How did David Sin by Taking a Census?



2 Samuel 24 states that God’s anger was kindled against the Israelite and this opened a doorway for Satan to stir up David to take a census of the people. The he who incited David to take up a census in 2 Samuel 24 is Satan as described in 1 Chronicles 21:1.

David commanded Joab to take the census. At first. Joab objected this idea but he later took the census as David commanded him to do so. It is probable that David wanted to take census on the number of fighting men in Israel because he wanted to boast about his large army or that he was thinking of conquering a nation. It is not just Joab who objected the idea of taking a census but also the army commanders (2 Samuel 24:4).

It took 9 months and 20 days for Joab to take census of the number of fighting men in Israel. The number of fighting men is 800,000 men in Israel and 500,000 men in Judah. After David had counted the people, he was convicted of his sin. The prophet, Gad came to David and told him that God give him 3 options as punishments. The 3 options of punishments are 3 years of famine or 3 months of fleeing from the enemies or 3 days of plague in the land. David chose the 3rd option, 3 days of plague in the land because he knew that God is merciful but he did not want to fall into the hands of men.

As a result, God struck Israel with 3 days of plague, which killed 70,000 of them. When the angel who struck the Israelite with plague came to the threshing floor of Araunah, God commanded him to stop. This is because Araunah, the Jebusite was a righteous man who faithfully who serve and walk in God’s commandments. The prophet, Gad came to David and instructed him to build an altar to  God at the threshing place of Araunah. David bought the land and oxen to make sacrifices for 50 shekels from Araunah. After he offered the sacrifices, God relented from his anger and stopped the plague on Israel.

David sinned against God by failing to collecting a ransom from the men who he took census and numbered so that no plague will strike them. The payment of the ransom is half a shekel, which is equaled to 20 gerahs according to the sanctuary shekels. All those who reached 20 years old must pay for the ransom. The ransom is given as a sacred offering to God to get right with God. Both the rich and poor are to give the exact amount, not more and not less. The money is to be used to care for the tabernacle (Exodus 30:11-16).

When you sin against God, this gives license for Satan to step in and attack you. It is just as pictured in this account, when the Israelite sin, Satan attack the people by inciting David to sin. Satan is very cunning and he knew how to use opportunities, even God, to destroy people. Jesus is coming back soon. To be not left behind by the rapture, you must always be alert and live a holy live. We must always be alert and put God’s commandments in priority of everything we do. In addition, you should confess and repent from your sins every day so that Satan has no place in accusing you before God.

Neither give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27 KJV)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 KJV)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20 KJV)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV)

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 KJV)

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16 KJV)

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV)

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 KJV)

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:7 KJV)

And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive. (1 Kings 8:30 KJV)

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalm 32:5 KJV)

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:2 KJV)

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 KJV)

Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 3:13 KJV)

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14 KJV)

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 KJV)

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14 KJV)

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (Ephesians 5:26 KJV)

And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (Psalm 130:8 KJV)

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10 KJV)

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:13 KJV)

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10 KJV)

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:34-36 KJV)