Abraham’s trip to Mt. Moriah, accompanied by Isaac, had a future result not seen for 1000 years. Part I emphasized the famine and plague that moved God’s chronology to his definitive end.
The third event, unexpected of King David, but perfectly understandable from a human perspective, was his sudden urge to know the size of his armed forces. Where scripture says, God tested, incited, moved or motivated David, he intentionally chose to live by numbers, not by faith in God. That brought the plague.
Let’s first cut him some slack. He had within the past 3-4 months violently suppressed two attacks on his throne. The ruthless, aggressive military action that saved his throne potentially alienated many previous supporters. How deep did disaffection with him extend?
Cutting him that slack, the fact remains: the census reflected a change in his priorities. While his faith in God hadn’t wavered through 30 tough years of military campaigns against foreign armies, unsettled conditions within Israel after Absalom and Sheba led him to ponder further domestic strife. Which led him from faith in God to fear of circumstances—and to the census.
That issues a warning when God tests us. Where patience in seeking his will is required, will we instead recklessly choose to act on our own initiative? If we show God the faith he demands, he’ll provide the blessing we need. But when we divert our gaze from God to ourselves, our fears, our weaknesses and our failures, to our own foresight, like David we’ll certainly make BAD choices. Few of us can say we never made bad choices. None of us can say we won’t lack faith in God when suddenly facing uncertainty. I Corinthians 10:12 warns us all: “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.” End Part II
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