Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
"The Pandemic - Which should lead us to firm faith"2 Samuel 24:15-25
"I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, Lord, for doing this foolish thing" v10. "I am the one who has sinned and done wrong!" v17
As the world is entering into the 3rd year (2 year and 2 months) of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, it is worthwhile to meditate on the spiritual truths behind these times. The pandemic took away our freedom; limiting us to stay home /quarantining ourselves from the world outside, by avoiding travels, family gatherings, worship gatherings, normal school/college lives, sports activities and so forth. The world became a very unhappy and restricted place suddenly. We lost our normal, regular, pleasure filled lives.
The modern scientific community is trying hard to contain this virus and the COVID vaccine is a big breakthrough limiting deaths and complications to some extent. The virus mutations
(variants) are still a concern.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, we should really meditate on the current situation of our lives. In today's meditation portion King David decided to take a census, while he and his nation are at peace. As a King he has freedom to decide and to implement. But later we see that his decision was a "sinful" one and God is punishing the nation of Israel by taking the lives of 70,000 people through a plague, which leads to the repentance of King David and the whole nation.
Every action has a spiritual consequence whether we believe in God or not. God is closely watching all human beings. In psalms 11: 4 we read "He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them". David's decision to take the census seems very benign initially, but the heart of the problem was 'pride'. Every battle and every aspect of the King's life was master planned by God thus far. The King wanted to count his warriors and be filled with pride. He is refusing the Counsel from his commander Joab (which Joab did for his own personal gains). But when David realizes his mistake, he is asking for forgiveness and admitting that he did a foolish thing. As God's children, when we look back, how often have we come before God and asked for forgiveness and are willing to correct ourselves. We as a worshiping community have become boastful, proud, self centered, and materialistic. We are self satisfied and fully concentrating on the activities of this world. Even church and its activities have become far away from the spiritual truths. The sad part is that we are not realizing our sin and not repenting at all. We might be upset about the pandemic and scared about death and the future. But where is our repentance?
In verse 10 David repented. God gave 3 punishments to choose from, and David decided to choose to fall into the hands of God. God sent 3 days of plague that killed 70,000 people. Here God is punishing the people because they trusted in military and financial prosperity rather than God. Later David builds an altar at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, recommended by Gad the prophet. Araunah was willing to give his threshing floor freely to the King. But in v 24 David is telling Araunah that "I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that has cost me nothing".
Dear friends are we willing to pay that cost with our precious time, money, resources and pleasures to worship him and honor him.
David made so many big mistakes in life, but the bible calls David a man after God's own heart, because when he sinned, he recognized it and confessed it in a timely way.
The Pandemic may prolong, or it may end soon. But are we willing to repent and turn to God? Are we willing to say that we are in a desperate situation? Are we willing to say that I am the one who has sinned? Are we willing to commit ourselves to a disciplined prayer life and grow into a personal relationship with him? How long it will take us to understand that, brilliance, power and materialistic prosperity are self -destructive without God.
May the Lord help us to start a new fresh relationship with God our Savior. May our repentance and willingness to pay the cost build our spiritual journey stronger and stronger during this pandemic.
Thought for the Day
Christian life is a series of new beginnings. What new beginning do I have during this pandemic?
Dr. Jereesh T John
St. Thomas MTC, New York