The Leaders Failure

2 Samuel 24

The last chapter of 2 Samuel is disturbing to me on a couple levels. First, just when you think David is growing older and wiser, he reveals again his selfishness and impetuous nature. It’s not just a rash, impulsive type of sin but a sin of arrogance that involves his people and stretches out for several months. Very disappointing! Why God chose him as the means of the Davidic Covenant and the heir of the Messiah, I’ll never understand.  But on the other hand, I suppose that’s the point. Why he chose me for anything is a baffling reality as well.


God, this isn’t fair!

Secondly, (I’m just going to say it) the nature of God’s judgement in this chapter is disturbing as well.  In this case, David is the sole perpetrator of arrogance and sin yet God punishes David’s people and allows 70,000 men to be killed in judgement. I want to be genuine and tell you my honest response to reading this story but I certainly won’t dwell on the supposed unfairness of God’s judgement. Job dwelled on God’s “unfairness” a bit too long and God ripped him a new one big time. Basically, over several long chapters in Job, God said to Job “who do you think you are to question my actions?” It was a frightful day in the principal’s office for Job. Job learned his lesson of questioning the character and decisions of God, repented from his heart and eventually all his blessings and riches were restored…plus more.

There’s power in numbers…not!

What David did that caused God to become angry was that he ordered a census of his armies. Seems routine but there must’ve been something in David’s heart that wasn’t right. Joab tried to talk David out of it knowing it was a bad idea but David was determined. Turns out there were 800,000 trained soldiers and 500,000 other men in waiting. This was a massive army and thus I suppose the sin was David’s pride in the army “he” had built. He abandoned the precept of “not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.” David temporarily lost his mind and focused not on what God had given him but on what he, David had built. This is the ultimate failure of a Christian leader, whether leading a church or leading a business. As such, when a leader rises to arrogance, the people suffer. Perhaps this is the lesson God was teaching us by allowing the people to suffer and some even die; a leader’s sin effects his people. Do I enjoy the blessings of position, title, material possessions plus the love of family and respect of many others? I do. But let’s be clear, God is the absolute source of these blessings. I must not fool myself to believe otherwise. I am only a servant and steward of these blessings and by God’s grace, may I be found faithful. Amen!