‘Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census.’ 1 Chronicles 21:1 NIV

Fresh from a victory over the Philistines, King David made a big mistake. Instead of trusting God for his next battle, he conducted a census designed to measure his military might and assess his chances of winning. As a result, seventy thousand Israelites perished. Three very important principles of leadership responsibility are:

(1) As a leader, you’re Satan’s special target. He knows that in order to get to others, he must go through you, so he will use every strategy he has to bring you down. ‘Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census.’ The average advisor would probably have considered a head count a good idea, but God saw it as arrogance and unbelief.

(2) Don’t be presumptuous. Don’t let your last victory make you overconfident about your next battle. There’ll never be a time when you don’t need God! The fact that God had just granted David a massive victory should have made him more, not less, dependent on God. Paul wrote, ‘Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent.’ (2 Corinthians 3:5–6 NIV)

(3) Listen to wise counsel. Joab, one of David’s generals, warned him he was making a huge mistake. ‘The king’s word, however, overruled Joab.’ (1 Chronicles 21:4 NIV) You may have great gifts, but you don’t have all the gifts. Where you have blind spots, others often have 20/20 vision. ‘In the multitude of counsellors there is safety’ (Proverbs 11:14 KJV), so listen to the people God put in your life to guide and protect you.

SoulFood: 1 Sam 20:30–23:29 John 2:1–11 Ps 131 Pro 23:1–3

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

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