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Roadmap to Restart (1 Chronicles 21:1-28)

Sermon on 6 Jun 2021 by Ps Justin


Today we start a new six-part series – stronger than ever! We are now living in a new normal. But we have confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is faithful, whose mercies are new every day. Let us proclaim that our lives will be stronger than ever.

The book of Chronicles is a book of restoration. 1 Chronicles is about the sin of King David, and him restoring back to God. King David took a census of Israel and Judah. This sin caused God to be displeased.


Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.” - 1 Chronicles 21:1-2

It is Satan who tempts us. We are tempted by our desires, and this will give birth to sin. If we continue to feed this sin, it will lead to death.

What was wrong with King David taking a census? It was a sin because King David was not doing it for God. He was measuring the number of people for his own glory. He was not at war at the time; he merely wanted to measure his own success. We should never steal the glory of God. Although this was a little sin, we know deep in our hearts it is wrong. The Holy Spirit gives us a burden and tells us not to do it. The bible says that every sin has a consequence (Galatians 6). Whatever your sow, you will reap. So even this small sin has a great cost. You are responsible for all the consequences of your sin.

God gave a choice of punishment to David in a creative and ultimately merciful way. He allowed David to choose among 3 years of famine, or 3 months of war, or 3 days of plague (1 Chronicles 21:13-14). King David, in great distress, chose the 3 days of plague. Because of King David’s pride and vanity, seventy thousand men died.

So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. - 1 Chronicles 21:14

There are 4 steps in the roadmap for us to restart, and re-align ourselves with God.

Step 1: C.A.R. (Come, Admit and Repent)

When King David knew God was displeased with him, he admitted his wrongdoings and repented.

And David said to God, “Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? I pray, O Lord my God, be against me and my father’s house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.” - 1 Chronicles 21:17

God relents when we repent, because God is compassionate and merciful.

And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was destroying, the Lord looked and relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. - 1 Chronicles 21:15

David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing behind heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown. - 1 Chronicles 21:16

They were interceding for the people of Israel. Putting on sackcloth is an expression of mourning. They were mourning for their sin. King David admitted his fault and repented. God, being faithful, will purge our wrongdoing and unrighteousness. And the plague ended.

Repentance is turning away from sin, and going towards God. Do whatever it takes to keep that repentance.

repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. – Acts 26:20

Step 2: Take responsibility for your actions

Every restart begins with taking responsibility.

O Lord my God, be against me and my father’s house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.” - 1 Chronicles 21:17

Step 3: Make things right by obeying

If we obey, we can get close to God. Obeying reflects us trust in God and our humility.

Therefore, the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David that David should go and erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the Lord. - 1 Chronicles 21:18-19

The purpose of erecting the altar was to reconcile back to God. King David did exactly what God wanted and made peace offerings to God, which was accepted. Obedience is evidenced by what we do.

Step 4: Do more than what God asks for

King David not only built the altar, but he also bought the entire field. David was offered the oxen, threshing sledges and the grain for free, but he did not want to take things that cost him nothing.

Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.” - 1 Chronicles 21:24


Remember the following principles:



Let us bear fruit that lasts. We will not only love people who love us. Even sinners can do this. In the midst of our busy schedules, let us set aside time for God. Let us do things that move the heart of God.

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