This week the Father has been teaching me that, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit” Proverbs 16:2 ESV. We have a way of doing things like marriage, raising children, what we allow in our homes, our spirits, how we manage our finances, and even a way that we like to eat. There is a way that seems right to a man but the Lord Adonai has a better way and that is why He gave us instructions.
“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.” Psalm 119:9-11 NASB.
David is enticed to number Israel. A lot of men like numbers. Men and women have been known to number things, and the higher the number, the more they esteem it as a success. Men number bank accounts, Championships in sports, just about the only number they like small is the one on the scales when they weigh. I heard a man the other day brag about being married 20 years. Just because you survived that many years doesn’t mean it was successful; it simply is a number.
Men like to count the money they have in savings. When I say men, I mean both sexes. Men like to count what they own. They like to neatly list it in their heads, and then they get accountants to handle it, so that one day when they are dead it can be divided to those who wait for it– some wait with anticipation because they love money, and that is as Yeshua said, the ROOT of all, not some, but all evil.
Now, we have David wanting a number. Joab comes and says this, “May the LORD add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” 1 Chronicles 21:3 NASB.
That word ‘guilt’ in Hebrew is Ash-maw, and it means to bring guilt or transgressions.
“Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came to Jerusalem. Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword. but he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s word was abominable to Joab!” 1 Chronicles 21:4-6 WEB.
Why would he find it abominable? I mean how harmless is it to want to know what the number of men you have? Can anyone say Pride? HaShem had Moses take a census and HaShem said don’t number the Levites, they do the service of the tabernacle and they shall bear the sins. Therefore, the tribe God commanded not to number, David was saying number them anyway That is why Joab was disgusted. He was adding more numbers in pride and taking them out of the Holy appointed office and placing them in one where blood would be shed. Not a good thing. Also, God was the only one who could command a numbering census.
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12 KJV.
Guess how many people died over him numbering with pride and out of God’s order? Seventy thousand men were slaughtered. Ouch!
“Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye” Proverbs 7:2.
The apple of our eye is our pupil. The pupil is what causes us to shut our eye very fast when something is headed that way that could cause injury. David caused injury. . .
I sat down the other night and the television was on. I don’t watch television much. I will watch a movie here and there, or a forensic show, but that’s about it. However, the TV was on and it was a movie, Disney even. This mom in the movie was getting out of a car and she tells her two daughters as they walk in the house not to turn on the television, and they both grab the remote and giggle and in unison say, “Hurry, turn the TV on!” And they proceed to turn it on. Now, most people think, okay, big deal. That’s teenagers for you. Yes, it is. However, as bad of a teenager, as I was, I wasn’t sinning right in the open. Those girls were not, “Honoring their mother and Father.” We brush it aside and say, oh, big deal. But we didn’t write that command, the finger of Yah wrote it, and that is why we have such lawlessness in our land. It creeps in. It has crept into the world strongly in our day. Bart Simpson’s smart mouth to his parents was humorous to many, but in reality, it’s not funny its sin. I sinned so much in my teenage years that if I were living back in Biblical days, they would have stoned me to death.
“There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end, it leads to death” Proverbs 14:12 WEB.
WHY? “God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will NOT DIE but will have eternal life” John 3:16 GWT.
So what does believing in Him mean? He is the Word. We have disobeyed him over and over in our land until it is polluted. Jesus/ Yeshua said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” John 14:15 ESB.
Deuteronomy 6:7, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” ESV. Oh, my! Did you read that? Instead of keeping them, We in America, have been removing them. Some churches have thrown the whole Old Testament out of their Bibles.
“There is a way that may seem right to a man and then there is death.” Another verse not spoken much anymore is Proverbs 13:24.
“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” ESV.
Our Father said, if we don’t correct our children, we hate them. The Hebrew word for hate is a problem in translation. The Hebrew language lacks fine-drawn distinctions. The word hate here means that you would rather let them act out and disrespect others than to use a rod on them. I heard a child throw a fit at the store the other day, and this little boy looked about seven or eight. He smacked his grandmother in the face and she did nothing. “Now, now, shush, don’t hit grandma”…LAWLESSNESS. God told Eli, the High Priest, that he was putting his sons above Him and allowing them to lay with the prostitutes in the temple and take money bribes– Eli broke the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me’ when he made his sons his gods.
May the Father have mercy on this generation that doesn’t love the children enough to discipline them. God spoke to Eli and said, “Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?” 1 Samuel 2:29.
Today, I am asking a serious question: What do we love more than Him? Jesus/ Yeshua said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37.
It may seem right to a man to go charge a car and make payments every month. It may seem right to get a credit card for clothing and another for travel and pay on it monthly. Perhaps, charge extra debt on credit to bless family or friends for birthdays and other anniversaries? Perhaps, the man is making the payments fine and he has a good job, and if he juggles it just right he can still have a little fun. I’ve found The Father’s rules to be different. An understanding wise Father knows the man could get laid off, lose his job, or worse, have an accident or a health issue. Romans 13:8 says “Owe No Man!” KJB. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time”. Over time requires patience. Over time requires careful saving and then the exciting day when we can pay out of pocket for what we need and even what our heart desires.
There is a way that seems right– The Father will hold us accountable like He did David. You may be thinking that’s old school Tekoa, we are under grace. . . don’t think God won’t give His children a spanking.
“For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights” Proverbs 3:12 NLT.
Let’s get back to David. So Gad (David’s Seer) went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord—days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” 1 Chronicles 21:12.
Who is this one sent to him? God is, and if you were raised to think Him only gentle, without anger, one who blesses only, and gives you good parking spaces– lots of money, I guarantee, we are wrong about that. Yes, He blesses and He even makes it rain on the just and unjust, but He also corrects.
“David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”
“ So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead.” (70 THOUSAND!)
“And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah] the Jebusite.
David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, Fell face down!
David said to God, “Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? (He knew, he had sinned)
He said, I, the shepherd have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family, but do not let this plague remain on your people.” 1 Chronicles 21:13-17 NIV.
When we sin, it hurts others. David said, “Let it fall on my family!” Can you imagine? When we are not righteous and acting as the husband or wife He commanded us to be, then our children and family get hurt. When we are not the parents he called us to be, children and family get hurt. When we are not responsible with our money, children and family get hurt. While we are busy counting things and use the gospel for gain sake, sheep get hurt and when we lust with our eyes and put others above Him, often people get hurt. Eli’s sons were struck dead and then he fell out of the window and broke his neck. When we do not make His word the apple of our eye and sit down and talk about it with our family, we invite lawlessness to abound.
David is told to build an offering unto the Lord. He goes to buy a threshing floor to sacrifice on. He pled with the owner to pay full price but the man who possessed it had seen the death angel and he wanted to just give it to the king. In verse 24 it says, “… King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying THE FULL PRICE. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing” NIV.
It will cost us something. Yes, sacrifices are tied to the altar and burned.
Let us get on the threshing floor with David. That is the very place DAVID bought that Abraham had to offer Isaac on. My plea today is for all of us to lay our Isaac’s down and keep His Word as the apple of our eye.