Summary: Here's a sermon about the mistake David made when he called for a census.
Why We Don't Take Attendance Here
1 Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, "Go, number Israel and Judah."
2 So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, "Now go throughout all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people, that I may know the number of the people."
3 And Joab said to the king, "Now may the LORD your God add to the people a hundred times more than there are, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king desire this thing?"
4 Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab and against the captains of the army. Therefore Joab and the captains of the army went out from the presence of the king to count the people of Israel.
5And they crossed over the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the town which is in the midst of the ravine of Gad, and toward Jazer.
6 Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim Hodshi; they came to Dan Jaan and around to Sidon;
7 and they came to the stronghold of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went out to South Judah as far as 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 Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to the king. And there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.
10 And David's heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O LORD, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly."
11 Now when David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,
12 "Go and tell David, 'Thus says the LORD: "I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you." ' "
13 So Gad came to David and told him; and he said to him, "Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should take back to Him who sent me."
14 And David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man."
15 So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died.
16 And when the angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, "It is enough; now restrain your hand." And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, "Surely I have sinned, and I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, be against me and against my father's house."
Allow me to begin this morning by telling you a story.
A farm boy named Orville
needed to take a wagonload of corn to the elevator.
However, Orville wanted to go see his girlfriend Aggie.
His Pa told Orville that the corn had to be delivered first
and he needed to be careful in taking that grain to the elevator. So Orville hitched a tractor to the wagon
and backed up to the grain bin auger.
After the wagon was loaded,
Orville jumped on the tractor and headed for the elevator.
As he drove down the road,
Orville kept thinking about spending time with his sweetheart. The more he thought about her,
the more he increased the speed of that tractor.
As he approached a big curve in the road,
the tractor was rolling down the road at near full throttle.
As you might expect,
midway into the curve the wagonload of corn overturned.
More of Orville's story a little later.
Today's Bible passage is about a big mistake made by David.
That's a mistake I was determined to avoid!