January 4

“Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, ‘Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number’… But God was displeased with this thing, and he struck Israel. And David said to God, ‘I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing.’” (1 Chronicles 21:1-2, 7-8)

The elect in Christ will not be deterred by the devil’s schemes, but we are not immune to the temporary effects of his plots, as he “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). God, in His grace, offers biblical accounts with warnings, so that the wise may be prepared for Satan’s attempts at diversion. In 1 Chronicles 21:1-17 there is a true account of Satan seeking to discredit Israel by influencing David, through doubt, to number the men of Israel, in direct opposition to the advice of his commander (v. 3). Wisely, David recognized his sin and repented. However, when Israel suffered grave consequences of David’s foolishness, Satan had a bit of a victory—but not the ruin he had hoped to achieve.

We may also study the Book of Job and the ministry of Jesus Christ to see all the advances of Satan seeking to interfere with God’s plans. Only the wisdom of God in Christ overcomes the devil’s meddling.

How does Satan use your fears, doubts, and anxieties to disrupt your reliance on God’s wisdom?

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