Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the people of Israel—from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north—and bring me a report so I may know how many there are.” God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it. Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.” 1 Chronicles 21:1-2, 7-8 NLT
I sat stumped with questions after reading this verse this morning in my quiet time. Why did David take this census? Fear? Pride? David defeated a giant already, did He not trust the Almighty would have his back in this fight too?
In 2 Samuel it says God allowed Satan to tempt David with this census.
I think David immediately wanted to assess his military strength. Sounds wise but this suggests David is more concerned in his own capabilities than God’s power.
I think this shows no matter how many battles God goes to bat for us, and no matter how huge these victories are, we continually forget how powerful our God really is.
We have not grasped the fullness of faith in our Conqueror, when we walk in a world that measures success by the size of it’s competition.
I feel this way in the midst of difficulties; I am tempted to doubt. I too ‘take a census’ to size up the giant I’m up against.
In the pay raise I don’t get but undoubtedly deserve; I’m tempted to measure my success in dollars saved to the company and present a new argument to the committee.
In the stillness of being alone; I’m tempted to gripe about the misery and depression (which I believe I’ve already done here).
In the looming deadline of a dream project that I’m trying to find time, and inspiration for; I’m tempted to blow off every interaction with friends and family to force the free spirit.
But, when I give into the temptation, it makes me worry even more.
So I’ll go first, starting today, with certainty in the power of Christ instead of a ‘census’.
It’s time to throw off the enemy’s temptation to doubt and rest on the Truth of God’s Word. And if I do need reassurance in God’s hand of favor, I’ll just look back at all the Goliaths my Mighty Warrior has helped me defeat!
Are you living with certainty or still taking a census every time you come up against a battle?