And David built there an altar to the LORD and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the LORD, and the LORD answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. Then the LORD commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon, but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
This is a fascinating chapter that opens up several important questions. In the beginning, David gives in to his pride and unwillingness to trust in the LORD, God, the Almighty to provide for the nation's safety. He commanded that a census is performed. Was it so that he could strut around boasting he, the former shepherd boy, now commanded an army of over 1,500,00 men. Pretty impressive for the day. And lack of trust.
Another question is why the LORD's anger was directed towards the people of Israel not upon the person of David. Wasn't it a demonstration that David, a powerful king in the world's eyes, was powerless when it came to protecting his nation, the ones whom God had called Him to lead. A direct assault on his pride and lack of trust.
Is it no wonder that he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD?This is a demonstration of that dimension of the Fear of the LORD that is really, indeed fright. Yes, there are times when I should be aware that my loved ones can be the victims of my pride and lack of trust.
Today's readings in the Psalms:
Morning: Psalm 97
Evening: Psalm 23
"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at the Fellowship Of Ailbe bookstore. All Scripture is taken from the ESV unless otherwise noted. A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/52-general-downloads. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.