Week 36 Tuesday

Going By the Numbers

Today’s scripture selection: First Chronicles 20-24

Key verse: First Chronicles 21:1

“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.”

You never know that the Devil is up to.

Here in one account of King David’s exploits we have a very interesting example of that.

David decided one day to count the people under his rule.

Well, what’s wrong with that?  Isn’t it only prudent for a ruler to know who it is he or she is ruling?  I suppose so, as far as that goes.  But remember – the Bible is all about spiritual lessons – not just political ones.  So, what’s happening?

Satan is the culprit.  He plants this idea of counting the people in David’s mind.  Why?  Because it lures David into doing something of which we might all be guilty.

David is “going by the numbers”.  In other words, he is counting on his strength, fueled by his pride in his recent wartime victories.

On a much smaller scale, can’t we all realize why this is one of Satan’s ploys to draw us away from God.  The adversary wants us to count on

  • Our strength
  • Our wealth
  • Our wisdom
  • Our cleverness
  • Our power

This of course is the exact opposite of faithfully counting on God’s strength, wealth, wisdom, cleverness and power.

It’s a lesson in choice: to choose and rely on God or to solely choose and rely on ourselves.

I don’t know about you – but I’d pick God anytime.

Prayer: Almighty God, keep me from relying on myself instead of you.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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