Read 2 Samuel 23
The last written words of David are a tribute to his mighty men (II Sam. 23:8-17). He names the top "three" of his honor roll of 37 (23:18-39). David sins (24:1-10); three-day plague; David builds an altar; his sacrifice (24:11-14).
Often in our lives, following a victory, Satan is quick to appeal to our pride. Three mighty men with David . . . defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle . . . and the Lord wrought a great victory (II Sam. 23:9-10). After that, the king said to Joab the captain of the host . . . Go now through all the tribes . . . that I may know the number of the people (who are eligible to be soldiers) (24:2). God permitted David to be moved by Satan to do this (I Chr. 21:1). Joab knew it was an insult to God, who alone is the reason they had never lost a war. Joab said unto the king, Now the Lord thy God add unto the people . . . an hundredfold . . . why doth my lord the king delight in this thing? (II Sam. 24:3). 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 (24:10).
After he repented the Lord offered him a choice of three different punishments. He chose to fall into the hand of the Lord instead of man. David knew he must offer a Sin Offering. Araunah offered ro provide all that was needed. But the king (David) said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which . . . cost me nothing. So David . . . built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was intreated (accepted David's prayer) for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel (24:21,24-25).
The greatness of a person's life is measured by his surrender to the Lord's will and purpose and his giving God the credit for any success. Not what we get but what we give with no ulterior motives for personal gain is the measure of our spiritual maturity. The true spirit of Christ is motivated by love and is practiced by those in whom Christ truly dwells.
There is a glorious harmony between sacrifice to God and sacrifice for others. Our relationship with God needs to be one of sincerity, and wholly to honor Him. Therefore, our daily association with others becomes an opportunity for offering ourselves to meet their needs, then thanking the Lord for the privilege.
Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (Eph. 5:2).
Thought for Today:
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).
Through the silver which David used to purchase the threshingfloor upon which he built . . . an altar unto the Lord (II Sam. 24:24-25). Silver symbolizes Christ's redemption offered for all on the cross. Judas said unto them, What will ye give me? . . . And they covenanted (agreed) with him for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15).
23:10 clave clung; spoil plunder, loot; 23:13 chief foremost, captains; 23:14 hold stronghold, fortification; 24:10 heart smote him heart bothered him; 24:14 a great strait great distress, difficulty; 24:16 stay now thine hand do no more.
Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Pat Roberts (KS) • Country: Costa Rica (4 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and English • Religious freedom is increasing • 90% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for the power of His Word (Heb. 4:12).
Optional Reading: Acts 21
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:11