Statistics Or Trust

Statistics Or Trust

13 May 2010

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21; Psalm 30; 1 Thessalonians 2


Then David prayed, “I have sinned badly in what I have just done, substituting statistics for trust; forgive my sin—I’ve been really stupid.” (1 Chronicles 21:8 MSG)

David’s decision to count the fighting men of Israel and Judah was really a pride and trust issue. God had chosen him to “Fight the Lord’s battles” and to “Shepherd my people Israel.” Now he was measuring his greatness by the size of his army, not the simplicity of his obedience. He was already ruling the territory God had allotted Israel. To become any “greater” he would have begun building himself an empire.

There are important lessons for me in this short story…

1) For David, counting the people and the warriors was substituting statistics for trust. I think statistics only matter if you can use them for effective decision making. When you’re not in control anyhow, the statistics don’t matter much!

2) Let God choose the means of correction and discipline when you mess up. His mercy endures forever! David told Gad, “I’d rather be punished by God whose mercy is great, than fall into human hands.” (1 Chronicles 21:13 MSG)

3) Don’t let other people take the punishment for your own sins and mistakes. David prayed, “Please! I’m the one who sinned; I’m the one at fault. But these sheep, what did they do wrong? Punish me, don’t take it out on them.” (1 Chronicles 21:17 MSG)

4) Don’t give God something that belongs to someone else and then call it your own sacrifice. True sacrifice costs the giver and is willingly given, not forcibly taken. David replied to Araunah, “No. I’m buying it from you, and at the full market price. I’m not going to offer God sacrifices that are no sacrifice.” (1 Chronicles 21:24 MSG)


Father, Thanks for today’s reminder to trust you and not statistics. When I think about the changes Jean and I have faced in this season of our lives, the thing that stands out most is that you’ve been graciously and patiently re-teaching us to simply trust you. I know I haven’t “got it” in every area of life, but I’m “getting it!” Thanks for grace and patience. Amen.

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