Over the past several weeks, we have seen one parallel after another between King David’s reign and the decline of our country. And by first appearances, I thought 2 Samuel 23:8 through 24 would contribute very little to the discussion – these two chapters appear at first blush to be only a listing of David’s mighty men and a census of Israel, almost as a historical footnote to the conflicted reign of David.
Not only was I wrong, I was astonished at how these two summary chapters illuminate the Cycle. The grand finale to David’s story, coming just hours before Franklin Graham’s Decision America Tour Prayer Rally on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol, is chilling and wonderful.
Here is why.
Starting at Chapter 23:8, David has another moment of disobedience when he puts his men in mortal danger just to satisfy a craving he has as king. But since Bathsheba, David’s conscience is more mature and he repents that he almost got his men killed for no good reason. David pours out “to the Lord” in repentance the drink he had craved.
Do our leaders repent for the bad decisions they make that put us in danger, or do they just blame the other party?
In Chapter 24, the Lord’s judgment burns once again against Israel. Rather than inquiring of God for the reason as he did in Chapter 21, David gets angry at his own people and orders a census be taken of soldiers ready to go to battle for an angry, impulsive king. But when the census is completed, David’s newly developing conscience again causes him to repent, but this time it is too late and God’s judgment results in the deaths of seventy thousand of his men. The killing stops only when the Lord’s never-ending love for his children causes him to command, “Enough!” David mourns deeply, knowing that his own sin is deserving of punishment, not his innocent people.
Yesterday our leader announced he will prosecute those who speak against climate change - that's right, prosecution for fraud against free speech alone! Is it too late for America to avoid God's judgment?
A humiliated David then obeys the Lord’s command to build an altar for sin and peace offerings to seek forgiveness. The final recorded act of David as a ruling king is not unlike a prayer rally on the Capitol steps:
“Thus the Lord was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel” (24:25b).
David was imperfect as our leaders are imperfect. But he kept trying to learn and God’s never-ending love was moved by prayer for the land to restoration! Despite his flaws like yours and mine, David had a heart after God.
When will we see a leader who will be humble enough to pray and seek God’s face in perfect unity for our nation, such that God will then heal our land?
Want to find perfect unity at least in infant form for all children of Abraham and for our nation? Come to the Colorado State Capitol west steps on Tuesday, March 15, at noon, and pray.
This could be the turning point we have dreamed about.
Streamside will be there.