March 5 I Tuesday
“So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, ‘Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enrol the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.’” —2 Samuel 24:2
Early in David’s reign, God made him a promise. He said through the prophet Nathan, “Your house and your kingdom shall endure for ever before Me…” (2 Samuel 7:16). Though David faced rebel uprisings and attempts to steal his throne, he never lost it. His own son, Absalom, even tried to capture the loyalty of Israel and proclaim himself king, but Absalom was ultimately killed in battle. The throne remained
David’s for all his days, just as God had said.
From a young age, David placed his faith and dependence on God and gave his allegiance to none other than God. He was beloved of the people and gained many victories for Israel. He single-handedly fought off the lion, the bear, and the Philistine giant, Goliath, and he led the Israelites in one triumphant battle after another. David knew these victories were not achieved by his own power or might but were received by his faith and dependence on the God of Israel.
It is no wonder, then, that David was guilt ridden after taking a census that reported 800,000 able-bodied men in Israel and 500,000 in Judah. God had been his strength and resource all along, but in taking this census, David was looking to the strength of man to maintain his throne. As Joab, David’s commanding officer, said to David, “May the LORD your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it” (2 Samuel 24:3). Rather than looking to God as his fortress and rock, in this moment, David’s army became the source of his confidence. Satan tempted David to count the people in order to turn his attention from divine resources, upon which he had depended all his life, to human resources.
When God gives us success, we want to keep and maintain it, which can lead us to take stock of our own inventory, resources and strategies and essentially leave God out of it. As we grow older, we want more security and propping up, and we tend to lose that willingness to risk everything on God. We may, in fact, become prone to averting risk, and though we need to be practical, we cannot allow practicality to separate us from spiritual dependence. Zechariah 4:6 says, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.’” If we are going to see God’s working in our lives, the stronghold upon which we live and function has to be dependence on Him in every aspect, every stage and every circumstance of our lives.
Prayer: We live in a world that admires independence, self-confidence and material wealth. Keep me from that, Lord, and help me to remain humbly dependent on You. Thank You.