September 5, 2017
Scripture Reading – 1 Chronicles 20-24
With the Ark of God safe in Gibeon and his recent victory over the Ammonites and Syrians, David settled into a time of spiritual and physical complacency. We read, “at the time that kings go out to battle” (1 Chronicles 20:1), “David tarried at Jerusalem” (20:1).
The LORD continued to bless Israel’s army under General Joab and David relished the spoils of war that came from conquests (20:2-8); however, it was in this same time David committed an egregious sin against the LORD. 2 Samuel 11 reveals David committed adultery with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah and, to conceal his sin he sent Uriah into the heat of the battle where he perished. The prophet Nathan warned David his life would forever be shadowed by the consequences of his sins (2 Samuel 12:10-14) and his family would be the source of his sorrows.
David’s reign began evidencing a series of missteps apart from the LORD’s will and in pride he dismissed the counsel of his most trusted advisor. We read, “Satan stood up [withstood as an adversary] against Israel, and provoked [persuaded; enticed] David to number [i.e. a census] Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1). Of this same event, 2 Samuel 24:1 states the LORD was angry with Israel and moved David to number the people. Taking both passages, we understand Satan initiated the numbering of the people within David’s proud heart (1 Chronicles 21:1) while the LORD permitted the census to His own end and purpose (2 Samuel 24:1).
General Joab, David’s most trusted advisor, bravely withstood David (21:2-3); however, “the king’s word prevailed against Joab” (21:4) and the census was made (21:5). Too late, David confessed his sin against the LORD for numbering the people (21:7-8); however, the displeasure of the LORD was set upon Him. David was mercifully given the opportunity to choose which of three consequences would befall him and Israel (21:10-12).
Rather than perish at the hand of his enemy, David entrusted himself and Israel to the LORD’s chastisement and 70,000 in Israel perished (21:13-17). The plague and the loss of lives stopped when David purchased the threshing floor of Ornan, made an altar in that place and sacrificed to the LORD (21:18-28).
The significance of the place the plague stopped and where David erected an altar and sacrificed cannot be overstated for it was the same place Abraham offered his son Isaac and Solomon would build the Temple (Genesis 22; 1 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 3:1).
Knowing the years of his life were drawing to a close, David devoted his life to preparing the workmen and materials that would be required for Solomon to build the Temple (1 Chronicles 22:1-19). David instructed Solomon and imparted to his son his duty to embrace God’s promises and build the Temple in Jerusalem (22:6-16).
Leaving no doubt who should be his successor, David “made Solomon his son king over Israel” (23:1) and set forward an organization of the priests and Levites who were to serve in the Temple (23:2-32; 24:1-31)).
There are many lessons we could take from today’s study; however, I will leave you with one…
David wisely accepted the temporalness of his earthly life and prepared his son to not only be king, but also charged him with the privilege for which God had chosen him… “build an house for the LORD God of Israel” (1 Chronicles 22:6-11).
Friend, you would be wise to follow David’s example and heed a caution concerning this earthly life found in Psalm 90.
Psalm 90:10 – “The days of our years are threescore years and ten [70 years]; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years [80 years], yet is their strength [i.e. pride] labour [toil; grief; misery] and sorrow [mourning]; for it is soon [i.e. hurry; too soon] cut off [passed], and we fly away [i.e. our years take flight].”
Wise men and women “number” [prepare; count] the days of their lives and, like David, “apply [lit. pass on] [their] hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
The wise pour their lives into those who will eventually succeed them!
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith