WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 9, 2022
TOPIC: WHEN THE INNOCENT SUFFER FOR THE ERRORS OF OTHERS
BY T. O. BANSO
“In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, ‘Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die’” (2 Samuel 11:14-15 New King James Version).
Elimelech and his two sons died in Moab after he migrated with the family to Moab when there was a famine in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1-3). The two sons died childless, leaving two widows behind. Their mother, Naomi, a widow, later returned to Bethlehem with one of the daughters-in-law, Ruth.
Naomi lamented her condition to the women of Bethlehem thus: “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (Ruth 1:20-21 New King James Version). Naomi means the lovable or my delight while Mara means sad or bitter.
Naomi blamed God for her tragedy. But the Bible does not tell us whether Elimelech enquired from the LORD before he relocated to Moab with his family. Wife, pray for your husband, particularly that he may make the right decisions. When husbands and fathers make wrong decisions, the entire family suffers. Husband, pray for your wife also.
Most times when leaders formulate and implement policies, it is the people that suffer the most. You won’t be a victim of the government’s wrong policies in Jesus’ name. The actions of leaders where you work won’t cost you your job or life. Any conspiracy or cooperation against your life like it happened between David and Joab against Uriah, will fail in Jesus’ name. 2 Samuel 11:14-15 says, “In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, ‘Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die’” (New King James Version). Joab carried out David’s order and Uriah, an innocent man, was killed needlessly to cover up David’s adultery (2 Samuel 11:14-17).
Also, during David’s reign, the Israelites suffered a three-year famine because the former king, Saul, had murdered the Gibeonites; Joshua and the leaders of Israel had signed a treaty with them not to kill them (2 Samuel 21:1-6; Joshua 9:15-20). The famine and the attendant suffering didn’t end until David enquired from the LORD the cause and granted the Gibeonites’ request to hand over to them seven sons of Saul to execute.
Pray for those you’re under their authority so that you don’t become a victim of their errors. According to 1 Chronicles 21:1, it was Satan who moved David to conduct the census that led to the unfortunate death of 700, 000 Israelites in the plague God brought on the land as punishment. That scripture says, “Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel” (New King James Version). 2 Samuel 24:1 presents it differently.
2 Samuel 24:17 says, “Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, ‘Surely I have sinned, and I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, be against me and against my father’s house’” (New King James Version).
A compassionate leader would feel the way David felt. Only wicked leaders would feel unconcerned. But contrary to what David said, the people were not innocent. 2 Samuel 24:1 says, “Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah’” (New King James Version).
The word “again” shows that the anger of the LORD had been kindled against Israel in the past. This must have been because they did what was wrong. Thus, there was a link between the wrong behaviour of the Israelites and David’s error of conducting a census. Both the Israelites and their king, David, sinned against God. David’s census could be described as the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
There is no contradiction between 1 Chronicles 21:1, which says Satan moved David to number Israel, and 2 Samuel 24:1, which says the LORD moved David to order that Israel and Judah should be numbered. What it means is that Satan moved David to number Israel because God permitted him.
Nevertheless, there are situations where innocent people suffer for the errors of others. There are cases where people are wrongly punished for offences they did not commit. Sometimes later, the real culprit could be found. But what about what the innocent has already suffered? In some cases, the culprits are never arrested or caught. The innocent should not be wrongly convicted.
Some people have spent years in prison for offences they never committed only for them to be set free later. Some only regained their freedom after completing their jail terms for offenses they were innocent of. Believers must pray against such a situation. I am not talking about suffering unjustly or suffering for the sake of Christ, which the Apostle Peter talks about. He said, “Praise the Lord if you are punished for doing right! Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong; but if you do right and suffer for it, and are patient beneath the blows, God is well pleased” (1 Peter 2:19-20 The Living Bible). Also in 1 Peter 4:16, Peter said, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (New King James Version).
People should pray for their leaders, including leaders in the family, the judiciary, and the church against doing what will make the innocent suffer. Sometimes leaders could come under some influence and they don’t know what they’re doing (Luke 23:34). 1 Timothy 2:1-3 says, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (New King James Version).
Furthermore, we must pray for others whose activities affect us, including professionals whose negligence or errors could cause us serious harm. We must pray against the spirit of error that could work in them and make the innocent suffer.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, deliver me and those whose activities affect me from the spirit of error. I shall not be a victim of the errors of anyone. The innocent will not suffer needlessly because of me. Father, vindicate every innocent person who is suffering wrongfully or for the errors of others. I pray that justice will reign in our societies such that the innocent will not be convicted while the guilty go free.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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