“King David had gone to Araunah, to build an altar to the Lord. Araunah offered to David the makings of his offering, but he refused saying, ‘I want to purchase the offering I am making to God.’ So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.” (2nd Samuel24:25)
David had ordered a census to be taken of men who could counted for a coming war. Even more, he took personal accountability for the census. Up to this time, God was prayed to, to provide for the Israelites, no matter how many there were for battle, in essence they put themselves in God’s hands for deliverance from their enemies and God had never failed to provide for them. It wasn’t one sin that brought a plague on the Jews, it was a culmination of several that brought them to this point and David, as king, personally ordered the census, a personal affront to God, instead of dependence on Him.
God’s sovereignty had been offended in the prideful census. God’s deliverance had never depended on on numbers. God put David to a test and David correctly realized that it was to God’s mercy that he must appeal. High and kingly sin required high and kingly. God again answered prayer when David submitted obediently to Him. God felt compassion towards David, when he realized his mistake and sought God’s forgiveness.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, the lesson about David’s prideful mistake, reveals to us that we are all accountable for our actions or inaction’s. It also reveals to each one of us that when we make a mistake in judgment or action, that we too have that avenue open to us to go before Him to pour out our hearts and seek His forgiveness. Way too many people think God would never forgiven them for, well you fill in the blank. Beloved, God loves us for humbling ourselves and admitting our sins and mistakes and show Him we desire to be back in relationship with Him. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Satan is not afraid of a Bible covered in dust, he sees it as an opening to go after you.”
“So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you.” (Jeremiah7:16)
Times come when people cannot pray (1st John 5:16). The initiative in prayer is with God. He allows people to communicate with Him in His grace. God declared Israel beyond the reach even of prayer. God does not change His mind (1st Samuel 15:29).
His present purposes must be worked (V20). God will not hear prayer for a faithless people who have brought forth His wrath and judgment. Later God responded to Jeremiah’s prayer in time of drought with another command not to pray (14:11).
“’Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of he house of Israel. Should you not know justice, you who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones; who eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat fro the pan, like flesh for the pot?’ Then they will cry out to the Lord, but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done.” (Micah3:1-4)
A community is seldom righteous when its leaders are unrighteous. The political heads of the Northern Kingdom were trained in Israel’s legal traditions. They knew a just God demanded justice from His people, especially for the unprotected poor and needy. In Eden, the first humans sought to control their own destiny by knowing good and evil. Amos had to call Israel to seek good and not evil.
Micah found Israel openly hated the good. Why? They could not get wealthy enough doing good, they thought. They did not want to share the wealth with the poor. They mistreated the good every way possible to pad their own pockets. Such would not last. God would hide His face and bring the covenant curses on them. An unrighteous people cannot talk to God or expect to received His blessings. Sin shuts us off from God’s presence. Withdrawing His presence is one way God shows His wrath. Sins can carry a nation beyond the reach of prayer. If our leaders only talk about taking care of people, but do not in fact perform that way, they shut us away from God. Such is the responsibility of righteousness and unrighteousness.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” (1st Timothy4:4–5)
Prayer does not depend on legal specifications, but on relationship with God. In prayerful fellowship with God, gratefully acknowledging Him as invariable source. Christians hallow everything we touch.
Material things are not by nature evil. Neither the healthy sexual relationships of marriage nor certain foods are sinful in themselves. God ordained marriage and procreation at creation. Everything He created was “every good.” We are to use the personal relationships and material things God gives us, thanking Him for them and dedicating them to His purposes.