Friday, May 03, 2019

"The Big Fall"

2nd Samuel 24.2-4 NIV

“So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, ‘Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.’

“But Joab replied to the king, ‘May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.”

The project David proposed was a colossal waste of time and energy. It was government over-spending at its worst. It took Joab and his commanders nine months and twenty days to complete the census only to discover what they already knew… David had a lot of soldiers. 1.3 million to be exact. His top men advised against allocating resources on a military census. “Why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?” But the king “overruled Joab and the army commanders.”

David’s decision was motivated by pride. He already knew he was powerful, but David wanted to know exactly how powerful. His self-absorbed behavior spun out of control and eventually cost the death of 70,000 troops. The king would have been better off listening to his trusted advisers. Instead he insisted on his way and became aware of its folly after the damage was done:

“Now David’s heart troubled him after he numbered the people.
So David said to the LORD, ‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done.’”
2nd Samuel 24.10 NASU

God has placed good people in my life to advise me. I must listen to them. Even when I think I hear from the Lord about a particular course of action, it’s always best to run it by trusted advisers… my family, work associates, close friends, and fellow believers. The Bible teaches:

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
Proverbs 11.14 NKJV

Counselors keep me safe from the foolish decisions I’m prone to make.

Jesus, grant me the humility to listen carefully to my trusted advisers before I insist on taking a big fall and bringing them down with me.

"Humpty Dumpty" by renowned children's illustrator, René Milot.


WIlliam Ned Merkel said...

I wonder if the motivation for this census wasn't also his way of reasurting himself over Joab. In Sunday's class we discussed how Joab now ran things holding the "I killed Uriha for you," card. There is a lot of deadly dominos here. David's sin with women, he doesn't punish Ammon, Absol begins to seek his justice, civil war, Tension and friction in Davids house, Solomon's brother tries to userp the kingdom, Solmon later in life falls for women, Solomn dies, Isiral splits in two and the new nation of Isrial fallss for idols becasue 1. Solomon set the precident, 2. Did want to lose earthly power.
Here one sin of "hey its the custom of the world to multiply wives and horses so surley God won't object." Leads to the Exile of the Jewish people first by the Assyrians and then the Bablonians.

Dave Scriven said...

good insights Ned.

JOV said...

I never looked at this passage like this before. If only our society would look to the Bible, we could learn so much, and not been in the state we are in today.

Dave Scriven said...

Thanks JOV. I could not agree with you more.