Day 212 – July 31, 2021
Scriptures: 1 Chronicles 21, Luke 19
David takes up a census and it results in disastrous consequences. We are not clear as to why God is displeased with the census, but he is. Perhaps it’s the very act of seeking to know how mighty of an army he has, a direct display of distrust. If God is on your side, it doesn’t matter if there is just one person, and he or she doesn’t even have to be a good fighter! But all able-bodied men who can wield a sword are counted, and now God is angered.
God offers David an option for his punishment. He goes with the punishment he believes to be the lesser of the other two.
David was right. He’s better off in the hands of God than the hands of men. God looks on the destruction and relents – showing himself to be a God of compassion.
Luke 19 has plenty going on within it. And I think the connection I want to make is at the beginning of it, with Zacchaeus. He is forgiven, and the compassion of God is on display.
Perhaps another connection can be made with the end of the chapter in Luke. It’s a mention of judgment, stones being unturned. It’s a dark picture, a bleak one for those who refuse to turn to God.
God relents his punishment on Israel, and has compassion on Israel. His compassion is there for you still today. Repent and turn to him.
But for those who continuously think he is a hard boss, ready to destroy – well, it almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you never see God as compassionate, and refuse to turn to him, what is left for you?
We must come to see God as David does, and the way Jesus reveals himself in the scriptures is as a God of compassion and kindness.
God be with you! Turn to him!
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.