I Chronicles 21:1…And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
In the scripture of today, we read that Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David who was the reigning king to number Israel. For what purpose we might ask? He told Joab and the elders of Israel to go and number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. The reason he wanted to do this was because he wanted to know it. Look at the work of Satan in the life of a king. The Bible says Satan provoked David. He applied so much pressure on him that he could not resist the temptation of disobeying God. God already told the people of Israel not to embark on counting the people, and even Joab warned him immediately not to do this as in the next verse which reads ” And Joab answered, The LORD makes his people an hundred times so many more as they be; but my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel? Is this not enough warning for David to remember that doing this will bring a curse on the people of Israel? Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab, and the man went ahead to do what he requested. Of course, God was not happy with this thing, and the Bible says, “And God was displeased with this thing, therefore He smote Israel. He sent his prophet Gad, to tell him that he has three things to offer David and he should choose one: “Either three years’ famine, or three months to be destroyed before his foes (enemies) while the sword of the enemies overtake thee, or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel.” David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD, for very great are his mercies, but let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel, and there fell of Israel 70,000 men. And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it, and as he was destroying , the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand’ (1 Chronicles 21: 1-15).
The story in this chapter was a pathetic one. King David was tempted to sin against God. Temptation in itself is not a sin James 1:12-16 says, “Blessed is the man that endures temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the LORD hath promised to them that love Him. Let no man say when he was tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither he tempts any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”
We all know that Satan is the enemy of God’s people. His agenda is to use different tactics to deceive the people of God so that they will sin against God. He knows once they sin against God, God is a God of justice, He will apply the punishment that is due, and Satan’s purpose would have been achieved, because he wanted them destroyed anyway (John 10:10). But God does not want us to perish, see the way He intervened in this matter. He used Joab, his closest man of war, to warn him so that he would not trespass against the commandment of God. God is a loving and merciful God. Nevertheless, David did not listen to Joab. There is no excuse for David for yielding to this temptation, because God used Joab to warn him. Why did he go ahead despite this warning? I believe that David had what I would call “pride of life ” in him. When you are in a position of authority, you believe that nobody can advise you or make you change your mind, because you are above them all, you have the spirit of pride of life. Whereas the LORD that puts you in that position is above you and you are responsible to Him, so you have to obey His commandments. He has absolute power over you. Even David got to the throne because his predecessor was dethroned (king Saul) due to sin of disobedience. God is the only king maker, he places on the throne, and removes as He wills (due to sin). Satan saw an opening in David’s heart, and uses it to achieve his objective which was to destroy the people of Israel. This sin caused the death of 70,000 men and this was an approximate number, because it was the mercy of God that stopped the destruction in Jerusalem. Innocent men died for the sin of the king of Israel.
Today, we witness the deaths of different categories of people because of the sins of many people. Unfortunately the LORD holds the sins of many of us that know better, people who are spiritual leaders, and leaders that are also holding positions of authority SERIOUSLY. When we get to such a position, we should be very careful “not to mess up”. We should discharge our duties with HUMILITY and with the FEAR of God. We should be more prayerful, and always be asking for the direction from God. There are somethings in our past or in our lives that devil can use to torment us or provoke us to sin. Devil is a roaring lion, he does not give up on his candidate, he will do anything to pull people down. We need the wisdom of God to daily ask for strength, we should not do anything alone, and we should allow God to make His will known (through the advice of two or three) before we carry out any decision. People are deceptive and Satan can use anybody, therefore we should be asking for the discernment of spirit so as not to be led astray. We need to watch our hearts too DAILY, and we can pray for the fire of God to cleanse us everyday and make our hearts pure for Him.Amen.
Prayer….Pray that the LORD renews your heart daily and makes it useful for Him in Jesus name. Let us also pray for our leaders to be guided by God so that they will not lead their members or nations in the flesh (carnally), but allow God to rule their hearts always, Amen