God, David and the Census


2 Samuel 19-24


These are the last chapters of the book of Samuel. We are convinced how David is great in the Bible, because his story was written in a lot of pages. However, we look at his failure before God again in the last chapter, that is the census. As king of a nation, it looks like fair to count the people of your nation. However, as he order the census, he wanted to know how many soldier are there in Israel. In other words, he wanted to count his own power physically. It was a sign of David's unfaithfulness, he did not trust God but rely on his own ability. This is arrogance, an original character of fallen human being. Even if David was a very sincere person before God, he was also a human being who has sinful character.

Three things we can learn from this passage

1. The world tempts us continually, not trust God who is invisible, but rely on our own power that is visible things. However, what we should remember is that the result of following our own power is failure, tribulation, and suffering always. The life far away from God, there is no hope.

2. There is specific describing at verse 1, “And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.’(v1) The anger of God was described as Satan in the book of Chronicles in same story, but we distinguish this word between ‘Satan’ is hostility, or facing against, and ‘The Satan’ is evil spirit or demon. So, in this chapter ‘Satan’ in the book of Chronicles used a hostility to punish Israel from God as an angel of God (cf. Num. 22:22)

3. There remain question, why the Lord use David to do the evil work, census? It is simple, as like God used Nebuchadnezzar who is the king of Babylonia to punish Israel who has fallen in depravity. But another thing to learn is all of leader has responsibility for his community or group fail as leader.