Wednesday, October 29, 2008

David's Sin of Numbering I Chronicles 21

I Chronicles 21:1 "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." Reference II Samuel 24:1-9

There was a time when the LORD gave instructions to number the people. For example, when the Levites were established as the priesthood, there was an equal exchange of persons. It was, however, forbidden for anyone to just decide to number the people out of curiosity. That is basically what David was doing.

Joab gave David good advice to not number the people. He called it abominable in verse 6. But David insisted.

v5 "And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And al they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword." Joab left off Benjamin and Levi in the numbers because he felt it was wrong to count the people.

The prophet Gad came to David and told him what Joab had already tried to warn him about. The LORD was displeased. v7

v8 "And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."

The situation is this: David and Joab have established the kingdom and defeated the enemies of Israel. I think David could have a time of peace now if he had not willfully sinned in numbering the people. It was not hard to convince him that he had sinned. I think he knew it before he sent Joab out to do the job. Now he confesses and although the LORD is quick to forgive, sin always has a price to be paid.

v10 "Go and tell David, saying Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee."

The three things were: 1)three years famine 2) three months of destruction by his enemies or 3) three days pestilence at the hand of the LORD.

v13 "And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man."

70,000 men fell in the pestilence before the angel came to Jerusalem to destroy it. The LORD did indeed show mercy then.

v15 "And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

David is greatly saddened. Sin hurts everyone. David stood and begged the LORD to take his own life and spare Jerusalem for it was he who sinned and not the people. v17

v18 "Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

Ornan had also seen the angel, verse 20, and offered to give David the property and animals to offer but David insisted on buying the property. verse 24. Ornan made a statement that we should all take to heart. v23 end "...I give it all."

So David built the altar and made sacrifices there. To me, the separation that sin causes is the saddest part of the whole thing. The LORD and David talked through the prophet and the angel because of the sin that came between them. David's sin.

Then there is verse 30 which makes a statement about David. He who loved the LORD and was a man after God's own heart, was afraid of the LORD.

v30 "But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD." Speaking of the tabernacle that Moses made. v29.

Psalm 64:9 "And all men shall fear and shall declare the work of God: for they shall wisely consider of his doing."

Keywords: David, Joab, Ornan, threshing floor, numbering people. David sins in numbering the people.

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