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June 7, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Job 21-23
Audio: Job 21-23

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

2 Samuel 24 (ESV)

Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “May the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” But the king’s word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to number the people of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and began from Aroer, and from the city that is in the middle of the valley, toward Gad and on to Jazer. Then they came to Gilead, and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites; and they came to Dan, and from Dan they went around to Sidon, and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites; and they went out to the Negeb of Judah at Beersheba. So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000.

10 But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” 11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”

15 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men. 16 And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”

18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up at Gad’s word, as the Lord commanded. 20 And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. 21 And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be averted from the people.” 22 Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” 24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.

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Next: 1 Kings 1

Back: 2 Samuel 23

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. The Lord Uses Satan

    The opening verse of this final chapter of 2 Samuel says, “Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go, number Israel and Judah."

    Yet 1 Chronicles 21:1 referencing this period is time says, ”Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.”

    Is this a discrepancy? A contradiction? Not at all.

    It could be said that the Lord, through Satan, incited David. The ESV Study Bible says, "The Lord allowed Satan to incite David. God himself never does evil, but sometimes he uses evil moral agents (demons and sinful human beings) to accomplish his purposes. For more on how to reconcile the two accounts, see note on 1 Chron. 21:1; see also notes on Gen. 50:18–21; 1 Sam. 16:14; Mark 14:21; Acts 2:23; 4:28; 18:9–11; 27:30; 2 Tim. 2:10."

    Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 583). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

    John MacArthur writes in his Study Bible, "God sovereignly and permissively uses Satan to achieve His purposes. God uses Satan to judge sinners (cf. Mark 4:15; 2 Cor. 4:4), to refine saints (cf. Job 1:8–2:10; Luke 22:31, 32), to discipline those in the church (cf. 1 Cor. 5:1–5; 1 Tim. 1:20), and to further purify obedient believers (cf. 2 Cor. 12:7–10). Neither God nor Satan forced David to sin (cf. James 1:13–15), but God allowed Satan to tempt David and he chose to sin. The sin surfaced his proud heart and God dealt with him for it."

    MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 585). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

    As the story of David comes to an end, we should remember that while he was a man after God's own heart, he was far from perfect. He had selfish ambition and pride, yet was also humble and remorseful. 

    Like David, the Lord is at work in the life of believers today turning selfish ambition into complete submission to Him. He pulverizes our pride into humility. 

    And like David, we are a work in progress and yet God call us His children! How amazing is our God!
     

  2. God’s anger toward Israel may have led (incited) David to feel righteous anger. But how easily our righteous anger can lead to sin! 

    God’s anger is the only truly righteous anger, because it is impossible for Him to sin. While we who have trusted in Christ are now clothed with His righteousness, and while we possess the indwelling Holy Spirit, we still have our flesh (sinful in its very nature) to contend with and put to death. This weakness in our flesh is what Satan exploited in David, and now seeks to exploit in us.

    Anger can be a deadly poison and quench the spirit of God in us, leading us to sin. Anger can destroy relationships, bring reproach upon our ministries, and cause others to run from God instead of leading them to the cross to avail themselves of His mercy. 

    Righteous anger can become unrighteousness when it expresses itself in sinful and destructive ways. 

    Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20

    How can we know what is righteous anger and what isn’t? And how will righteous anger express itself?

    One of my favorite writers, Tim Challies, wrote this excellent article for us: “3 Marks of Righteous Anger” at https://www.challies.com/christian-living/3-marks-of-righteous-anger/. He lists three characteristics of righteous anger, and gives examples of unrighteous anger. I definitely related to these! 

    God warns us clearly to stay clear of those who are given to anger (Proverbs 22:24-25), so we can’t fool ourselves into believing our own unrighteous anger is no big deal. If we are to be peacemakers — entrusted as God’s ambassadors with the ministry of reconciliation — we must not be known for our anger, but for our love. We must put to death our ungodly desire to be right or respected or revered. 

     

  3. God is so amazing – I swear he blows my mind every single day. 

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today! I'm sitting here in awe. 

    This morning, I received an fb message from my old friend. Last we spoke, he was blaming me for not letting him know when and where DennDennis' service was. I had let him know about Dennis' passing, and I figured he would find out for himself. 

    I responded by defending myself and asking him to please leave me alone and let me grieve, without all the old drama. 

    A few days passed, and then, this morning, I saw that I had 3 new messages from him, and I literally groaned out loud. 

    I chose not to read the messages, because I know that it's another nonsensical, rage-filled rant, and I don't want to be drawn into this again. 

    I've tried and tried to help him, and I pray everyday that my friend will finally surrender and look to God. 

    I considered just ignoring these last messages completely, and not responding at all. But that idea came from a place of anger, resentment, self-preservation and indignation. 

    That's not how a Christian with Jesus in her heart would respond, I don't think. Not in this case with this particular friend. He desperately needs help and he is suffering so badly, and I know I need to respond with love and kindness. 

    I'm going to do that right now, and tell him that whole I don't want to participate in the "old-life" drama, I am here for him if he ever chooses to seek peace from God. And i'm going to tell him that I love him. 

    The end. And hopefully, someday, the beginning of a new life for him. 

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