“So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel and 70,000 men of Israel fell.”
– 1 Chronicles 21:14
1 Chronicles 21:14 Reminds Us of a Leader’s Responsibilities
I want to read two different verses or sections of 1 Chronicles, chapter 21 today and pray accordingly. The first is 1 Chronicles 21:14. “So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel and 70,000 men of Israel fell.” So let’s just pause and think about this. This is the consequence of David’s prideful sin in ordering a census. The Lord sent a pestilence on Israel and 70,000 men fell. Oh, the effects of a leader’s sin on those whom he or she leads cannot be underestimated, overestimated. You really can look at it from both perspectives. The seriousness of leadership before a holy God and the effects of that leadership on those they lead.
I just think about any one of us in any kind of leadership position, in our homes, as a husband leading a wife, as a mom or dad leading children. Even as an older child leading other children in different ways or in work, any leadership we might have in church, any leadership we might have, any leadership influence in our lives.
Call to Humility in Leadership
God, help us to be humble in our influence. To be holy as leaders and to lead others for their good, knowing that our sin doesn’t just affect us, but our sin affects others.
God, help us to be humble in our use of it. To be holy as leaders and to lead others for their good, knowing that our sin doesn’t just affect us. But our sin affects others and all that leads then to 1 Chronicles 21:25–27. So David paid Araunah 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. And David built there an alter to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord.
The Lord answered him with fire from Heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. Then the Lord commanded the angel and he put his sword back into its sheath. I just want to read that passage too because of this picture that 1 Chronicles 21 gives us of sacrifice averting death.
1 Chronicles 21:14 Calls Us to Praise Jesus’ Leadership
When David builds this altar and presents these sacrifices, the Lord responds, puts His sword back into its sheath. More people are saved from dying in this picture that we see all throughout the Old Testament. That sacrifice averts in 1 Chronicles 21 to use the language here, the sword of God’s wrath upon people and in reading both of these passages.
I can’t help but to praise Jesus as the perfect leader whose sacrifice averts the wrath that you and I deserve. And to praise Jesus for the cross that averts our death and makes the way for us to experience life. To put 1 Chronicles 21:14 1 Chronicles 21:25–27 together and we pray, Lord Jesus, we exalt You as the perfect, holy, humble leader. We pray, Jesus, that You would help us to lead like You lead. Help us to be holy like You, help us to be humble like You. Help us to lead for the good of others.
Encouragement to Follow Christ’s Example
God, help us to turn from sin in our lives that we might lead in a way that reflects the love and leadership of Jesus. And even as we pray for this in our lives, we praise You that we even have life. Jesus, we praise You for dying on the cross for our sins. For paying the price we deserve for all of our prideful sin against You. Jesus, we love You. We worship You today. We pray that You would help us to exalt You, help us to share You today. Help us to point others who are under Your wrath in their sin to You right around us.
God, all around the world, we pray for more Sikh men and women and children, hundreds of thousands of Djat Dilam people in India. God, we pray that they would know the good news of Jesus’ love for them. Jesus, You died on a cross to purchase Djat Dilam people from India for Your glory, by Your grace. We pray that You would cause this good news of Your sacrifice for sins to be made known among all the peoples of the world.
Jesus, You are the perfect, holy, humble leader. We worship You. We pray that You would help us to be like You. That You would help our lives and specifically our leadership to be a reflection of Your life and Your leadership. And we pray this according to 1 Chronicles 21 in Jesus’ name. Amen.