Text: 2 Samuel 21-24; Psalm 76.
In 2 Samuel 24, David takes a census of the people, an apparently sinful move that brings serious consequences from the Lord. The text does not tell us why this was a bad thing, so we have to figure it out. It is reminiscent of Moses’ sin of striking the rock (Numbers 20:8-12) and thus being denied entry into the promised land.
In David’s case, the issue is that he is trusting something other than the Lord. A big army means safety, power and prestige. Of course we can bring to memory all sorts of stories that teach that safety and power come from the Lord rather than a big army (i.e. Gideon), and prestige belongs only to Him. To seek these things from another source is actually idolatry. The lesson is harsh, as many, many Israelites die as a consequence of David’s sin. What irony that David’s opening to his song (2 Samuel 22:2) were ,
““The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.”
in Him, Mike