The Appearance of Security
Who is the least insecure person you know, at least from your perception? For me, it is my brother. This man once wore a dress to his daughters' school at pick-up time, just to embarrass one of his daughters. An intelligent man with many gifts, but it isn't because of his gifts that he seems so secure. I'm sure he has insecurities, but to most around him, including me, he seems so confident and self-assured. I have always wanted that, and maybe people around me see me the same way, without really knowing my deep insecurity. David, the great king of Israel, is a man like that. As you read his story, he seems so secure. Who else could face a lion and a bear and a giant with a sling and such great confidence in God and in how God could use him. Who else could be so unaffected by the criticism of his wife that he would say "I will be even more undignified than this" in regard to his joy and worship at the coming of the Ark of the Covenant. Who else could be so forgiving toward the family of Saul and so embracing of Saul's grandson, Mephibosheth. David stands alone as a man of extraordinary assurance and security.
But...there was also insecurity in him An insecure David committed adultery with a loyal friends wife and covered it up with deceit, betrayal and dishonor. An insecure David allowed his sons to nearly destroy his family and his reign. An amazing account of David's insecurity is found in 1 Chronicles 21. David had already faced the events mentioned above, and was nearer the end of his life than the beginning. He had won every war, every battle. He was firmly in control of Israel and the surrounding peoples. At this high point, David decided to take a census of Israel. The Chronicler wrote "Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census." The author of 2 Samuel 24 stated that "the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, 'Go and take a census...'" The implication is that God allowed Satan to test David in the same way that God allowed Satan to test Job. The test? How secure are you and what is the source of your security? David was "incited" that is, Satan touched David and the very point of his insecurity. Rather than looking to God and trusting in God for the safety of his kingdom, David looked to his military power. David's advisor, Joab, told him it was a mistake, but he chose to act on it anyway. When we begin to look for other things, including things God has provided for us, as our security, insecurity actually creeps in. God had blessed David and Israel with an army that had plenty of numbers and successful strategy. That was all God's provision. But David set his eyes on the provision and not the true source. It is interesting that in this circumstance, God was not judging David, but Israel through David's mistaken actions. Again, insecurity is not sin, it is natural and normal apart from our relationship to God, but it is a motivation for our trespasses. So even when you feel secure by all that God has done to provide security for you, be sure to keep looking to the source, the God of the Insecure.