Sunday, March 5, 2017

Decisions, Decisions

There are SO many decisions that we face in life these days.  Many of our decisions are superficial and rather trivial.  Maybe it's just personal preference, like which lunch meat and cheese I make my sandwich with.

And then there are the decisions that matter.  How do I respond to someone offending me?  Should I take this job or that job?  Do I move, and where?

What should be our criteria for deciding the important decisions?  And am I thinking from a human standpoint, in all of my limited understanding?  Am I allowing myself to be tempted to do something that is not in my best interest?  Am I following God's leading, and trusting Him?  Am I thinking from a "spirit-led" perspective, and doing what I believe God wants me to do?     

King David faced this in 1Chronicles 21.  Satan was tempting David to have Joab, his military commander, count all of the men in Israel who were able to fightMaybe David was needing reassurance of his military might.  I'm not sure.  But it appears that Satan had convinced him that looking at the situation from a human understanding was better than just trusting that God had it handled.

Joab tried to discourage David from doing this.  He knew God would not be pleased by this act.  The King overruled Joab.  In a small act of rebellion from Joab, the bible states that he did not include the men of Levi and Benjamin in this count.

As Joab predicted, God was upset by David's choice to rely on his human need for a count of fighting men.

David then made the first wise choice in this story.  He humbled himself and took responsibility for his sinful actions.  He apologized to God and asked forgiveness.

In response, God gives David three consequences to choose from.  Three months of famine, three years of David's enemies overpowering them in battle, or three days of God's wrath at the hands of his angel.

Wrath of man?  Or wrath of God?  Which is scarier?  Human thinking would tend to tell me that man can't do nearly as much to me as God can.  David took a more "spirit-led" perspective.  He knew that our God was a God of mercy.  It was better to humble himself before God, and call on His mercy.  Man would not be so merciful.   And while God did allow 70,000 men to die, at David's repentant pleading, God did relent and tell His angel to stop the destruction.

It ended at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, we are told.  David was instructed by God to build an altar there.  This site would then be bought by David, and used as a place to offer a sin offering to God.  And then it would later become the site of Solomon's  grand temple to honor God.

I find it interesting that David was able to make the choice to choose the consequence he did.  His choice shows extreme trust.  He knew God intimately enough to trust that His mercy was something that He could count on in response to David's repentance.  He knew that men were slow to be merciful, but God's mercy was something he could count on.

I make mistakes all the time.  I am a sinner in desperate need of God's mercy.  I am in desperate need of His guidance and leading in all I do. 

Oh Lord, save me from myself in the decisions I make.  Help me not to be swayed by fear or lean towards trusting in my own understanding, but to strive towards trusting in your way for me.  Help me to trust your ways, even when they don't make sense now.  I know that when I look back later I will see the fullness of your plan and understand what I can not see now.  Thank you that my limited human understanding of things doesn't have to rule my thinking.  Thank you for the knowledge that your ways are better.  Help all that read this post to know your love and your ways through your word.  Thank you Lord for your blessings and love.  Amen. 



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