Tuesday, September 16, 2014

You Want Me to Do What?

Joab threw open the chamber doors. King David had sent him an urgent summons. King David was standing near the large window that displayed the glorious horizon of the nation of Israel.

"My King." Joab bowed and King David turned to face him.

He looked distracted. In fact, King David's entire demeanor was different today. "Go and number the people of Israel. All the way from Beersheba to Dan. Bring me a report so that I may know their number," King David said abruptly.

Joab blinked once, then twice, then once more. Why did King David want him to go do a bullheaded thing like that?

Joab would try to talk some sense into the man. "May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my Lord the King, all of them my Lord's servants? Why then should my Lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?"

King David frowned at him. The familiar angle of his eyebrows clearly indicated that he was angry with what Joab had said to him. "Go. Number the people of Israel." He said each word slowly, and Joab got the message. Do what he said, or face the consequences.

Joab bowed as low as he could to show King David he was his humble servant. Joab held the uncomfortable bow until he was dismissed, and at the King's curt words, left the room to do his bidding. Joab waited until he was out of the room, on the other side of the door before letting out a huff of annoyance. Indeed, he was the king's humble servant, but even servants had their own opinions. And this servant knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord God would not be happy with King David's sudden need to take a census.

Based on 1 Chronicles 21:1-4

While Bible reading one day, I saw this and it made me stop and think. Joab knew that this census was a big mistake, and he even tried to tell David that. David didn't listen, and gave the order. So in the end, Joab had to do want David wanted. He knew this idea David had in his head was Dumb, with a capital D. Joab had three options in those days:

1) Give his opinion, but do what King David said regardless.
2) Rebel and be killed for insubordination.
3) Rebel, kill King David, and face the wrath of God for his sin.

Joab went with option number one, and did what King David ordered him to do. Why? Because his job was to obey the ruler set in authority over him. After that, God discipline David Himself.

Think about Joshua. God told him and the people of Israel to march around Jericho every day for seven days, and on the last day, march around that stinking city seven time! Now there's a dumb idea if I ever saw one. If I had been in Joshua's shoes my heart attitude would have been, "There is just no way I am doing that. That's dumb. You had better think of a new plan." However, Joshua submitted to the One Who was in authority over him (God.).

In case you didn't pick up on it, today's thought is about submitting to God and the leaders He has placed over you. Sometimes what we are being asked to do seems crazy or we disagree. Sometimes we know it is a bad idea, and we are just trying to help the person. However, sometimes our job isn't to speak out and make a big scene. Sometimes it's to do what God says regardless. Joshua saw some amazing result by doing this, and if we will obey God, we will, too.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed it cannot." Romans 8:7

God may not tell us to march around a city like a dork, but He's going to ask us to do some things that will seem pretty strange. Will we obey Him, our tried and true leader?

V. Joy Palmer

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