Good morning, SHINE!
I've missed you these past 3 days! I hope your Easter weekend was full of worship and celebration!
Isn't God just the best? Seriously, He loves us more than we could ever begin to wrap our little heads around.
It's truly overwhelming His love and mercy for us. Doesn't it just bring you to your knees?
As we end our reading in 2 Samuel, I am a bit sad to be ending our journey with David. We will be coming back to him, but we must leave him for now.
Could you pass me the Kleenex box? Big tears over here.
When I saw the title of this last chapter of 2 Samuel, I kind of yawned.
"David Counts the Fighting Men."
Doesn't sound too interesting at first glance.
Oh, but it is! I had to read it a couple of times to get the full fruit of these passages.
Here's a little recap:
David tells Joab and his army commanders to take a census on his army. Basically, he wants to know just how many men he has on his side.
Our first clue that something is off, is when Joab questions David. "Why are you doing this?", asked Joab.
David doesn't answer.
He speaks, they follow. The end.
After 9 months and 20 days, Joab reported the number of troops back to David.
David realized the full effect of what he had done to dishonor the Lord. It wasn't sinful in itself to count the troops, but it showed either pride or a lack of trust in the Lord's power. Either way, it was very uncharacteristic of our beloved, David.
God gives David 3 options of punishment. David chooses a plague on the land for 3 days.
David then asks that God let His hand only punish his family, not innocent people. (that's more like our David, isn't it?)
After the plague, God tells David to build an altar. The man that David buys the threshing floor from offers to give it to him.
He said he will not make a sacrifice to the Lord with something that was given to him. He insisted on purchasing the threshing floor.
Oh, girls, so much to unpack here. Do you see how a lot of this applies to our lives?
Don't we many times "count our troops"?
We don't necessarily have troops, but don't we count:
- Our money?
- Our friends?
- Our standing in the community?
- Our job security?
- Our 401K's?
- Our good deeds?
- Our charitable contributions?
- Our comforts?
- Our education?
- Our outer appearance?
- Our health?
Are you catching on to this? Don't we say we trust in the Lord, but then we count our "troops" as we pray? We are dependent on a lot of things. We have a hard time letting go and letting God be in total control.
God is a lot of the times our Plan B, Plan C, or even our Plan Z. We save Him for when all other measures have failed. Kind of like a back-up plan.
Oh, man, this speaks to my struggles with anxiety. My" troops" have often times been my doctors who help me get better, my husband who stands by me, my mother, my meds, and my friends that pray for me.
Those are all good things. However, I often bypass God and start counting my troops just in case He doesn't come through.
If this doesn't speak to you, how about the last part of the scripture. David insists on paying the man for the items to make the altar for the Lord. He says he will not make a sacrifice to the Lord without having to make a sacrifice himself.
How many times do we do things "in the name of the Lord" that aren't really a sacrifice at all? Maybe it is just a little extra time we have or a little extra money in the bank and we decide to sweetly give it to the Lord.
Is that really a sacrifice?
I think you and I both know the answer to that.
Are we truly sacrificing to the Lord if it's cost us nothing? Is giving Him our leftovers the same as offering our first and best fruits?
Something to think about.
What an impact this ending of 2 Samuel is making on my heart! I hope you are feeling the same way.
David sure has stirred my heart up these last few weeks.
I feel like a mixing bowl. Scraping, mixing, stirring, scraping some more. Good grief.
It's been so worth it, though. Slowly but surely our hearts are becoming more like HIS!
See you in 1 John tomorrow!
goodbye Samuel, hello John,