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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

April 11, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: II Samuel 22-24

 

II Samuel 24:1

And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

 

In this verse and its subsequent story of David’s command to number (take a census) Israel and Judah a very important lesson can be learned. The Apostle Paul sums up this lesson in his words to Timothy in II Timothy 2:15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. There is no better illustration of the need to study the complete word of God and the necessity of rightly dividing it than this story taken from the life of David.

 

Deeper in the Word of God more light is shed upon this story. After all, the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. I Chronicles 21:1 states: And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. Here is new information. Satan was the one who provoked David. But yet it was the Lord, as the ultimate Ruler of all that is, that allowed Satan this power. Just as is proven in the book of Job, Satan is subject to God in all things. Yes, the Lord was angered at Israel, for whatever reason, and He allowed Satan to provoke David’s pride to number Israel. From this sin of pride, arrogancy, and ego, the Lord chastised His people for a cause.

 

This all leads the reader to wonder. Why? The only answer of any reasonable explanation is found in the true words of Isaiah. He spoke for God saying, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Today’s story is one of those many stories in the Bible that we cannot fully understand. Only by faith can the Lord God be accepted and trusted, especially in light of no human rationale or understanding as is seen in this chapter of David’s life story.

 

Just like creation, just like the Lake of Fire, just like the Revelation, just like so many other stories in God’s Word, faith in God’s justice, goodness, holiness, and righteousness is the only way to believe all that is written. Understand it all, no, but believe it all, yes. After all there are still two aspects of the Lord God that the human race cannot fully understand about Him. One is His Holiness. The other is the awfulness of sin before Him. Both are highlighted in the story of David’s numbering of Israel and whatever transgression they committed to provoke the Lord to such anger.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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