1 Chronicles 21:1… “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel” (KJV).
How do you get out of the trouble you made for yourself as the result of a wild thought that came into your mind? Incoming thoughts are not always from God. Holy Spirit filled people can make some big mistakes and those mistakes can create terrible mishaps. King David made a mistake, a big one, and it brought him a lot of trouble. Satan had manipulated him; i.e., enticed him with a wild thought. The word “provoked” as used here means “to seduce and to entice.” It is taken from a word meaning “to place a wild seed (thought) in a field.” The field was David’s mind. Satan’s wild seed put in King David’s mind was to “go number Israel.” There is a lot of wild seed being planted today (not just in the unredeemed world). Jesus said in Matthew 13:25, “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way” (KJV). The word “slept” here refers to not being alert. Wild thoughts are planted when people are not alert. King David heard a word in his mind and thought that it was God telling him what to do. Many today hear a word in their minds and think, “This must be God.” The beginning of a mistake is often that wild seed or implanted thought. If allowed to grow, it will destroy your living. Spirit-filled people sometimes are very gullible. The Apostle Paul said, “[Cast] down imaginations” (2 Corinthians 10:5). He did not say, “Follow them” or “Build on them.” Christian families seem to fall apart as often as non-Christians.
Mark 16:17-18… “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (KJV). The word “serpent” can refer to a sly, cunning, malicious person, especially the devil. The word “drink” can refer to absorbing something into the mind. The word “deadly thing” can refer to something said, a poisonous imagination, or drinking a thought. Many in the New Testament church absorbed into their minds the words of the Romans and gave up their faith in Christ. Was it pride, or some other desire, that opened King David’s mind to the devil? David and his armies had just won some major battles with the help of God. Did David think, “I wonder just how strong we really are?” The number of their armies determined the strength of a nation. Was this a temptation that came with success and prosperity? Did David lust for more influence and power and possessions? Men behave badly sometimes, especially when they lose their focus. David’s focus had always been, “God is my strength and my fortress” (see Psalm 18:2, 91:2).
Here’s the story… King David ordered Joab to number Israel (vv. 2-3). Joab told David that it wasn’t the right thing to do, that if he went through with it he would become a trespass in Israel. Joab told King David that the entire nation was his servant, so why number them? However, King David’s word prevailed. Joab had the nation numbered and the act displeased the Lord (vv. 4-7). God gave three choices to David: three years of famine, three months of battle losses, or three days of pestilence (v. 12). King David let God decide, and God sent three days of pestilence. Seventy thousand men died (v. 14). Holy-Spirit-filled King David was in a heap of trouble. He was the leader of his nation and his decision to number the nation was a big mistake. He based his decision upon a wild thought that came into his mind. How often do the leaders of households make decisions based on a thought that popped into their heads and it hurt the family? David’s trouble could have driven him into depression, and isolation if he let it. He could have gotten angry. He could have blamed others. But he didn’t. He chose to heal both himself and the damage he had caused. Meanwhile, everyone was angry with him, his own family, his cabinet, the priesthood, the families who lost menfolk, and most importantly, God was angry with him. How do you get out of the trouble that you made for yourself as the result of a wild thought that came into your head? Often in the troubles that arise from our mistakes, we never think of the consequences. How do you heal the aftermath? Repentance, yes (1 Chronicles 21:8). But how do you heal the land, the families, the households that have been damaged? Restitution, yes. I’m sure King David covered all the costs. But is this enough? It is one thing being responsible for a mistake and saying, “I’m sorry,” but cleaning up the havoc correctly will determine your future peace. We can learn a lot from King David’s actions. Everyone makes mistakes, but great people will get back up. Proverbs 24:16 reads, “A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief” (KJV). Jesus never disconnects from those who make mistakes. He gives them another chance. Have you ever made a mistake? Jesus will not disconnect Himself from you.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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