4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”Galatians 4:4-6 ESV
We are adopted as God’s children, and with all the beautiful love of a father, He works to discipline and mature us.
More than once God has used 2 Samuel 24 to call me out.
I’m not a military leader, nor do I have the authority of someone in government, but I know full well the temptation to rely on the security of numbers.
- In ministry, I counted and recounted the volunteers coming to fill spots that never seemed full enough.
- In budgeting, I figured and refigured the amount we should be saving or putting toward future looming expenses (college, home repairs, car replacements, etc.).
- In scheduling, I wrote and rewrote lists not wanting a minute to be wasted.
In each scenario, I looked to numbers for security instead of resting in God’s guidance and provision. God made it very clear to David, that trust belongs only in Him. No number can assure success or security, no matter how often we recount, or how big a cushion we try to build.
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.”2 Samuel 24:10 ESV
Immediately, David realized his sin. And, when given three choices, he proves that he truly learned his lesson as he chooses the punishment that leaves him completely at God’s mercy.
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.”2 Samuel 24:14
Sin is not without consequence, but God’s mercy is also just and not excessive. He is firm, but not harsh. I’ve had to learn at His hand as well, and trust His answer when my temptation to count leads me to beg for more when He has already provided enough.
And then, when His hand of discipline stills, we are called to worship. Worship must be a giving up, a pouring out of self. Of who we are and what we are and what we control. Worship peels back our vise-like fingers and dumps it all at His feet. It is expensive.
True worship should cost us everything.
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.2 Samuel 24:24 ESV
Lord God, I keep trying to figure it all out on my own. I budget and plan and over-strategize, when I really need to trust and spend more time in prayer. Open my eyes to ways I continue to rely on self and the physical world instead of You. Pry off my fingers again that I would not hold back items I value in place of You. I don’t want to hesitate to offer you everything. Every minute, every thought, every plan. Yours. In Jesus Name, Amen.