“So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, ‘Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” (2Samuel 24:2). David’s purpose in his census was to know the size of the nation’s army and its ability to win wars. He wanted to know how strong he was. “And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000” (2Samuel 24:9).
“As for me, I said in my prosperity, I shall never be moved,” from a song of David, Psalm 30:6. King David was a song writer and his lyrics revealed his heart, both good and evil. This was evil.
David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people and David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done” (2Samuel 24:10). What David had done was count his soldiers. David believed he had measured the strength of Israel, but it was the wrong measure. David needed only count one. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
We collect many gods in this world, gods of power, of status, of fame, of possessions, but I count my God and there is One. Any more would be less.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold and my refuge,
my savior; you save me from violence.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.”
Another song of David, 2Samuel 22:2-4
This is good.
Almighty God, You are my strength. With you, I am are more than a conqueror. When I act on my own strength, I act on my own. Either I fail or my head gets big. Keep me from thinking I can handle the troubles and temptations of this world on my own. I can’t.
I must remember that when I am weak, that is when You go to work. I am strong, not because of what I am capable of, but because You are almighty.