Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Counting People, People Count

O. T.#911  "Counting People, People Count
Jan. 24, 2017
1Chronicles 21
...Go, number Israel...   1 Chronicles 21:2


I can't count the number of times my words got me into trouble. They hurt people's feelings, came out the wrong way, were rash decisions. Then I realize that people do count, are important to us and the Lord, have a purpose. David's words gets him into trouble today in our chapter.

How can counting people get one in trouble? Why would it result in thousands loosing their life? Now we have an account of the time David sinned in his later years, a sin that affected thousands of lives. Get your glasses on so we can take a closer look at his bad decision. It probably happened after the war with the Philistines. Both David's first and last battles involved  giants and the Philistines (Goliath and his brothers, giants of Gath).

In verse one we see that Satan was against Israel and provoked David to number Israel. But in 2 Samuel 24:1, we read the anger of the LORD  burned against Israel and it ticked David off. We aren't told the reason for this. God did not cause David to sin. He allowed this sinner to reveal the sinfulness of David's heart by his actions. Satan was allowed to tempt David and he yielded due to his pride. Can we all relate to that? God doesn't cause us to sin, but allows the temptation or trial. That is when we get a better look at our self. Hmm. Sometimes we don't like what we see, don't we?

So King David wanted to know how many people were in his land so he could learn the strength of his army.

He wanted to see how big his land really was, how vast his kingdom, how impressive his army. (Swindoll)

Joab,the captain of David's army, advised against this action without his king following it. A census amounted to a draft or conscription for the army. The land was now at peace so there was no need to enlist troops. David wanted to glory in the size of his nation and army, its power and defenses. He put his faith in the size of his army rather than God's ability to protect them regardless of their number.
(Life Application Study Bible)

Had David been praying, seeking God's counsel, or searching the Scriptures previously? Was he out of touch with God? Was he not accountable to anyone? Why did he not consult his priests about the matter? Why did David insist on having the numbers?     P-R-I-D-E

In what do we put our security-money, possessions, our family, nation, or God?
Are we trusting in God in our weakness?
Our pride gets us in trouble every time, or is I just me?


God was not pleased with David, to say the least. David was not delighting in the Lord but his own might. Like us so many times, the sin of unbelief got David in trouble.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6)
Paul wrote...for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Rom. 14:23)

Gad and Nathan were two prophets who that associated with David.
Gad presented David with 3 options of punishment for his action:
  1. famine for 3 years,
  2. devastation by his enemies for 3 months,
  3. plague on the land for 3 days.
David chose the plague, reasoning that it most directly involved the hand of God and therefore had the most potential for mercy. What a tough decision, especially since his people would pay for his sin. We know that 70,000 men died. Don't you know it was a time of sorrow in Israel? I can't imagine the wailing women's pain in their loss-husbands, sons, brothers, uncles.

Our actions always affect others, whether we want them to or not. Oh, if only I could grab those hurtful words and put them back into my mouth before someone gets hurt by hearting them.
We will pick it up next time with David's reaction.


Bridle my tongue.

Let people know they count.

*Dedicating today's post to my Dad. It was  30 years ago today that he went to be with the Lord Jesus. Still miss him as much as then. One day we will stroll over heaven. You don't need that wooden leg to do it, either.

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