Today's devotion from 1 Chronicles 19-20.

We are in the midst of war, and it is senseless, it is costly, and it is unwarranted, but it is still war. It is a war that stems from the pride of a young and insecure leader named, Hanun. When his father passed, David sent emissaries to communicate his sympathies. However, this man's advisors saw malice instead of condolence. They saw spies instead of goodwill ambassadors. The result was devastating. Thousands of lives were lost when not one was required.

Yet, even though David sent Joab instead of accompanying him in battle, and in spite of the fact that it was others, not David, who defeated the Philistine threat, we see the chronicler bring us to David in the conclusion of this victorious section.The chronicler is not falsely portraying David as perfect. While here in this section of victories the chronicler brings us back to David, the next section will begin with David and his failure. His valleys of despair were every bit as deep and dark as his peaks of victory were high and bright.

The David that we see who refused to drink water retrieved at great risk and concerned for his humiliated men is the same David who's naivety cost Uzzah his life, who's lust cost Uriah his life (2 Samuel 11), and (in the next chapter) who's pride cost 70,000 Israelites their lives. The chronicler is exposing both high and low points in the king's life.

No. David is not upheld because he is perfect, but I think we can see a consistency in him. No matter how high or how low, David seems to come back to God. Even though these chapters don't identify God's work specifically (Joab mentions God), the evidence of His hand is everywhere.  I suppose the chronicler doesn't have to name God's actions because we have already read and witnessed His promises and works in the life of time after time.

Maybe today you feel like a complete failure as a believer, or maybe it's the opposite, and you feel almost spiritually invincible. Remember, those feelings are fleeting, but God's Word and His Work are steadfast and eternal. In the end, we can't live forever on the mountain top or in the valley. Life is a journey that will surely traverse both. The only certainty is that we can see God's hand in both places even when we don't see Him, specifically.