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When the Godly Are Foolish, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
August 5, 2022 7:05 am

When the Godly Are Foolish, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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We to hoist those we admire her onto a pedestal. Athletes, artists, communicators, it's human nature to elevate the respect but when one of those heroes makes a tragic mistake when they violate the trust labor accessible. So given our inclination to idolize how do we prepare for the inevitable moments of disappointment today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll walks us through a tragic failure. The real-life story is recorded in second Samuel chapter 24.

The hero was David Chuck titled today's message when the godly are foolish. If you ever wondered what it was said. David was a man after God's own heart.

We have the perfect illustration recorded for us in second Samuel chapter 24 numerous times in our series.

We've seen David feel and probably if you're like me you wondered why this would even be said of him, but admittedly no one is perfect. There are times when even the godly act foolish response to their acts of foolishness, which characterize them as having a heart that beats strongly after God's will and God's ways or on the other hand, one that is defiant, and disobedient makes all the difference. So the story today reveals the strong sensitivity of David's conscience and how his heart was truly given to God's response to his failure and his desire to be obedient to God is what caused David's resume to read that he was indeed a man after God's own heart and so today I want to read this very moving story in second Samuel chapter 24 as it is recorded in the message. So listen carefully.

Once again God's anger blazed out against Israel.

He tested David by telling him go and take a census of Israel and Judah. So David gave orders to Joab and the Army officers under him campus all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and get a count of the population.

I want to know the number but Joab resisted the king your God multiply people by the hundreds right before the eyes of my master, the king, but why on earth would you do a thing like this. Nevertheless the king insisted and so Joab and the army of officers left the king to take a census of Israel. They canvassed the whole country and after nine months and 20 days arrived back in Jerusalem. Joab gave the results of the census to the king 800,000 able-bodied fighting men in Israel and Judah 500,000. But when it was all done. David was overwhelmed with guilt because he had counted the people replacing trust with statistics and David prayed to God, I have sinned badly in what I've just done but now God forgive my guilt.

I've been really stupid. When David got up the next morning the word of God had already come to Gad. The prophet David spiritual advisor go and give David this message God has spoken. Thus, there are three things I can do to you. Choose one out of the three and I'll see that it's done Gad team to deliver the message do you want three years of famine in the land or three months of running from your enemies while they chase you down or three days of an epidemic on the country. Think it over and make up your mind what shall I tell the one who sent me.

David told Gad they're all terrible, but I'd rather be punished by God's mercy is great than fall into human hands. So God let loose an epidemic from morning until suppertime from Dan to Beersheba, 17,000 people died. But when the angel reached out over Jerusalem to destroy it. God felt the pain of the terror and told the angel who was spreading death among the people enough's enough pullback.

The angel of God had just reached the threshing floor of Verona. The Jebusite David looked up and saw the angel hovering between earth and sky, sword drawn and about to strike Jerusalem, David and the elders bowed in prayer and covered themselves with rough burlap. When David saw the angel about to destroy the people he prayed please, I'm the one who send the shepherd did the wrong but the sheep what did they do wrong punish me and my family, not them.

That same day Gad came to David and said go and build an altar on the threshing floor of a round of the Jebusite.

David did what Gad told him what God commanded around. I looked up and saw David and his men coming his way. He met them bowing deeply, honoring the king and saying what has my master the king come to see me to buy your threshing floor, said David, so I can build an altar to God here and put an end to this disaster. Oh, said around let my master the king take and sacrifice what ever he wants. Look, here's an ox for the burnt offering and threshing petals and ox you for fuel around gives it all to the King and my God your God act in your favor, but the king said to around no, I've got to buy it from you for a good price. Not going to offer God, my God sacrifices that are no sacrifice. So David bought threshing floor and the paying out 50 shekels of silver built an altar to God.

There and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace of God was moved by the prayer that was the end of the disaster the Bible with Chuck Swindoll sure to download his searching the Scriptures.

Studies by going to and now the message from Chuck titled when the godly are foolish when a spiritual leader wonders from the things of God.

The consequences are often devastating. When men and women who claim to model the message of Christ. A defect from that, either by their actions or their very very statements that fall from their lips as a devastating week that occurs in the body of Christ. If this were a hypothetical situation. We really wouldn't have any business dealing with it, but it seems as though it is becoming more and more common to hear of it. My heart broke last Thursday as I over the phone spoke with the wife of a man who has for many years model.

The message of both in pulpits and in writing and in various ministries here and abroad, whose name would be instantly notified were to declare it and the burden of this wife is that for a number of years a man is live the lie in her greatest compelling desire is that the Lord do something to turn that life around so she can do to stay quiet when her husband allegedly stands to preach the gospel, knowing the lie of his life in your heart is of course broken over in a tape made by Dr. Alan Redpath some time ago in Texas.

It was sent to me and in the tape, the man testifies that after leaving Moody Church. He himself slumped into a period of disillusionment in which he carried on a lifestyle that was absolutely on befitting the things of the gospel, during which time he was miserable and others of course along with him awful tragic thing but he feels now a thing of the past on the summer 1970, a famous preacher and so-called faith healer was found dead in a hotel in San Francisco. The coroner's report read acute alcoholism in the new swept not only San Francisco but the world and left in its devastating week, a number of dissolution followers of this man. The man who meant so much to me in my spiritual life I was led to Christ by an evangelist that defected and died on skid row. The individual himself and discipled me recently divorced his wife and the hurt and the heartache of that that I experienced is hard to put into words as I labored over just accepting that fact was at a conference Luis Palau head that is his major theme for all the pastors that were there encouraging them to stand fast in the faith, and then almost in back to back fashion for a full 20 minutes without naming names, just told of one experience after another in Scotland and Wales and South America in North America in Canada in sections that would be immediately known if I would you know the people that all of us could put together right away. For example, evangelist and seven in South America right now living in compromise and when that truth is revealed it in Luis's words, thousands will be affected by the man's hypocrisy. I am often haunted by the words of James three. I'll read them to you from the amplified Bible verse verse, not many of you should become teachers, brethren, or you know that we teachers will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity than other people. Thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation the living Bible takes the last part of it. When we teachers who should know better. Do wrong. Our punishment is greater than it would will be greater than it would be for others there is in fact a tremendous standard level by God upon those who lead spiritually. Unfortunately, there are some who are mesmerized by the alleged glamour that accompanies spiritual leadership thinking that is the same Klingon of life and once there, what a great place to be. Jails will Sanders has a word in season. In his book, spiritual leadership.

He has a chapter called cost leadership makes the statement, no one need aspire to leadership in the work of God, who is not prepared to pay a price greater than his contemporaries and colleagues are willing to pay.

True leadership always exacts a heavy toll on the whole man in the more effective the leadership is the higher the price to be paid now will be wonderful if I could announce that as we grow older we automatically grow up, and as we walk with the Lord longer than we are guaranteed immunity from sin. We will never be immune from its appeal ever. Often those who fall the hardest are those who have walked the longest with God. Not until the rapture will be ever be what we ought to be and want to be and then that guaranteed it will never change. There is no such thing as outgrowing sin and second Samuel 24 we have a beautiful account of the tragedy beautiful in that it is vivid so that none of us can ever forget it, but it is a tragedy in its content.

Ironically, the study will bounce back and forth into chapters 2nd Samuel 24, which you should mark and then put your finger in first Chronicles 21 because we will in fact go back and forth as David in the latter years of his life. In fact, commits tragic sin that has an effect upon thousands of lives. We want to analyze the decision to start with the David made and let me say to start with in the and in the analysis that probably this event took place on the heels of the Philistine Israeli war ancient enemy of Israel has been the Philistines.

We seen it all away through the study of David and again in battle they have slain the giants you might find it interesting in your own reading in first Chronicles chapter 20 latter part to read about the.

The brothers of Goliath, who were also slain their weird guys there'd their tall they are. They got too many fingers and toes and interesting group will anyway. The battle, the battle is waged in victory happens and the start of the law and that vulnerable moment after victory. That's when were in our well that's what it's dangerous when not safe after victory were vulnerable and maybe in the backwash of a great memory of victory. David is caught in this trap. This mental trap that Satan places before him, a look at look at it generally, and second Samuel 24. Look at the decision that is made now again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and it incited David against them. He was, we would say ticked off.

He was he was hassled by the nation. He was hassled by the circumstance. Perhaps in in later years of his life he became more of an inpatient man, whatever. And in his impatience, he said, go, number Israel and Judah. Now you'll notice he he he hears wise counsel, but it isn't needed.

The king said to Joab, the commander of the Army who was with him go about now through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba North to South and register the people that I may know the number of the people I want to know how many we have in this land. Colin Dailey suggested his motive was to find out how many were fitted for war. He want to find out the strength of his army again. He was under the impression that there is safety in numbers. Furthermore, at the heart of the problem is pride wants to see how big his land really is how fast his kingdom. Now the Council is in verse three Joab said to the king now may the Lord your God add to the people hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see the gracious way of saying, oh, David. My desire is that God would multiply 100 times as long as you're alive, the nation Israel, but not notice the question that is never answered. Why does my lord the king delighted this thing Joab for in a rare moment offers wise counsel, but he is outranked by the king. If you have a boss that you are outranked by the authority over you and you have perhaps the freedom to dialogue, but in the final analysis. He says this is the way it's going to be and that's what happened to Joab. Joab said oh I wish that the kingdom are greater than ever. As long as you live.

I wish it could be multiplied. David don't do this or he says literally what you desire this David's response is not even a revealed I take it that he said to Joab, you do. As I said that when you turn specifically the first Chronicles 21 you get a little bit more insight in the decision. Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.

That's a mind-boggling statement right there that the enemy is directly responsible for impressing David's mind with this wayward thought, you know, the, the battle of our lives occurs in the mind when the apostle Paul writes of Satan's work.

He says we are not ignorant of his devices. The word rendered devices in second Corinthians has in its root, the term mind we are not ignorant of his. His ability to get into our minds. Those thoughts and that's exactly what happens. It's in first Chronicles 20 1P he hit he hunt you eat he nudges David and he says what you number these people.

Let's see how big the kingdom is take a look at how fast your land is the same thoughts are revealed in verses two, three and four but notice verse five in the Chronicles passage Joab gave the number of verse forms are reversed for the king's word prevailed. Suggested something of an argument and he won out. He prevailed prevailed against Joab and therefore Joab departed and went through the land. Verse five he gave the number the senses of all the people to David, but verse six. He didn't do a thorough job. Joab's disease independent because he could do pretty much as he pleases, and the final bottom line of it all, because the king's commandment was abhorrent to Joab. He didn't go along with it in like mom say more about it, but I think it it bears watching how unaccountable David was. He had reached such a peerless position as the king of Israel.

He answered nobody he could do his thing at will and when it came just to somebody like Joab who was the commander of his army. He could even turn his fist against him and say I said do it and he did and and and on account of a life estate is a dangerous life.

It's a precarious place to be where you are not accountable to anyone else in authority. That's the way David is the king's word prevailed because he's the boss I speak. Perhaps at this moment to some of you men or women who find yourselves in the trusted and precarious position of being unquestioned authority be very very careful back my counsel to you is find a body of people with whom you can be accountable you need it.

This carte blanche loose style of freewheeling leadership is dangerous.

Few are the people who can handle it now.

Personally, I find a couple of things true in this decision, revealed in these two places. First, David is out of touch with the Lord you will not read a prayer. You will not read of seeking God's counsel, the searching of God's word. The law in the life of David for this decision.

He simply decided to do it the second thing I observed is that he was unaccountable to anyone around.

That is a dangerous spot to be. Now look at the consequences and I'm glad to move on from this sinful decision to the consequences because it is in the consequences that I think some kind of curtailing some kind of restraint is communicated to us and some of us need that very much. Let's see verse 10 of chapter 24 second Samuel go back there now.

Now David's heart troubled him. Thank the Lord for that. That's why he was a man after God's heart doesn't mean he was perfect but it means that he had a sensitive heart for God, his heart troubled him.

The Hebrew word is not, and it means it's a it's a severe word means to be attacked to be assaulted on occasion, it has reference to a city that is destroyed slaughtered. It's the audio being wounded, cripple the words down deep inside David's inner man. There was an and a king reminder of God's displeasure and what he had done if there were any ability.

I would love to have it would be the ability to insight that people no man on earth can do it when that happens we are on our way to recovery. But many are this are the stubborn saints who knowingly step against God's will and run faster and faster, refusing to listen to the troubled heart down inside and often those in greatest power are those who listen the least to that voice. David is is such a sensitive man, it's troubling to them after he outnumbered the people of the words he got the answers from Joab any and and he looked at the report and as he looked perhaps the words of his counselor came home to haunt him. You wonder why all in the world that does is prompt my pride. David was troubled and is hard to after he had number the people David admits those hard words I have seen in greatly and what I have done now, Lord, please take away the iniquity of thy servant, for I have acted very foolish at this critical juncture in David's story, we need to pause right here but there's much more teaching ahead Chuck Swindoll is helping us understand what to do when the godly are foolish. This is insight for living and to learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us and if you're looking for a recommended reading list to accommodate your busy schedule. We set aside some great suggestions for every age and stage of life right now is a wonderful time to update your reading list and our website clearly illustrates a wide variety of great options you can easily access this information by going to and then let me draw your attention to one of Chuck's most popular books because it will help your entire family gain a better grasp of key theological truths truths that are guiding lights in our walk with God. It's called growing deep in the Christian life.

Some consider doctrine and theology sort of ho-hum subjects, but actually there anything but in his authentic and refreshing style checks helps us understand and embrace the key tenets of our Christian faith bring joy and peace to our life to purchase Chuck's book called growing deep in the Christian life. Go to or call us if you're listening in the United States, call 807 seven 288 as a nonprofit ministry inside for living is completely reliant upon the voluntary contributions from those who value Chuck's daily Bible teaching so please is God prompt you to give follow his leading. If you're listening in the United States you can call 800-772-8888.

That's 800-772-8888 or online, go to Thanks so much for your generous support Monday on insight for living in the preceding message when the godly are foolish was copyrighted in 1978, 1988, 1997 and 2009 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll. All rights are reserved worldwide.

Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited

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