Summary: You may have thought that David’s great sin was when he committed adultery with Bathsheba? It is true that the innocent blood of Uriah and the baby were upon his hands, but in today’s text, seventy thousand people in Israel died because of his sin... Why
"And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."
You may have thought that David’s great sin was when he committed adultery with Bathsheba? It is true that the innocent blood of Uriah and the baby were upon his hands, but in today’s text, seventy thousand people in Israel died because of David’s disobedience. In that sense, David’s great sin was that of numbering the children of Israel. What lessons can we learn from this text?
1. Bigger is not always better.
David’s pride was lifted up. He wanted to know just how "big" his kingdom was. God will always resist the proud and give grace to the humble. Bigger is not always better!
2. Better is not always best.
It was true that Israel’s had defeated all of the kings that surrounded their borders. Now they were at ease in Zion. David was putting his trust in chariots, not in his God. When he was in his youth he came against mighty Goliath in the name of the God of Israel. Now he had eight hundred thousand soldiers at his command. When things got "better," the people of Israel became indifferent in their worship.
3. Little is BIG.
David should have known better than to have numbered the children of Israel without taking up an offering. (Read Exo 30:12 KJV) "When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them."
Perhaps a half shekel of silver did not seem like much to King David. But the silver pictured redemption money. Our redemption through the blood of Christ is a BIG DEAL!
4. Freedom comes at a price.
Some Churches are all caught up in the "numbers game." I am sure that we compromised our biblical beliefs and morals that we could get great numbers to attend the Bible Baptist Temple. A beer truck with loud music and dancing can draw a crowd.
David got concerned about numbers more than in reminding the people that they were ransomed at a price. We have too many Churches that have a form of godliness without the power of God in them!
5. Only what God counts counts.
It took Joab over nine months to count the total number of people. In three days God killed over seventy thousand! This verse reminds me how that on the day of judgment, so much of what we thought would "count" with God will become nothing more than wood, hay, and stubble.
How wealthy are you? Don’t answer by looking around... look up!