Scripture: 1 Chronicles 21.
(What is God saying here?)
1 Chronicles 21:7-14 (NLT)
7 God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it.
8 Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.”
9 Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer. This was the message: 10 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.'”
11 So Gad came to David and said, “These are the choices the Lord has given you. 12 You may choose three years of famine, three months of destruction by the sword of your enemies, or three days of severe plague as the angel of the Lord brings devastation throughout the land of Israel. Decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”
13 “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”
14 So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 people died as a result.
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
The effect that our sin could have on others could be extreme. I had difficulty seeing what David’s sin was in this passage, because there had been a census taken before this one. However the difference is that the first one was ordered by God, and this one was ordered by David so that he could take pride in the strength of his army. In determining his military strength, he was beginning to trust more in his military power than on God. His idea seemed innocent enough, but right away his army leader knew what was on David’s mind, because in verse 3 he questioned David’s command, and God knew David’s intent because He ordered punishment for David. What hit me hard about this little story is that 70,000 Israelites lost their lives over David’s selfishness and sin. Do we ever stop to think about who might be affected by our deliberate sin? Who might get hurt because of our sin? Who might get turned off Christianity because of our sin? How God’s heart must hurt when, knowing how much He did in providing a means for us to live pure and holy in His sight, yet to see us turn from Him and deliberately sin before Him? I don’t know about anyone else, but it would kill me to know that someone else would suffer because of my selfish unconcern and disregard for righteousness before a holy God. Oh that we would remember this when we are tempted, and may this help us to choose the way that is pleasing to God. Search my heart oh God and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me into the path of righteousness today.
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Father You know my heart, and You even know my inner most thoughts. Please steer me in the way of righteousness today. While I want others to see You in everything I say and do today, I want You to even know my thoughts and direct me away from evil thoughts or intentions. Please work through me today so that others may see Jesus in purest form. Please forgive me for those times that I have been less than pure in Your sight. Thank You for loving me unconditionally and being patient with me, now may You be honored in everything You see in me. Please also give my friends that may read this devotional today the same desire so that You may also have clean and pure vessels to work in and through to reach the lost friends that surround them each day.
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