David commanded a census.
A counting of the people of Israel and Judah...
the followers of his kingdom.
It had been some time since this had been done...
each man able for war, 20 years and older.
Joab, the commander of the armies was sent.
And nine months later,
he returned with the sum total.
But.. David’s heart condemned him
after he had numbered the people.
So David said to the Lord,
“I have sinned greatly in what I have done;
but now, I pray, O Lord, take away
the iniquity of Your servant,
for I have done very foolishly.”
2 Samuel 24:10
And God was displeased with this thing;
therefore He struck Israel.
1 Chronicles 21:7
And through the seer Gad,
God spoke to David, giving him a choice...
one of three punishments for his sin:
And David said to Gad,
“I am in great distress.
Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord,
for His mercies are great;
but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
2 Samuel 24:14
So the Lord sent a plague.
But that was not all...
for after 70,000 men had died,
then David lifted his eyes
and saw the angel of the Lord
standing between earth and heaven,
having in his hand a drawn sword
stretched out over Jerusalem.
1 Chronicles 21:16
Can you imagine that sight?
I mean the bible reads of angel encounters
where people are simply frightened
just by the presence of an angel.
And those are simply messenger angels.
But this one...
this one is different.
For this is an angel of death.
And this angel is so large...
that he spans the distance between
earth and heaven.
And he holds in his hand
a sword drawn and ready to use...
stretched out over the city in which you live.
Try as I may, I cannot fully imagine.
And David fell upon his face,
and repented once more...
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?
Let Your hand, 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 Chronicle 21:17
And the Lord relented.
So what was so wrong with David's action?
And what has this to do with us?
How did something so simple
as counting people,
bring such deadly consequences
and judgment from God?
And after reading many commentaries,
and comparing great observations,
most of them boil down to this...
God is the creator and originator
of all things.
And He wants us to look to Him
for all provision,
for all satisfaction,
for all comfort,
for all security,
for all peace,
for all protection,
for all value,
for every thing!
God does not want us to be looking
to ourselves, or to our followers
to receive any of our value.
So when David called for a census...
without God initiation of it,
he as basically testing the waters
to see how stable his kingdom was.
He was checking out his value,
his kingdom's foundation.
David was looking to earthly things
to determine value, worth, and stability.
So maybe next time
there was a battle,
or a confrontation,
somewhere in his mind,
he might be justifying before or after,
that it was him,
or his kingdom that got the win...
rather than trusting God with it.
And even more...
glorifying and praising God through it.
As for us...
it is exactly the same.
We need to be extremely careful
about numbering our followers,
checking our subscriber list,
and counting our likes and re-tweets.
We need to take a more humble approach toward our work...
not numbering or counting
as our own.
Because when we begin
to place our value
in those numbers,
and in those triumphs,
then we have taken our focus
and our faith from God.
those are some mighty fickle places
to place our trust.
But God is not fickle at all!
In fact, He is absolutely reliable.
He is a strong foundation.
But He just might
send an angel of death
to a project,
a picture perfect scheme
we have started...
if we continue to count.
Be careful what you count.
Word of God,
train me, today...
to stop counting and simply work hard at what You have assigned,
to only COUNT the ONE, whom I can COUNT on.
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