Summary: In David’s last days he learns an important lesson about trusting God
INTRODUCTION, You have heard the old adage – we count people because people count. How true that is and as a nation we have been counting people for over 200 years. In fact our nation’s first census began in 1790.
217 people were used to count
It took at total of 9 months
A census has a way of finding out the facts about a nation. USA Today reported some interesting stats from a recent census
The mountains of Monroe County have the most Doctors – 1.5 per 100 residents
Atlantic City NJ has the highest Crime Rate, NYC was ranked at 119
The most crowded city – NYC, 64,395 per sq. mile. While the City of Loving TX has just 91 residents.
Best educated live in Chapel Hill NC – 69% of the population have a college degree.
A census can give one quite a bit of information, but a census can also demonstrate some great biblical truth.
READ 2 SAMUEL 24:1 – 10
The Census of David was one, which caused great harm to the people of Israel. Last week, we saw the effect of sin in the life of David with his dealings with Bathsheba. Tonight I want us to see how sin not only affected David but it cost Israel dearly as well. And yet we shall see that when one truly repents he once again is restored to the relationship with God.
1. The Census was a Crime against God
2 Sam 24:10, David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing."
Vs 8 tells us it took 9 months and 20 days to accomplish
Notice the scope of the census – Vs. 2, So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, "Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are."
David’s Desire – Military Strength – just how many men are on my side?
The Census was not done correctly, Exod 30:11-12, Then the LORD said to Moses, "When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.
The Census brought a change in David
Gone was the young Giant Killer – he needed only a sling and some stones.
He was now a man full of self will and self-deception for 9 months he let the census go on.
After all God had done for him he was no longer willing to trust God for protection. He had been made King, he had been delivered from Saul and yet he was willing to put his trust in his men and not his God.
WHAT HAPPENED TO – Ps 18:2, The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Or what about Ps 18:30-32, As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
Lessons to be learned
Prosperity can endanger our relationship with God – Sometimes it is more difficult to carry a full cup, then an empty cup. Prov 30:8-9, Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ’Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
Even if you are a person after God’s own heart – you are not exempt from sin. A lesson thee church needs to be reminded of daily.
2. Consequences to Israel
2 Sam 24:11-14, Before David got up the next morning, the word of the LORD had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: "Go and tell David, ’This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’" So Gad went to David and said to him, "Shall there come upon you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me." David said to Gad, "I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men."