In one of his volumes on American history, Page Smith turned Bible critic and opined that it’s presumptuous to think we can understand God’s plans for humanity. Indeed, he said, some theologians thought God himself didn’t know what to do with humanity.
Pure nonsense, unworthy of a historian of Smith’s reputation. What theologians say doesn’t surprise any Bible believer.
This blog suggests a possible chronology by which God fulfilled the purpose of Abraham’s 1000 year old trip to Mt. Moriah; indeed, a purpose God never forgot.
First, a famine of three years duration occurred in Israel, perhaps early in David’s reign. God sent it due to Saul’s excess of zeal for Israel in killing many of the Gibeonites: people who had been promised sanctuary by Joshua, Joshua 9. As billions of people world-wide have discovered, Israel paid for the sins of her leaders. However, with restitution by executing seven of Saul’s male descendants, prosperity returned to the land. David initiated the recovery.
Second, a bruising visitation of divine wrath fell on Israel at the beginning of David’s 40th decade as king. Both II Samuel 24 and I Chronicles 21 agree that it came as an affliction on Israel.
Though the reason isn’t given, consider: the sin may have been the country’s wholesale defection from David to Absalom. Then, the defection of the 10 tribes to Sheba after Absalom’s rebellion failed. Remember that David repeatedly refused to overthrow Saul, though often given the chance. He held Saul’s OFFICE as sacred. An honor neither Absalom nor Sheba offered David. Each rebel considered himself a fit replacement. And it didn’t take much to steal “the hearts of the men of Israel” II Samuel 15:6. Especially if the idea was bad. End Part I