When David conducted the census in 1 Chronicles 21:1-16, the Bible does not spell out what exactly caused God to be displeased with David's census other than Satan rose up against Israel that caused David to conduct a census. 7 God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by doing this! It would be the threshing floor location on which David appeased God, and ended he and nation being punished, that another momentous event would take place! He did this indirectly, as I will explain. I agree with all the other posts in that David is perhaps acting out of either pride or the flesh by wanting to know numbers. Taking a census or numbering something can be justified if having that information serves a useful purpose. But when the church takes surveys of felt needs and desires so as to identify consumers and convert them into customers—paying customers, of course—by redesigning its worship and message, then, like David in his census, the church repudiates its reliance on God, places its own prowess in the place of his provision, denies the gospel by implication, and angers God so that he judges it and allows it to spiritually wither. He had come to the point in his life where he was relying far more on his own strength and that of his army rather than on God. The Gospel According to Isaiah. The king seemed to have been prompted by a feeling of pride and ambitious curiosity. This is not a bad thing. Young's Literal Translation offers a more accurate explanation of what transpired. If there was ever a good candidate for a biblical contradiction, surely this is it. or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. The pestilence was thus halted. Joab, commander of David's army, tried to warn him to not number Israel so that he and the nation would not be punished (1Chronicles 21:2 - 3). The first way was to have a famine throughout the land for seven years. By Rick Phillips. Who incited David to take the census in 2 Samuel 24, God or Satan? David eventually saw how evil this usurpation was in the eyes of the Lord. Taking a census was a common way to guage a nation's potential strength in battle (Numbers 1:1 - 4, 19). The parallel account in 1 Chronicles 21 says, “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” The record in Chronicles places this right after a great victory over the Philistines, so the sin was probably related to a problem with pride and self-reliance. THE HUMANIST's ACCUSATION: The Old Testament contains an interesting contradiction in the story of the census taken by King David and the resulting punishment of the Israelites. This was the message: 10 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. The third way of being punished was three days of pestilence (a deadly epidemic) upon the land. He was seeking ultimate allegiance to himself, his kingdom, and his power. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. Website: tenth.org, Series: Some sin was occurring and it could have been anything from building an army instead of trusting God to just wanting more money from taxes. The reason is not explicitly written on the Bible so there are lots of interpretations on this. God was very displeased with King David for his effort to number or take a census of Israel. Rick Phillips As Deuteronomy chapter 17 so strongly insists, the human kingship of Israel was to be noticeably dependent on God’s divine kingship. The second choice of correction was to flee from his enemies for three months. God had blessed David with abundance and had given Israel peace from its enemies. David, taking census without the ransom price reminder that their lives were pledged to God, was usurping in the people's minds God’s lawful place as their protector and true king. The reason for doing it, however, certainly can be and is something that might be worthy of being punished for! With his cunning ways, the devil set out to entice David to sin by numbering his army through a census, which is exactly what he did (2Samuel 24:1)! Why Does God Punish Israel For Something He Told David To Do? After a brief illness, the child was gathered up into the arms of God—as all innocents are. David eventually saw how evil this usurpation was in the eyes of the Lord. Joab, David’s general, strongly cautioned him not to take the census, but David insisted. But in 1 Chronicles, the writer says that Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census. This sermon is all about David's sin in taking a census and God who gives David three choices of punishment. It states that David acted out of pride and a desire to glorify himself. Tonight I am going to briefly handle three questions that have come to me recently. Samuel states, "And the anger of Jehovah addeth to burn against Israel, and an adversary [Satan] moveth David about them, saying, 'Go, number Israel and Judah'" (2Samuel 24:1). He was seeking ultimate allegiance to himself, his kingdom, and his power. For Internet posting, please use only The first asks, “Why was it such a great sin for King David to order a census of Israel?” This refers to 2 Samuel 24:1-17, where God’s anger burned against Israel because David took a census of the fighting men. David felt guilty after he had numbered the army. The author of 2 Samuel, who is usually truthful, might have felt he … In both sentences, the phrase ויסת את דוד “he moved [i.e. However the key to the issue is that it wasn’t David who was punished, but Israel because their hearts were not right before God. God’s intention in taking the infant in death was to punish David. !st Chronicles Ch 21 ;verse 1 Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census, Joab David"s General advised David ,You don"t need to do this,God will give You all that is needed,David ordered Him do it,Joab did ,But He excluded the Tribe of Benjamin and Levi ,because the King"s Order was repulsive to Him; God doesn’t need numbers to win a battle. God offered David the choice of a three year famine, three months of military fight from Israel’s enemies, or 3 day’s pestilence. The king choose to, as he put it, 'fall into the hands of the Lord,' which meant the pestilence. David pleaded for mercy and was told to build an altar to God on a particular threshing floor (2Samuel 24:16 - 18). In 2 Samuel, the author says that God incited David to take a census of the people because He was angry with Israel. His sacrifice for taking a census took place on Mount Moriah. Why did God punish David for Census? In Jewish tradition census taking of the people of Israel was forbidden (Hosea 2:1). Any exceptions Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: For Israel’s king to build up the same kind of power common to pagan kings was tantamount to repudiating God’s over-kingship. God was so angered by the census that he sent a plague that killed 70,000 men. and why take it out on the common folk? After his sin, God told David to choose one of three ways to be punished. July 28, 2002. Satan moved in spiritual warfare against the whole nation of Israel and not just the king. Anytime Satan is involved you can be sure he intends to get someone to sin! God offered David his choice of punishments: a three-year famine, three months of military fighting from Israel’s enemies, or three days of pestilence. And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. David chose the three day’s pestilence, figuring it was better to fall by God’s hand than an enemy’s. Looking at the scriptures we can know that there is an evil intent by their content. So it seems taking a census demonstrated a lapse in David's faith, for he was looking to the physical evidence of his national strength, instead of depending upon God to be the nation's shield. 1. Ben Mordecai is close to it in my view; it was a procedural thing whereby a tax was to be collected whenever there was a census and David failed to do it. 8 Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. The great lesson in these passages is that David’s fear or insecurity came as a result of his lack of trust in God. Answer: The taking of a census, by David or anyone else, is not a sin of itself. The parallel account of the incident surrounding the census, however, reveals it was Satan who incited David to take the census: “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1). The devil tempted, but the king went along with it and wanted to use the census as evidence to trust in his own power not God's. What makes this more interesting is that the chapter begins by saying that the LORD incited David to do this, apparently by giving Satan permission to tempt him. It was Satan the devil who moved David to disobey God. What do locusts represent? The book of Chronicles tells us that Satan the devil, who was against ancient Israel, moved or provoked King David to count his troops (1Chronicles 21:1). If we look closely at the Hebrew, the evidence for contradiction seems to grow. Again the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” (2 Samuel 24:1) Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. Answer: Second Samuel 24:1 says, “Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, 'Go and take a census of Israel and Judah. Even Joab, David’s thug general, knew this would bring trouble, saying, “Why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?” (24:3). Why did God punish the Israelite people when it was David who ordered the census?" It was the Spirit of God that convicted him and revealed to him the error of his decision. The parallel account in 1 Chronicles 21 says, “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” The record in Chronicles places this right after a great victory over the Philistines, so the sin was probably related to a problem with pride and self-reliance. Presbyterian Church. Because David failed to show trust in God, and disobeyed him by doing an illegal census (counting) of the people. 2 David gave orders to Joab and the other officers, “Go through Israel, from one end of the country to the other, and count the people. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.” 9 Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer. (10) David knows that he has done wrong in numbering the people. Ten of thousands died throughout Israel until the death angel was stopped just before entering Jerusalem. When the census had been completed, the Prophet Gad informed David of God’s anger and of His intention to punish David and all Israel. The king seemed to have been prompted by a feeling of pride and ambitious curiosity. Did God tell David to take a census and then punish him for it? By only being able to count what the people offered to God it reinforced the point that the people do not belong to Moses or any leader. A capricious and arbitrary God? B. David’s guilt and God’s punishment. For his strength was not found in numbers but in God ’s mighty power of deliverance. After David’s sin with Bathsheba, God did not have David to cut the marital relationship with her since her husband was dead and she was released from that marital law “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety David knew what this was like, as he had many times fled from Saul and even had to flee from his son Absalom. a plague sent … The KJV Bible translation of 2Samuel 24:1, unfortunately, tends to give the reader the wrong impression regarding the motivation behind the census. Upon completion of the census the Prophet Gad informed David of God’s anger and intention to punish David and all Israel for this sin. It may be the men and women of Israel and Judah did not trust God either. The reason for the census or the accounting must also be sufficient to justify the effort and cost that such a project might involve. Moses was only permitted to take a census indirectly (Exodus 30:12-13) by having each Israelite offer a coin as a sin offering and then count the coins. This sin is repeated today when churches rely on marketing and salesmanship to gain success. Either God caused David to take a census, or Satan did. The devil tempted, but the king went along with it and wanted to use the census as evidence to trust in his own power not God's. David Takes a Census (2 Samuel 24.1-25)1 Satan wanted to bring trouble on the people of Israel, so he made David decide to take a census. Why was God so angry at David for taking the census? The sin of taking a census of the truth was that it represented not relying on God. In 2 Samuel 24:1 (NET), it states that God "incited" David to take a census: The Lord’s anger again raged against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go count Israel and Judah.” The story goes on to state in 24:10 that. It was his vanity and the desire to exalt himself in his own mind that got David in trouble. © 2020 Tenth 2 Samuel 24:1-25 tells the story of Kind David following Gods will to take a census of the Israelites, then God punishing him for following his command by sending a plague and killing 70,000 Israelites. But, interestingly, the biblical account never explains why this was a sin. As soon as David did it he, too, knew it was a sin. David’s census without the ransom price reminder that their lives were pledged to God, was usurping in the people’s minds God’s lawful place as their protector and true king. This discrepancy is often explained by the understanding that, in order to achieve His purposes, sometimes God sovereignly permits Satan to act. As the census was taking place, David began to contemplate over the consequences of what he had done and he knew that he was making a mistake. He then, it appears, sinned by calling for a census and violated other biblical principles. God's humorous punishment of Philistines. unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. Easton's Illustrated Bible Dictionary also has some interesting comments regarding this incident. When the census had been completed, the prophet Gad informed David that God was angry and intended to punish him and all Israel. So, putting it in a nutshell, Israel was facing punishment from God and Satan was the means of this punishment by tempting David to take an illegal census; David succumbed to the sin. God’s wrath was so stirred up that 70,000 people died as a result. Who has been corrected by their own sins? Herein we find that David appears to offend God by ordering Joab to take a census of Israel and of his army in particular (V. 2). If you read 2Samuel 24 (or 1Chronicles 21), you’d find that God punished David for doing a census. I do not believe that God literally incited David to sin by taking a census. The feeling that one gets from reading the accounts of David’s census is that the command to pay half a shekel ransom had been completely forgotten and neglected during the intervening years between Moses and David. Posted by Christian Research Institute | Feb 28, 2011 | Ask Hank , Audio Download and Listen Here is a great link that shows the literal story page by page. There is nothing wrong with prudent surveys about how the church may better serve its people, or how practical matters may be improved. This seems to have been the nature of David’s sin so that God was angered and acted to nip it in the bud. I am inclined to blame David himself, since as king, he would bear blame for all royal decisions. Any reason for God’s displeasure is mainly conjecture because the bible doesn’t explicitly say why God was upset with David taking the census. God offered David his choice of punishments: a three-year famine, three months of military fighting from Israel’s enemies, or three days of pestilence. An In-Depth Analysis of God's Apparent Acts of Cruelty in the Bible _____ One of the most perplexing events in the Bible is found in II Samuel 24. Not all Jewish sources agree that God directly or indirectly led David to sin by the census, but rather attribute David's act to his own inclinations to do what is evil in God's eyes. He needs faith and obedience. It was Satan the devil who moved David to disobey God. The people died for their disobedience to God’s command. to the above must be approved by Tenth Presbyterian Church. 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