We are picking up the end of a fascinating story with our teaching text. The background is important. David sinned by numbering the fighting men of Israel (and Judah). In an account bearing slight resemblance to Gideon and his need to be purged from self-reliance against his enemy, it seems David should have trusted in the unchanging source of his strength, the Lord of hosts.
David refuses the advice of his godly advisors to not take the census and so displays a lack of trust in the Lord. He is a wealthy, powerful man, can do whatever he wants, and puts his own interests first. No acts of immorality are committed. No idols are erected. No words of blasphemy are spoken. David puts his own interests first. He is at the peak of his game in ambition and influence. He has huge military resources and he knows it. He does what he wants because he has the power and the means to do it.
The parallel account of this event in 2 Samuel 24 reveals that after taking his census, to his credit, David's heart was repentant before God confronted him with punishment for his sin. That's important because it shows the nature of a repentant heart. It's not the consequences of his sin that trouble David. He hasn't heard them yet. It's the broken relationship with God he can't live with. That's the only authentically spiritual starting place in dealing with sin.
Rev. Don Horban - October 09, 2016
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Rev. Don Horban - September 11, 2016