David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.” So, the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel; 70,000 men of Israel fell. – 1 Chronicles 21:13-14
David found himself between the Rock and a hard place. He had sinned against God by taking a census of his army and the great “I AM” gave him a choice in the punishment that he would receive. David chose to fall into the hand of God, even though it meant the Lord’s retribution would result in the death of 70,000 soldiers.
Why did David choose God over his own men? The answer lies in David’s understanding of His mercy. David knew that God would be merciful, and he also knew that it is the nature of mankind to show little or none at all. He chose to accept the choice of a gracious Creator.
As people who have also transgressed God’s moral law, we deserve His punishment and wrath, but we may be thankful that One who is merciful sits in judgment of all mankind. While His holiness demands His righteous judgment, His mercy requires an equally righteous protection. God not only meted out His death sentence, He also died in our place.
If we had been made director and producer of the Messianic coming, we would have sent somebody who would clean up in the polls, who would win all his battles, and who would bring everything our flesh desired. But that is not the way God did it. The enemy to be devoured is sin. So, He sent a sacrifice to die on our behalf. The Lion of the tribe of Judah is the Lamb that was slain. – Mark Dever