[from July 15, 2009]
"Then David said to God, '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 human hands.'"
(2 Samuel 24:14)
David is in distress. He realizes he's committed a sin against God by demanding that a census of the people be taken (some believe that act began to take away from God's role of being the "sole arbiter of the destinies of the nation and its people"). When the 9 month project was over, David felt convicted to the heart & repented.
An interesting thing happened next. God gave David 3 options for his punishment: a) 3 years of famine, b) 3 months of being pursued by his enemies, c) 3 days of pestilence. David responded by putting himself (and the nation) in God's hands. In effect, he didn't choose - he let God decide. The reason: he knew God was gracious & merciful.
Wow. I probably would have had my own opinion. Id' have thought long & hard and tried to calculate the least destructive option. But David didn't. He threw himself on God's mercy and God's choice. 70,000 people still died, which was indeed a tragedy... but it could have been much worse!
As King, David was ultimately responsible for everything that happened in the kingdom. His actions meant the death of 70K innocent people. He had to live the rest of his life with that. But hew as also wise enough to know that his wisdom may not have been "the end all and be all" of wisdom. Perhaps God' wisdom was even greater?!?
I wonder how much energy we waste by setting our own will/plans for the future. Sure, it's good to have goals and aspirations... but when we push toward something God may not want for us, we do more harm than good. The challenge: place ourselves in God's hands of mercy & trust that he'll lead us where we need to go. Period.
PRAYER: Whether it's good fortune or the ramifications of my own win, LORD... I want to be able to put my WHOLE trust in you. Lead me where you need me to go. Help me to willingly accept both direction and correction from You! AMEN.