It is always better to fall into the hands of the Lord than into those of people, for his mercy is great. For when God condemns us, he at the same time offers his forgiving love in Christ, but when people condemn people, they frequently cast them out and make them the object of scorn.
When God condemns us, he has this judgment brought to us by people—prophets and apostles and ministers—who do not elevate themselves to a level high above us but include themselves with us in a common confession of guilt. By contrast, philosophers and moralists, in despising people, usually forget that philosophers and moralists, in despising people, usually forget that they themselves are human. When God condemns, he speaks of sin and guilt that, though great and heavy, can be removed because they do not belong to the essence of humanity. But moralists frequently speak of egoistic animal tendencies that belong to humans by virtue of their origin and are part of their essence. They put people down but do not lift them up. If by origin we are animals, why then should we live as children of God? We must never forget that as we are judged and condemned by God’s standard, he at the same time offers us his full love, mercy, and forgiveness in Christ. A lesser judgment on us would require a lesser grace and thus diminish the love of God to us.
Herman Bavinck Reformed Dogmatics
2Sa 24:14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”