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Bible Pathways - April 20, 2006

  • 2016 Apr 20
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April 20, 2006

Read 2 Samuel 23

In Today's 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).

Word Studies:

23:10 clave = clung; spoil = plunder, loot; 23:13 chief = foremost, captains; 23:14 hold = stronghold; 24:14 a great strait = great distress; 24:16 stay = do not move.

Christ Revealed:

Through the silver which David used to purchase the threshing floor upon which he built an altar to 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).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer · Staff: Gina Lesnefsky · Government Officials: Sen. Pat Roberts (KS) and Justice John Paul Stevens · Country: Saudi Arabia (22 million) on the Arabian Peninsula in southwestern Asia · Major language: Arabic · Christian worship services for foreign personnel are tolerated, but those who seek to convert Muslims to Christianity face persecution · 99% Muslim; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Thank the Lord that you have no need to fear. Trust Him one day at a time (Matthew 6:33-34).

Optional Reading: Acts 21

Memory Verse for the Week: II Samuel 22:31

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