorded in the account of the chronicles of King David.

It took 9 months and 20 days for David’s Ishmael to be born.


2.      He erred in numbering the people at all, because of unbelief in the promise of an abundant seed.

3.      He was guilty of presumption, acting without any instruction from the Lord.

4.      He did not require the half shekel as a ransom for the soul.  The Lord spoke to Moses, “When you take the census of the children of Israel, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, that there may be no plague among them when you number them.  Everyone among them who are numbered shall give half-a-shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary.  This shall be an offering to the LORD.”

5.      He was proud in his heart, intoxicated with success.


This is the first time, scripture commends Joab.  He tells David he is making a mistake, but David ordered the census anyway.


I guess Satan left him and the Lord convicted him.  David realized he had sinned.


24:10:  David repented to the Lord.  ‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done.  I beseech You, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant; for I have done very foolishly.’ When David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say to David, ‘Thus say the Lord, I offer you three things; choose you one of them, that I may do it to you:


1.       Seven years of famine

2.      Three months to flee before your enemies.

3.      Three days of pestilence.


24:14-15:  David said to Gad, I am in a great strait; let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great and let me not fall into the hands of man. The Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed.  Judgment fell. The pestilence killed seventy thousand men from Dan to Beersheba.


But the Lord repented.  He had mercy.  He had pity.  David repented and took responsibility.


24: 16: When the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the destruction, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, it is enough, stay now your hand. The angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite.


 In a vision, David saw the angel of the Lord stand between heaven and earth having a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem (1 Ch 21:16).   His vision was so vivid he broke down in confession and intercession.  In sackcloth, David and the elders of Israel feel upon their faces.  David spoke to the Lord, and said, Lo, I have sinned.  I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done?  Let Your hand I pray be against me, and against my father’s house.


This is the heart of a true leader.  They will lay down their life for their people.  David is proud, tempted, foolish, intractable, prudent, submissive, believing and confident, chastened, and as the intercessor before God, He was one who knew of the un-mercifulness of man and the compassion and justice of God.  23:23: He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.


This is a man after God’s own heart.  In Chapter 23, in David’s last words, He gives us the key of David to the heart of God.  23:5: This is all my salvation, and all my desire.  The desire of David’s heart was God.  God’s desire became his desire.


The prophet Gad visited David once more with instructions to erect an altar on the site where he saw the Angel of the Lord at the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite, then the plague would be stopped.   


1 Chronicles 21, It is called Ornan’s threshing floor.  Ornan and his four sons had seen the Angel and were hiding (1 Ch. 21:20).  The Angel of the Lord commanded Gad to tell David, “Go rear up an altar unto the Lord in the threshing-floor, in the same place.”  Araunah offered it for nothing including the oxen for Burnt Offerings, the wheat for the Meal Offering, the threshing instruments, and other instruments of the oxen for wood.  I give it all.”  


2 Sa. 24:24-25:  The king said to Araunah, No, but I will surely buy it from you at a price; neither will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God of that which does not cost me anything.  So, David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. David built the altar there to the LORD.  He offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.  So, the Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.


1 Chronicles 21: 26: David built an altar there to the Lord, and offered bunt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord, and He answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.  The Lord commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath


1 and 2nd Samuel began with the pollution of the cult by Eli’s apostate sons, and ends with the building of the altar which foreshadowed the Temple itself.  David bought the place for 600 shekels in gold. 


Directed by the Living word, Jesus and his servants will stop the plague of the law of sin and death by paying the full price of a whole Burnt Offering (as did Abraham).  Upon such a foundation God is building a Temple of Living Stones for His Dwelling-Place.  Pentecost = 50 the earnest for a temple of glorified humanity.  600=the fullness of the temple. 


This was Ornan’s threshing floor and where Grace manifested.  David selected the building site on Ornan’s threshing floor to build the temple.  The great glory of Solomon’s temple.


1 Chronicles 22:29-30: The tabernacle of the Lord which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burned offerings, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.  David could not go before it to enquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the Lord.


Today, I am making a personal offering to the Lord with the specific request that he stay this plague, forgive our land of our sins, cleanse our land by fire, and redeem our nation to fulfill our purpose and destiny.  I ask him to give us Godly leaders who fear and worship the One True God and follow His way.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary and Principles of Present Truth by Kelly Varner.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.


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