1 Chronicles 21:1 (KJV) Satan’s Devices

1 Chronicles 21:1 (KJV)
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

Though he has certainly been present many times previous to this, we have here the first instance of the name Satan. First mentions are always important in the Bible and we should see this as an important account.

Satan’ attack is against Israel
He did not specifically attack any one man. He attacked a nation of people.

These were the Jews. Satan’s ought against them is unique because Israel’s relationship with God is unique. Satan cannot predict the future but he is intelligent and surely knew by now that the Messiah would be from Israel.

I imagine that Satan still attacks whole nations of people more aggressively than he does individuals.

Satan’s attack was through David
His target was Israel but by tempting David he hit the nation. One of the reasons we ought to pray for those in authority is that Satan Will mostly likely hurt a whole people by hurting her leadership.

Satan’s attack was quite subtle
One would be hard pressed to find a terrible sin here. All David did was number his army. Though there must have been something more here because Joab knew it shouldn’t have been done, still this is not one of those heinous and obviously horrible sins.

The most terrible sins may be the ones we don’t think are so bad. We think they are acceptable so we excuse them. There is no such thing as an acceptable sin.

Satan’s temptation was through David’s pride
At least this is the most common understanding. The three things in the world are the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Pride was the sin that led to Lucifer’s fall. Pride prevents God’s grace being upon us.

Satan’s first mention is not as dramatic as a person might think. No one was demon possessed, no one was murdered but a tragedy happened nonetheless.

Don’t allow a seemingly small sin be the destroying sin in your life.

 

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1 Chronicles 21:1 (KJV) Satan’s Devices

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1 Chronicles 19:13 (KJV) What a Man Can Do

1 Chronicles 19:13 (KJV)
Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.

I remember speaking with a young college student at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College about discerning God’s will. He was struggling over what was God’s will in a particular area of his life. My counsel was this; the definition of a man is one who, to the best of his knowledge, steps out to please God and then lives with his decision. This does not mean that he can never correct his course or change his mind about a certain thing but it does mean that he owns up to the consequences, good and bad, for his decisions.

This is the general thrust of Joab’s counsel in this passage. A man may not always know how things will end. All he can do is:

  • Make his best decision
  • Play his part well and
  • Leave the results in the hands of the Lord

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 Chronicles 19:13 (KJV) What a Man Can Do

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1 Chronicles 17:24 (KJV) God is Even…

1 Chronicles 17:24 (KJV)
Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.

The distinction between the Lord of hosts being “the God of Israel” and “a God to Israel” is worthy of consideration.

The God of Israel
This is a fact but wouldn’t have to be much more than a mascot type relationship. Israel identified with the Lord of hosts. He was there God as opposed to, say Ra in Egypt or Molech or another of the gods made in the imaginations of men. Israel’s identification with the Lord of hosts is on target. David said He is more than that.

A God to Israel
This goes beyond identification to action. In the one case we could say that Israel identified with the Lord of hosts. In this case we can say that the Lord of hosts identified with Israel. In the one case we have David’s desire to do something for the Lord of hosts. In this case we have the Lord of hosts designing to do something for the family of David.

It’s one thing to claim Christ. It is quite another to be claimed by Christ.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 Chronicles 17:24 (KJV) God is Even…

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1 Chronicles 15:13 (KJV) We Have to Do Things Right

1 Chronicles 15:13 (KJV)
For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.

There are three characters at play in this passage:

David
By whose authority the ark was carried “not after due order“.

The priests
Who should have carried the ark, but did not. One can only wonder if they had warned David beforehand of his error?

God
Who made the breach upon Israel by striking Uzza down.

A breach is a hole in the defense of a military force. By working hand in hand and side by side, soldiers create a human wall that the enemy cannot penetrate. When a man goes down a hole is created, a weakness the enemy can exploit. The loss of the man opens a door for much greater loss.

The importance then is not that Uzza died, although that is important. The real importance is that, because they did not seek God after due order, a breach was created that could have devastated Israel.

When a congregation turns from the faith and begins seeking God some other way and “not after due order” the danger is not that we have lost that church. The greater danger is that it creates a breach and opens the way for the devastation of all that is the Gospel.

Someone must sound the warning to those stepping out of formation. Their fall has the potential for leading a to a greater fall than any of us can imagine.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 Chronicles 15:13 (KJV) We Have to Do Things Right

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1 Chronicles 14:11 (KJV) They Were Not the Doers

1 Chronicles 14:11 (KJV)
So they came up to Baalperazim; and David smote them there. Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine hand like the breaking forth of waters: therefore they called the name of that place Baalperazim.

Acts 3:12 (KJV)
And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

Peter didn’t quote King David but expressed the same sentiment that, though they were instruments God used, they were not the doers of the blessings.

Here is a difficult balance to keep hold of; God uses men, but the men have themselves done nothing. Perhaps it is why David wrote a lyric about it and Peter so insistently spoke these words. They needed not only to remind the audience (those who, to this day, observe their actions through God’s Word) but also themselves, God did this. Their hands were involved but their result was of God.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 Chronicles 14:11 (KJV) They Were Not the Doers

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1 Chronicles 12:17 God Will Rebuke It

1 Chronicles 12:17 (KJV)
And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.

David had been in flight long enough to be a bit leery of strangers. Though he had a pretty constant stream of devotees, this bunch was different. This bunch included Benjamites, the very tribe King Saul was of. Who could blame David for being skeptical?

What is interesting is how David handled this. I notice that there was no suggestion of animosity or reprisal if they turned out to betray him.

  • If they truly supported him he promised to love them
  • If they turned out to betray him they would be accountable to God

In some sense every relationship we have involves risk. David’s practice would be good for all of us; love those with whom we have to do. If they hurt us, forgive them and leave it in the hands of God.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 Chronicles 12:17 God Will Rebuke It

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2 Kings 25:12 (KJV) The Last King in Judah

2 Kings 25:12 (KJV)
But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.

Here then is the record of the last King in Judah.  After this will be an appointed governor. Later, when we get to the time of Christ, we will find the half Jew Herod on the throne, put there by Rome. Zedekiah is captured, along with every other person of influence. Only the poor of the land are left.

I am reminded that Jesus said, “the meek shall inherit the earth.” It will not be the movers and shakers that receive the kingdom of Christ. The kings and the rich and all those who trust in and follow them will be destroyed at the battle of Armageddon. It will be the poor, the meek; those who refuse to accept the mark of the beast (and who suffer because of it) that remain to enter into Christ’s reign.

It is similar today. Those who get saved, those who enter into Christ’s promise are those who are humble enough to release the rule of their own lives.

  • Rather than being world influencers they are happy to come under the influence of Christ.
  • Rather than making a name for themselves they are content to lift up the name of Christ.
  • Rather than forging a way in the wilderness they find pleasure walking in the path Christ forged. 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Kings 25:12 (KJV) The Last King in Judah

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2 Kings 21:1-2 (KJV) The Will of God We Ought to Seek

2 Kings 21:1-2 (KJV)
Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

Mannaseh must have been born three years after his father prayed for and received fifteen more years. If Hezekiah had died when Isaiah originally pronounced it, Manasseh would never have been born. We can never know who would then have been the next king or if he would have been a better king than Manasseh. We do know that Mannaseh was an evil man.

This is one Biblical evidence that it is possible to pray and change what appears to be the will of God. It is also evidence that it is not necessarily the best thing to do.

Though there is a good and acceptable will of God, the one we ought to seek is His perfect will.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Kings 21:1-2 (KJV) The Will of God We Ought to Seek

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2 Kings 18:5 (KJV) Never Think Much of Self

2 Kings 18:5 (KJV)
He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

Few people in the Bible serve to me as a warning more than does Hezekiah. The Biblical account of him is so positive at the first that it is difficult for me to comprehend his end. How does a man with his testimony end up being thankful that his mistakes won’t harm him but his children’s children instead?

Hezekiah reigned in a very difficult time. Though he led the nation to greater obedience than any king since David, he faced the most powerful enemy in his nation’s history. He watched as the northern kingdom of Israel was defeat and decimated by Assyria. Hezekiah faced tough choices as Assyria fixed her attention on Judah. He tried to appease them but that never really works. All that was left was to either surrender to them or resist them. He chose resistance. Pressure mounted as the Assyrians laid siege on Jerusalem. But then God intervened and Assyria was destroyed without Judah having to fight a battle. Hezekiah was overjoyed!

Then came the situation of his health. God told him he was about to die but Hezekiah prayed and God gave him fifteen more years.

I think Hezekiah got puffed up. With such victories in times of such overwhelming circumstances he got his eyes off God and began to think too highly of himself.

That’s the warning. Never think much of self. Even great victories are always about God and not the victor. Keep God as our focus and our perspective of others will stay clear.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Kings 18:5 (KJV) Never Think Much of Self

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2 Kings 16:10-18 (KJV) An Old Testament Type of Transitioning Faith

2 Kings 16:10-18 (KJV)
And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.
And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.
And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar.
And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar.
And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king’s burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to enquire by.
Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brasen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones.
And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.

I once was given a book entitled Transitioning that was meant to lay out in step by step measures how to turn a church from conservative philosophy to modern.  The person who gave the book to me did so to help me recognize when a church is making such a transition and it was not long before I saw a number of churches, including some with whom I had connections, begin the transition.

Transitioning is not, however, a modern problem. Ahaz transitioned Judah thousands of years ago. He used the same facilities Judah had always used for worship and made gradual, in some ways, subtle changes:

He built a new altar to be the centerpiece in the Temple courtyard.
I understand this altar would have been smaller perhaps seeming more functional.

He did not remove the old altar but moved it to a less prominent place.
Transitioning pastors will very often say that they are not really changing things but making things more efficient and functional. Many time they will not completely abandon conservative worship but simply make a new time slot for those who want to continue in the old fashioned services.

He removed the laver
Which was a vessel used to wash prior after the offering and prior to entering the tabernacle.

Transitioning pastors want little to do with sanctification and separation.  Their whole “come as you are” mentality is geared to make the sinner feel good about themselves.

He changed sea for a pavement of stones.
The sea, many believe, represents heaven where God’s throne is seated upon a sea of glass. The stones are more “earthy”.

Transitioning pastors want to make church relevant and practical. They aren’t as concerned about heaven and hell as they are about “your best life now.”

Ahaz was a modern transitioning pastor. The Bible gives us specifically what was God’s opinion of him,

2 Kings 16:2
Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.

 

To my reader:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

2 Kings 16:10-18 (KJV) An Old Testament Type of Transitioning Faith

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.