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Wednesday Wanderings for 5/14

We’re taking a look in 1 Chronicles 22 tonight, and I’m hung up on the idea that David wasn’t permitted to build the Temple. The reason given is that he had shed much blood (1 Chronicles 22:8). I can see that in light of the continual warfare, but was it not done at God’s command?

I think, but I’m not sure, that there are a few more things to consider in light of this.

First, David went overboard at times. Consider back to his time at Ziklag in 1 Samuel 30, among others. David not only fought, but he tended to go ahead and kill off survivors or slaughter whole towns.

Second, David went along with violent men. Looking at Joab and others, David allowed violent people into his inner circle, and went along with their actions. Even when he knew what they had been up to and disagreed with it.

Third, violence retains consequences. Every person killed in battle with David and Israel, and every civilian killed afterward in the mop-up work, was a bearer of the image of God. True, many of them were in opposition to Israel and would have gladly done the same had their side won, but death is still a loss. Violence is still a problem.

Fourth, our actions for God may not be as much in line with God’s righteousness as we think. Take note of how many wars David fought that were neither defensive nor commanded by God. God was with him as he fought, but were these righteous? I’m not sure—but it reads like David thought so.

This all leads me to wonder: What am I doing that, in the long run, disqualifies from serving God fully? Is there some way in which I think I am doing for God but am not?

I’m not sure. But it bears consideration in all our lives.

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