Yesterday we heard a rather odd story about how “Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census.” But in 2Samuel 24:1 we read that “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.’” So who was it— Satan or the Lord? And if the problem was caused by someone else, why was David and all Israel punished?!
I think, in a place like this, we have to go back to what we learned in Job. God brought up a topic to Satan, Satan responds predictably, and God gives him permission to tempt and sets the boundaries. In other words, both God and Satan are involved. God does not tempt people to do evil, and God is in ultimate control. Satan is like a dog on a leash. And about that punishment: God arranges events in such a way that man (in this case David) is still in control and responsible for his choices.
Why was the census considered a sin? This seems to be founded on the idea that Israel— according to God’s promise, was to be as many as the stars in the sky and the sand on the sea shore, in other words, uncountable. When Moses conducted a census, there was a money offering given for every male counted. Making a military census would also show that David was trusting in numbers instead of God’s power. (See 1Chron 27:23-24.)
Here is the verse I chose to highlight today:
Pro. 21:13 GNT If you refuse to listen to the cry of the poor, your own cry for help will not be heard.
We continue today with more true teaching for our spiritual health. We might consider 2:14 as a heading for all of today’s reading. That verse says,
Tit. 2:14 GNT He gave himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to him alone and are eager to do good.
GNT Translation note:
Tit. 3:15 All who are with me send you greetings. Give our greetings to our friends [who share our belief in true teachings//in the faith]. God's grace be with you all.
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