Have you ever had that time when you knew that you knew, that you knew that what you were doing was so right… but it turned out all so wrong? You remember, right?
You had all your ducks in a row… you figured everything out to the minutes detail… there was no margin for loss. As matter of fact, if you were a betting person, you would have bet your last dollar on this decision, because you knew it was going to work. Good thing you didn’t have a dollar to waste, huh?
Even as I write this, my mind is flooded with all kinds of crazy ideas I had in my head that I knew with a little extra time and money and some elbow grease, I could make it work. But today, I thank God He intervened and stopped me.
I also think of the many things I actually did follow through on, though someone pointed out to me all the problems with my flawed idea, but I wouldn’t listen. In the end it ended up costing me.
Well, that’s what I thought about today as I read 1 Chronicles 21. It starts like this…
“Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.” 1 Chronicles 21:1
Satan always tries to put crazy ideas in our head. This one, though it doesn’t seem all that bad – you know, just finding out how many soldiers you have to defend your country – would bring a great cost in the end. You see, this was about pride… this was about insecurity… this was about a lack of trust – more specifically – King David’s lack of trusting God. Did he have enough soldiers? Enough fighting men to protect what was his?
His right hand man, Joab, asked him why he wanted to take this census and even went so far as to tell the King he thought it was a bad idea. But David didn’t listen. The Bible says, “Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab.” 1 Chronicles 21:4
Joab, against his better judgement, did exactly what the king wanted him to do. His report showed that there were 1,570,000 fighting soldiers in the land. David may have been happy to hear the report, but God was displeased with his lack of trust and 70,000 men lost their lives because of the King’s bad decision. One bad decision… a decision made without first asking God… can have enormous ramifications.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Everyday we make all kinds of decisions. Some are just routine, everyday decisions that we make all the time. Others are huge, life-changing decisions. What should I do? Where should I work? Should I move? Should I marry? Should I start over? When we don’t know, we should first ask. Ask God – He’ll always answer. Ask our trusted family and friends who God has put in our lives for times just like this. And then instead of being so bullheaded and pushing through with our plan, maybe what we need to do is listen to what God is telling us through others and trust Him.
Help me trust You today with my life. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen