In Today's Scripture Reading:
The last words of David; David's last recorded sin; David builds an altar; his sacrifice; the three-day plague
David never lost a battle in his 40-year reign. Although he had often prayed for the Lord's direction during his early years of conquest, his desire at this time to take a census of his army was obviously not based on any threat by invaders. When we begin feeling proud or desiring a feeling of security, Satan is quick to suggest wrong thoughts, as he did with David. And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked (incited) David to number (take a census of) Israel (I Chronicles 21:1). The Chronicles passage further explains the incident in II Samuel. From the standpoint of the absolute sovereignty of God over everything, including Satan, we read: And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. . . . And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech Thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. . . . So the Lord was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed (ceased) from Israel (II Samuel 24: 1,10,25).
It would be inconceivable for God to actually force David to commit this sin and then, before the census was completed, to destroy 70,000 people because of it (24:15; I Chronicles 27:24). The Holy Spirit directed the writing of II Samuel to let us see that everyone is under the sovereign will of God, but He allows us to stubbornly go our own way, for He will not violate our free will.
There is no record that taking a census was prohibited. But the Law did state: When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul (himself) unto the Lord . . . that there be no plague among them. . . . This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel . . . shall be the offering of the Lord (Exodus 30:12-13).
Because of this violation, a plague spread over the land. David's tragic experience is a reminder of how important it is that we pray one for another that the God of peace . . . Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:20-21; Titus 3:8).
23:10 clave =lung; spoil =lunder, loot; 23:13 chief =oremost, captains; 23:14 hold =tronghold; 24:14 a great strait =reat distress; 24:16 stay =o not move.
Through the silver which David used to purchase the threshingfloor upon which he built an altar unto the Lord (II Samuel 24:24-25). Silver symbolizes Christ's redemption offered for all. Judas said unto them, What will ye give me. . . . And they covenanted (agreed) with him for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Mr. & Mrs. L.S. Fletcher Staff: Mike Moore Government Officials: Sen. Pat Roberts (KS) and Justice John Paul Stevens Country: New Zealand (4 million) two large islands southeast of Australia Major languages: English and Maori Religious freedom 51% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% cults Prayer Suggestion: Watch and pray that you may be worthy to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 21:36).
Optional Reading: Acts 21
Memory Verse for the Week: II Peter 1:9