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1 Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2 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.” 3 But Joab said to the king, “May the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” 4 But the king’s word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to number the people of Israel. 5 They crossed the Jordan and began from Aroer, and from the city that is in the middle of the valley, toward Gad and on to Jazer. 6 Then they came to Gilead, and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites; and they came to Dan, and from Dan they went around to Sidon, 7 and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites; and they went out to the Negeb of Judah at Beersheba. 8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 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.


10 But 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. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”



  1. “The Lord……incited David against them. (v1)” Ch 21:1 says that Satan inspired David to take the census. Although Scripture is clear that God does not cause anyone to sin (Jas 1:13-15), it is also clear that evil acts of man, and of Satan are under God’s sovereign control. Even so, David is ultimately responsible for his own choices.
  2. We too are subject to many influences. The author, Gary Smalley, of “the DNA of Relationship” wrote about the three important elements of relationships: you are made for relationships, you are made with the capacity to choose, and you are made to take responsibility for yourself.
  3. Why is it so important to face this truth and accept responsibility for our failures? Because to admit fault is the first necessary step we take on our journey toward God. When we accept the fact of our sin, we are preparing our hearts to seek, and to find, the forgiveness offered us in God.



Invite the Holy Spirit to examine me: When I encountered frustrations or made mistakes, do I usually pass the buck or blame others? How easy is it for me to admit wrong and ask forgiveness? Ask the Holy Spirit to help me to face my wrongdoings honestly and courageously. And lead me to the path of repentance and restoration.