DayBreaks for 10/28/14 – Agreement or Obedience?
In the book of 1 Chronicles chapter 21 there is an interesting story. Here’s part of the text:
1 Chronicles 21:1-2 (NLT) – Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the people of Israel—from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north—and bring me a report so I may know how many there are.”
First, let it be noted that there was nothing wrong with counting the Israelites. In fact, God told Moses to count them on two different occasions. So that wasn’t the problem here. But why did David want to count the people? What was his attitude? I think it probably had to do with where and what David was trusting.
Here’s the situation: things were stable, in fact, they were good for the Israelites. David had just finally defeated his mortal enemies (the Philistines) and Israel was pretty much at peace. And when things are stable, that’s a pretty vulnerable place in which to be. It was for David, and I have found it to be true in my own life, too. As a result, he had time on his hands and decided it was time to take a census.
What David was given in to was a form of idolatry. He was trusting in the strength and size of his army, not the God who had made him king. And idolatry could simply be defined as “Anything good or bad that a person counts on other than Jesus, to find life and satisfaction.”
And so David had the people counted. As the pastor put in on Sunday: “What we count, we typically will count on.”
What was the problem? It was this: God had said not to do it…for whatever reason. That should have been all that was necessary.
It’s easy to criticize David in this situation. But are we really that much different? Nowadays, many Christians seem to think that if something doesn’t hurt someone else and if it seems beneficial to us, we will likely do it even if God has said not to. And that’s a problem. Why: because people who make a decision based on that reasoning aren’t obeying. Here’s the gist of the problem: if we agree with God on something and it makes sense to us, we will obey. But if we don’t agree, they will go ahead and do what they want to do because they don’t agree with what God said.
David knew what God had said, but he didn’t agree with it, so he disobeyed and Israel paid a huge price for his disobedience.
Are you an obedient Christian, or a Christian who obeys only when you agree with what God has said? Remember: God hasn’t asked us to agree…just to obey!
PRAYER: Lord, help us understand the difference between obedience and agreement. Let us obey, even when we don’t understand or agree! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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