David said to God, “Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I, the shepherd, have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family but do not let this plague remain on your people.” 1 Chronicles 21:17, NIV
This is the word Holy Spirit has highlighted for me as a focus for spiritual growth in 2018. It is an obedience unto God as a first priority. I figure the best place to begin seeking for instruction is to dig into Scripture.
This past week I pulled out my oldest NIV Bible and began looking up Scripture from the concordance containing my focus word. In the process, I landed in a goldmine of wisdom located in 1 Chronicles 21.
As I read through this chapter a number of times over several days, I was fascinated by the first sentence. “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David…” Immediately, we recognize the tempter speaking his native tongue, lies, to one of God’s beloved children. I was reminded of the serpent who started up a life-altering conversation with Eve in Genesis.
So, as I pondered this chapter, I realized that the truth of 1 Chronicles 21 is critical wisdom for anyone serving the Lord in leadership. I want this hard learned and costly lesson of King David, who was a man after God’s own heart, to be etched in my memory for the next time Satan might want to incite me to disobey God. I was asking Holy Spirit to do this for me.
While I am not a poet, as will become quite clear in just a moment, these words readily spilled out as a simple outline for future reference. I pray you too will find the value of these truthful words as God calls you up to lead someone somewhere moving toward Him at some time or another. You see, while we’re not all natural born leaders (aka shepherd boy David) God does call all of us to lead someone.
I believe as children of God it is our responsibility to be leading others in discipleship and remain as a disciple at the same time. Ultimately, the highest leader in human terms is still subject to Almighty God. The really good news is that our Father God hears our cries when we mess up and cry out for rescue. He loves us deeply as we fumble with temptation and He always forgives us in repentance.
Satan with temptation was the inciter.
David intrigued with counting his kingdom was the decider.
Joab standing on the truth of God was the intervener.
Still, David enthralled with having his own way continued as the overruler.
God, always true to His character, was promise-keeper and discipliner.
David, at great cost, was convicted of his sin and became the repenter.
God mercifully heard David’s cry, yet still sent out the punish-er.
You see God turns His ear to His children’s urgent cry for rescue, yet consequences are necessary to make us wary of the tempter.
As a good Father, God made David the consequence decision maker.
Then punishment fell hard from the hands of God’s messenger.
David cried all the more for mercy, “I am the sinner”.
And gracious, merciful God, in the end, was the relent-er.
Don’t take my word for it! My encouragement is that you go read the whole of this true history and wise counsel for yourself. Ask Holy Spirit what He wants you to know through this word of the Lord.
For myself, I’m asking to have eyes to see temptation at my doorstep. If I miss it and grab temptation, I want to have someone in my life who will boldly speak truth to steer me clear of a sinful choice. And I want to be humble enough to take heed of warnings spoken in love. Finally, I pray you’ll enjoy your feast at His table as much as I have this week.
For His glory and our good!
I have the honor and privilege of writing weekly devotionals for Daughter of Delight on Instagram. This post with some slight variation was first posted as an original devotional for Daughter of Delight on Instagram – 1/27/2018.
I invite you to please take a moment to visit @daughterofdelight on Instagram. I feel certain you’ll be encouraged and refreshed!
Eyes on Jesus… you’re shining!