July 27, 2013
READ: I Chronicles 21
BACKGROUND: If this passage sounds familiar, it is because we have read it before. On March 1st of this year our bible passage for the day included 2 Samuel 24 which tells the same story. 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles are companion texts. The books record the same events, but with a different purpose. Our newspapers actually do the same thing: the front page records events and the editorial page provides a commentary and perhaps some deeper insights into the impact or significance of the event.
THINK: Notice the difference in how the story begins in these two books:
2 Samuel 24:1 – “Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’”
1 Chronicles 21: 1 – “Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.”
James Chapter 1: 13 – 15 tells us that God does not tempt us. However, he may allow us to be tempted to bring us back into a right relationship with him. In this case, God allowed David to be tempted to reveal the sin of pride.
If you read yesterday’s Throughin2, you know that David experienced amazing success as a military leader. He was a beloved king whose subjects willingly submitted to his authority. Unfortunately, when things were going really well, David began to think quite highly of himself. Instead of just counting his blessings, he decided to count all he “owned.” Taking a census was wrong for lots of reasons: First, it most likely alienated the citizens – think taxes! Second, it was boasting. David took credit for what GOD alone had done. And third, David continued his plan even though his trusted advisor, Joab, warned him not to.
The cost of David’s sin was great, as it always is, and the results broke his heart. Even before the prophet, Gad, arrived to rebuke him, David repented of his sin and sought GOD’s mercy; humbly accepting the consequences of his disobedience.
ASK: Like David, have we looked at our success, our possessions, our titles, etc. and counted ourselves talented, smart, popular, and sophisticated? Have we forgotten that everything we have is a gift from GOD? Do we need to be reminded that sin always costs something?
PRAY: Pray for God’s mercy when we fail! Pray for humility! Pray that we would “count everything as loss because of the unsurpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ our LORD.” Phillipians 3:8

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