Date: 30 May 2023
Preacher: Apostle General Jannie Ngwale
Editor: Digital Team
Principal Scripture Reading: 2nd Samuel 24:13
Yet another thought-provoking article by Apostle General Jannie Ngwale titled "Breakthrough from breakdowns". In this article, Apostle General Jannie Ngwale explores how a simple act of defiance led to devastation and how seeking forgiveness through sacrifice can avert such dire circumstances.
In this article, Apostle General looks into the following:
a) Unravelling the intrigue behind David's decision to conduct a census
b) Trusting Numbers vs Trusting God
c) Consequences Unveiled: Famine, Pursuance, and Plague
d) Seeking Mercy Through Sacrifice
e) The Value of Sacrifice
f) Averting Devastation: God's Mercy Prevails
Unravelling the intrigue behind David's decision to conduct a census
At the height of David's reign as king of Israel, an incident occurred that would forever shape the course of his rule. The temptation to conduct a census arose within David, seemingly innocent on the surface but with more profound implications. It was an act that provoked the Lord and attracted His righteous anger. In 2 Samuel 24, we find the account of David's decision to number the people, driven by a desire to gauge the extent of his power and military strength. Little did he know that his choice would have grave consequences.
Trusting Numbers vs Trusting God
Examining the motivations behind David's desire to count the people, we explore the implications of placing trust in numbers rather than God. We challenge readers to reflect on their reliance on external factors and emphasise the importance of trusting God's guidance.
David's decision to conduct the census revealed a significant flaw in his character. Instead of trusting in God's providence and guidance, he placed his confidence in the numbers—the size of his army and the population count. He sought security and reassurance in quantifiable data rather than relying on the wisdom and faithfulness of the Almighty.
This raises a profound question: Where do we place our trust? Do we find comfort in material possessions, societal status, or human achievements, or do we place our unwavering trust in the Lord, recognising that true security and guidance come from Him alone? David's example serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the perils of misplaced trust.
Consequences Unveiled: Famine, Pursuance, and Plague
We delve into the threefold consequence presented to David: famine, intense pursuit by enemies, and a devastating plague. By exploring the impact of each consequence, we highlight the severity of David's transgression and the gravity of his decision.
As a consequence of David's disobedience, the Lord presented him with three options for punishment: seven years of famine, three months of being pursued by enemies, or three days of a devastating plague (2 Samuel 24:13). David was left to choose which form of judgment would befall the nation he led.
The famine, should David choose it, would have far-reaching implications, affecting the people and the land itself. Food scarcity and resources would plunge the nation into desperation and suffering. Alternatively, the pursuit by enemies would subject the Israelites to constant fear and danger, as they would be relentlessly pursued and their lives constantly threatened. Lastly, the plague would bring swift and widespread death, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake.
David's decision weighed heavily upon him, recognising the options' severity. After seeking the Lord's forgiveness, he chose the three days of the plague, trusting in God's mercy rather than the hands of his enemies or the impact of a prolonged famine.
Seeking Mercy Through Sacrifice
David's plea for mercy leads him to the designated place of sacrifice—a location laden with historical significance. We shed light on the parallel between Abraham's sacrifice and David's, illustrating the importance of obedience and the subsequent display of divine mercy.
In the face of impending disaster, David sought the Lord's mercy and guidance. Through the prophet Gad, God directed David to erect an altar at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24:18). This specific location held great historical significance—it was the very place where Abraham had been willing to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to demonstrate his obedience and faith in God.
David approached Araunah and requested the purchase of the threshing floor to build an altar and make sacrifices to the Lord. Araunah, moved by the king's request, offered to give David the land and all that was necessary for the offering. However, David refused Araunah's generous offer, proclaiming, "I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing" (2 Samuel 24:24).
This act of refusal exemplified the true essence of sacrifice—offering something of value that truly costs us. David understood that genuine sacrifice required personal investment and commitment. He recognised that true repentance and seeking God's mercy required him to give sacrificially.
The Value of Sacrifice
Emphasising David's refusal to offer a sacrifice that costs him nothing, we delve into the weight and significance of genuine sacrifice. We invite readers to reflect on their sacrifices and their impact on their relationship with God.
David's refusal to offer a sacrifice that cost him nothing prompts us to examine the value we place on our sacrifices. Are we willing to offer God our wholehearted devotion, even when it requires personal sacrifice? True sacrifice involves surrendering our desires and placing God's will above our own.
Sacrifice takes various forms in our lives. It may involve giving up material possessions, investing time and energy in serving others or relinquishing our own ambitions for the sake of God's kingdom. When we offer sacrifices that genuinely cost us, we demonstrate our commitment and love for God. Our sacrifices become acts of worship and obedience, strengthening our relationship with Him and deepening our faith.
Averting Devastation: God's Mercy Prevails
Witnessing the angel of the Lord poised to unleash destruction, we delve into David's repentance and the power of sincere prayer. We highlight how David's act of contrition averted the imminent devastation, showcasing the magnitude of God's mercy and forgiveness.
As the angel of the Lord stood ready to bring destruction upon Jerusalem, David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell prostrate before God, pleading for mercy and forgiveness (2 Samuel 24:17). David acknowledged his guilt, expressing deep remorse for his actions.
In response to David's repentance and genuine plea for forgiveness, the Lord relented and commanded the angel to withdraw his hand of destruction. God forgave David in His unfathomable mercy and spared the city and its inhabitants from further devastation.
In this gripping narrative, Apostle General Jannie Ngwale reminds us of the consequences of disobedience and the power of sacrifice.
As readers reflect on their choices and their impact on their lives, they are encouraged to seek forgiveness and mercy through acts of genuine sacrifice. By embracing the principles highlighted in this article, they can navigate challenges and avert potential devastation. The story of David's census teaches us that true repentance and sacrificial obedience pave the way for God's forgiveness and redemption in our lives. May we all strive to trust in God, make sacrifices that reflect our love for Him, and experience the boundless depths of His mercy and grace.