Likes and followers. How important are they? In our world of around the clock social media, where buttons exist to like and follow just about anything, it seems our world believes likes and followers are very important.
In the world of publishing I have been told by editors that although they love my work, they won’t consider taking it forward to publication unless I can show X amount of followers across multiple social media sites and platforms. Likes and followers are important to them.
Apparently King David thought likes and followers were important as well. So much so, he authorized the commander of his troops, Joab, to take a census of all the Israelites in the land from Beersheba to Dan.
David wanted to know how large his domain was. He wanted to know how many Israelites he ruled. Who knows what motivated the king to order the census? All we know from reading 1 Chronicles 21 is the census did not end well.
Joab, didn’t think the census was such a good idea. Although there were times God ordered a census, this was not one of those times. David’s desired census put the emphasis on David’s greatest. Not on God’s. It put David’s confidence in the number of men available for his army. Not in God.
Despite Joab’s protests, the king’s word stood. A census was taken. God was not pleased.
As a result of God’s displeasure over the census, God offered David three options. David was to choose which of the three punishments God would carry out against the Israelites.
Now then, dear David, decide how the LORD is to extract justice for your desire to count likes and followers.
Three years of famine. Three months of being swept away before your enemies with their swords overtaking you. Three days of the sword of the LORD ravaging every part of Israel.
Not much of a choice the way I see it.
What about you? Which would you choose?
David chose three days of the sword of the LORD ravaging every part of Israel.
So the LORD sent a plague on Israel. Seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. As the angel of the LORD was poised to destroy Jerusalem, God was grieved because of the calamity. He told the angel, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.”
David saw the angel of the LORD standing between heaven and earth, sword drawn, extended over Jerusalem, and fell facedown. David told God he was the one who sinned and did wrong by ordering the census. He asked God to spare the people and punish David instead.
A prophet told David to build an altar to the LORD. David did. There he offered a burnt sacrifice which the LORD lit. Then God told the angel to put his sword back into its sheath.
My favorite verse in this passage relates to David buying the threshing floor where he built the altar. “I will not sacrifice to the LORD something that costs me nothing.” You can find it in verses 18-26.
So. Likes and followers. How important are they? Jesus told his disciples to follow him and he would make them fishers of men (and women). Guess that’s the only kind of follower we need to be concerned with.
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Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.” 1 Chronicles 21:1-2
You can find my February Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.
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