Red Light!

Devotional for Today, October 23, 2017

“But Joab replied, ‘May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over.  My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects?  Why does my lord want to do this?  Why should he bring guilt on Israel?’  The king’s word, however, overruled Joab…” (1 Chronicles 21:3-4 NIV)

David was about to do something foolish by taking a census, thereby displeasing the Lord as he put his trust in the number of his fighting men rather in God, yet he wouldn’t listen to someone God had put in his way to stop him.  His general Joab begged him not to bring this guilt upon Israel; “the king’s word, however, overruled Joab.”  David was lording it over his general, saying, in essence, “Have you forgotten your position, Joab? Kings tell generals what to do; generals don’t tell kings.  Just do as I say.”  Notice that Joab’s warning didn’t even prompt David to pray about the situation, as he had done so many times before.

There are times when God gives us a red light to stop us from doing something that might hurt us or cause us to fail him, and we don’t listen – especially if the warning comes from someone we don’t like, or someone we think beneath us or less spiritual than us.  The issue is not whom God uses, but whether we are open to correction.  Or are we so headstrong that once we have made up our mind about something, we don’t want anyone telling us what to do?  David would have saved himself and the people under him so much trouble if he would have simply heeded.  Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice."  Not very many people are willing to do that.  We’re so egotistical that if we’re not careful, we can take anyone who corrects us as an enemy.

Let’s pray that God would make us more sensitive so that if we were going down a wrong road, he could send somebody or something to warn us, and we would listen!

Read 1 Chronicles 21:8-28.

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