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How Many?!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

2 Samuel 24:10

"David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, 'I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.'"

Do you remember the story of Gideon, whom God raised up to deliver Israel from the hand of a mighty army of Midianites and Amalekites? God called Gideon to lead Israel into battle against this mighty army. He could only muster 32,000 men.

What could so few do against so many? But God is not, nor has He ever been interested in numbers. He had Gideon whittle the number down to only 300 men of Israel to defeat that mighty army. Why did God want only a few? The answer is found in Judges 7:2; “The LORD said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against Me that her own strength has saved her.’”

As a young man David had confronted Goliath with only a sling and five smooth stones. It only took one of those stones to drop the giant! When we follow close to the Lord and rely on His strength, we will see our own giants fall.

So why are numbers so important to so many? Why do we exert so much effort to achieve numerical gain? Pride! Our desire to have more or to be better in some way is repulsive to the Lord.

In today’s Scripture we read of David’s repentance for requiring a census of the number of fighting men. Why David wanted to do this is known only to him and God. He was an old man and his fighting days were over.

Regardless of the reason for the census, it was terribly displeasing to the Lord. In fact it was so displeasing that judgment fell on David and his people. As a result of David’s prideful sin, 70,000 people died from a plague. The wages of sin is always death.

I must confess that I have been guilty of counting numbers. The Lord has convicted me of the sin of using numbers to show accomplishment. It is such a common practice that I was not even realizing how wicked it was.

We disguise the counting of numbers (people, contacts, giving, etc.) as proof that God is blessing us more than others. Did I just say that? Yes, I certainly did. We need to be honest with ourselves and with the Lord that much of work is not to defeat Satan, but to have a larger spiritual footprint than other churches or ministries. That is so repugnant that I even hate to write it.

I am making a covenant with the Lord from this moment forward. I will work with all my might to draw the lost to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I will give of myself to make disciples of everyone I can. Yet I will live and die by this total commitment: “Even though I walk alone in obedience to the Lord—I am determined to follow Christ until He calls me home.”

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

--- Pastor Cecil


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