There’s always so much to write about with Option Two weekly readings. It’s most likely that we’re reading several chapters at a time. This week let’s focus on the first handful of verses in 1 Chronicles 21.
There are two big things that can be missed in these verses: the first, Satan is involved in your life; and the second, is that we need to listen to the godly advice of those around us. Now, I’m not sure why the census was wrong. There are other times in the Old Testament where God wanted a census taken…I mean that’s where the book of Numbers got it’s name. Josephus, a Jewish historian after the time of Jesus, speculated that David forgot to collect a temple tax when he took the census (Exodus 30:12-13). Perhaps. Bottom line is that it’s just not important for us to know.
Right off the bat, the Chronicler mentions Satan as the culprit who instigated David’s willful defiance to take the census. Satan comes from the Hebrew word for adversary. He is adversely against God and committed to overthrow the purposes/plans of God. Just like in David’s life, Satan is involved in your life—whether you want him to be or not. Although he’s not everywhere at the same time and place, like God, he and Team Satan (evil spirits/demons) are motivated to get us off track from following God. Instead of thinking of Satan in red spandex tights and horns, in this case think of Satan as a salesman who wants nothing more to sell you that you can do it your way (2 Corinthians 2:11, 11:14). In other cases, Satan can be thought of as a terrorist who looks to terrorize those who follow and trust God (Job 1-3; Ephesians 6:11-13; 1 Peter 5:8-9). We need to resist him and his team by trusting God and by using the Bible as a weapon against him (1 Peter 5:9; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:11).
The second big takeaway is that we need to listen to the godly advice of those around us. Now General Joab hadn’t always been one for giving good advice, especially with conspiring with David to murder Uriah (2 Samuel 11). Now, I’m not sure why Joab was against taking the census of over a million soldiers. Regardless, he gave David godly advice in not to take up a census. When someone confides in someone about pre-meditated murder, there’s going to be a high level of trust there. What I don’t understand is why David didn’t listen to someone that he trusted. Hopefully there are people in your life that you trust and you listen to for godly advice. Here’s the catch—all truth is God’s truth. Meaning there have been people in my life who don’t follow God but have given sound advice because when I compare that advice with the Bible it matches up. We need to make it a priority to go against being a maverick and listen to the godly advice of others, especially those we trust (Proverbs 12:15; 19:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:15-17).
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