Watch this 7min vid if you’re interested in how Chronicles holds together as a whole. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=388&v=HR7xaHv3Ias
Here’s some thoughts.
This section of Chronicles captures two moments that couldn’t be more different from each other. Firstly, David is given a crown with ‘precious stones’ (20:2), and defeats a number of armies in God’s strength. And yet, in the next chapter, he ‘sinned greatly against God’ because he didn’t trust him to help him with his other battles! This contrast left me contemplating the paradox of how easily success that God gives us can actually make us less trusting of God. I was also left thinking in what ways I rely on my own achievements and ability rather than trusting in him.
It is just so easy to do sometimes.
But if the entire bible points to Christ, how does this section do that? I think at the very least it shows our need for a perfect David. David, in all his goodness, still wasn’t good enough. Even after all he had seen God do, he was still scared of his enemies and so wanted to know exactly how many soldiers he had. He did this rather than trust that God would be with him regardless. This shows me our need for a king who really does trust God despite his own ability, crowns and achievements. The way Jesus trusted his father’s will at the cross, rather than his own will, is testament to this (Mk 14:35).
A random point I also found interesting, is that behind David’s lack of faith was Satan tempting/”enticing” him (21:1). A quick Bible Gateway search showed that this is one of the very few references to Satan in the entire OT besides Job and Zechariah. Despite this temptation though, David is still held responsible for how he acted. Passages like this confirm to me that even though there are so many factors that ultimately lead us to sin that are beyond our control, there is still some level of responsibility for all our actions. I know personally that I use situations I find myself in as an excuse for sin. A Classic example is when people are jerks to me and I feel like this somehow makes being a jerk to them defensible. This passage clearly shows that no matter what the circumstances surrounding our temptation, even if we are being directly tempted by Satan himself, even if this reduces some of our responsibility, there is still a level of responsibility to all our actions. Maybe this is part and parcel of taking for ourselves the knowledge of good and evil.
Contemplating my need for a Saviour, and the excuses I use,