The wiles of the Devil

Scripture reading for April 20: 1st Chronicles 17-21

We have an enemy who is known to be crafty and who uses schemes and strategy to gain access to God’s people.  His motive is to steal from them, kill them, and ultimately destroy their souls in Hell.  (John 10:10)   Satan is said to be like a roaring lion prowling around looking for someone to devour. (1st Peter 5:8-9)  Several passages of scripture admonish God’s people to flee temptation and resist the devil.  (Matthew 6:13)  We are in a cosmic battle with evil forces of darkness and are in need of God’s help.

David was a man after God’s heart but he was also prone to temptation and did not always resist.  We all remember the time he stayed back in Jerusalem when his army went to war.  (1st Chronicles 20:1)  It is interesting to note that the incident with Bathsheba is not mentioned in this account.  But another incident is mentioned that I had not noticed before.  David came and took the crown off the head of the king of the Ammonites who Joab and the army had defeated.  This crown weighed around 75 pounds and was full of precious stones.  David placed that crown on his own head.  (1st Chronicles 20:2)

Right after this, David returned again to Jerusalem and Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census!  (1st Chronicles 21:1)  This was evil in God’s sight because it was motivated by pride and not by God’s direction.  (1st Chronicles 21:7)  It appears that  Satan gained an inroad in David’s life.  We know David was not fighting the Lord’s enemies but stayed home to engage in sexual sin.  He had Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, killed. He took this massive crown belonging to a pagan king and placed it on his own head.  After this Satan was able to incite him to sin that cost the lives of 70,000 Israelites!  Sin always leads to death and Satan’s desire is fulfilled!

However, out of this sin, David did repent.  He ended up buying the threshing floor of Arunah as a place of sacrifice to the Lord to stop the plague.  This site became the site of the temple!  Pride brings destruction, but humility brings repentance and forgiveness.  The temple is where God’s presence dwelled and where anyone who had sinned could bring a sacrifice with humility and find forgiveness and restoration!  David’s latter Son, Jesus Christ, would offer Himself in this temple to be the final sacrifice for the sins of the world!  What grace from a loving God!  What a victory over our enemy, Satan, and his schemes of death!  Praise the Lord!

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