Placing Trust in our Strength
So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. – 1 Chronicles 21:14
When was the last time your overconfidence cost the lives of 70,000 men? That is exactly what happened to David. David made what might appear to be an innocent request of his general, Joab. But the minute Joab heard the request he cringed. He knew David was in big trouble for this one. You see to number the troops was a great sin in Israel because it was against the law. Why? Because it demonstrated that you were placing more trust in numbers than in the living God. David displayed enough pride to cost the lives of 70,000 fighting men. God gave him three choices of punishment for his sin. A plague was the one he chose, and it resulted in the loss of 70,000.
Throughout Israel’s history, God set the stage for battles to be won, miracles to take place, and people to exercise faith. The stage was always set so that man could not take credit for what God did. Consider Gideon who was only allowed 300 men to fight an army of 100,000. Consider Jehoshaphat, who had to lead his army with his singers. God defeated the enemy. Consider Joshua, who was told simply to walk around Jericho seven times, and they would get victory. God did things in some very unconventional ways!
How does this relate to you and me as workplace believers? Well, the minute you and I place more trust in our abilities than in God, we are guilty of numbering the troops. How does He punish us? Sometimes it’s through letting a deal go sour. Sometimes it’s through problems with a client or vendor. Sometimes situations just blow up in our face. Other times, He lets us go on for a long time doing our own thing, but eventually He deals with it.
The lesson here is to learn daily and complete dependence on God. Use your gifts and abilities through the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him daily for direction and wisdom. His ways won’t always line up with conventional wisdom. When we begin depending on our abilities only, God has a responsibility to make known to us who is the giver of the blessings.