David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”
(1 Chronicles 21:13 NIV)
After committing the sin of taking a census of Israel, King David was given the option of choosing one of the three ways that God was going to punish him for it. “‘Take your choice: three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the LORD—days of plague in the land, with the angel of the LORD ravaging every part of Israel’” (1 Chronicles 21:11-12). I like David’s response. He told Gad, his seer, that he would rather have God discipline him than for anyone else to do it. After all, unlike people, God can still be trusted to show mercy, even when angered. When we commit a wrong, it’s wise to have God discipline us His way because He can always be trusted to treat us kindly and lead us to the right path again.
The hand of God is kinder than the hand of men.