What Have They Done?


Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

Second Milers also read – John 17 – 18; Psalms 61 – 65; Proverbs 13

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

Read the “0513 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from today’s passage in 1 Chronicles – “Get Busy” and “The Threshingfloor of Ornan

“And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it…. And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.” (1 Chronicles 21:1 – 2. 7)

“Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee: Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.” (1 Chronicles 21:10 – 13)

“And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.” (1 Chronicles 21:17)

In our reading passage today from 1 Chronicles 21, we see that David made a very bad leadership decision to number the people of Israel. His purpose for doing this was to determine the strength of his army. God was very displeased with this decision because David was not supposed to trust in the strength of his numbers and the size of his military force; he was supposed to trust in God. David should have known better. He had already seen many miraculous victories wrought by God even when Israel was facing substantially superior forces. David should have known that it didn’t matter how many people he had on his side, because if God was with him, he had all that he needed.

David’s decision resulted in the deaths of 70,000 people. My thought from this is that the decisions made by leaders affect many people and therefore ought to be taken very seriously. David was even warned by Joab not to number the people, but he did it anyway. He yielded to Satan (v. 1), instead of listening to wise counsel and submitting to God. People who are given a position of leadership must not take their responsibility lightly. They need to make sure that every decision they make is according to the will of God. It would do leaders well to stop and pray before making any major decisions, and wait until they are sure that they have the mind of God.

You and I are all leaders in some respect. I lead a church, and a family. Nearly everybody will be called upon to lead others in some capacity. We need to be very careful about the decisions that we make. I have already made many bad decisions in my ministry that have hurt people, but I don’t want to hurt anybody else. I need to heed my own advice here and take very seriously my position, and very prayerfully make decisions that will be a blessing to the people I love and minister to.

By the way. If the decisions of our leaders are so important, and can affect our lives in such tangible ways, it would certainly be good for us to pray for our leaders, and encourage them to follow God in everything they do. We have many people that lead us in all areas of our lives. There are leaders in the family, in the church, and in our government. These folks will decide things that will either help us or hinder us, so we had better help them by praying for them, and supporting them as they follow the Lord.

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