David Counts

Israel King David

Christianity Oasis provides this Israel Census study on the Israel King David Counts the Israel People story. We'll look into that and all aspects of the Bible seeking truth and understanding.

Daily Bread Devotional Bible Study
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 24
(Parallel Chapter - 1 Chronicles, Chapter 21)
(Additionally, 1 Chronicles, Chapters 22, 28 and 29 Included)

Israel Census

Israel King David Counts the Israel People

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Daily Bread study program. This is our Israel Census Bible study on the Israel King David Counts the Israel People story and how it affects your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

Israel Census Event
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Time

Wonderful to have you back for more Daily Bread! This last chapter of The Second Book of Samuel has quite an interesting story. Let's think back just a few chapters first and recall when the Lord sent a famine through the land of Israel. After three years David asked God why, and He answered David, so David took the appropriate measures and the Lord lifted the famine.

The Lord not only used David to end disaster for the children of Israel, but this time, to bring disaster. You see, for some reason (which is not mentioned) the Lord was angry with Israel, so he used David as a tool to initiate their discipline. This is one of those things that is very difficult and quite possibly too complicated for us as humans to understand.

How ... Why, does our loving God allow some terrible (in our eyes) things to happen? Well, first of all, God doesn't let all terrible things happen ... Scads of terrible things happen because of the choices that mankind makes without the counsel of God.

Make no mistake, though, some things that we deem as terrible, or worse, happen by God's will. A few examples ... The Lord allowed the serpent to enter the garden of Eden. The Lord sent evil spirits upon Saul. The Lord delivered the children of Israel into the hands of their enemies when they would backslide. The Lord allowed Satan to mess with Job.

But just because we don't understand the reasons God does what He does ... That doesn't make Him wrong and us right ...

Job was a righteous man. He didn't deserve what happened to him. And though he never blamed God, he did question what he did not know.

Israel Census Study
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Lesson

Job 38:1-2

1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?

Job 40:6-8

6 Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

Stick out your chest like a man ... I'll ask, and you answer me ... Will you question or discredit my justice? Will you insist that I'm unrighteous so that you may seem to be righteous?

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Israel King David Counts the Israel People Time

I gotta ask you now ... Many of us are scared to death to actually say that we've disagreed with God's judgment about something before, but how many times have we in our minds and just haven't ever said it aloud? Go on, it's okay ... Everybody knows.

They've all done it too. The cool thing is that right this second, you can say you're sorry to your Father, and be forgiven ... Clean again ... Pure as the driven snow!

Let's take a look at how Job responded to the Lord.

Job 42:2-3

2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

Pretty self explanatory.

Job 42:3

Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

Israel Census Truth
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Concern

Here Job is repeating what the Lord asked him ... You said, "Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?" Truly I talked about things I didn't understand.

Job 42:4

Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

Again, Job is restating what the Lord said ... You said, "Listen and I'll ask you a question and you answer."

Job 42:5-6

5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Israel Census Discussion
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Warning

Before, I knew about you only by hearsay, but now you've made me see ... And I can't stand myself, and beg your forgiveness.

But the important thing as forgiven Christians is not to wallow in self pity. Yes, we hate when we sin. Yes we must be sincerely repentant and get on our knees and ask forgiveness.

But we can't be effective servants of the Lord if we don't forgive ourselves too and get up off our knees and on our feet and continue to walk the Christian Walk with an even steadier pace because of what we learn from our mistakes.

So, in conclusion to all this lead up to our study today ... When something that the Lord does seems unrighteous to our human reasoning, that doesn't mean that the Lord is unjust, it simply means that we're without understanding. And that's why He's God and we're not.

Now then ...

How did the Lord use David against Israel? He inspired David to number the people of Israel.

Israel Census by David
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Danger

What's wrong with that? Let's go back to Moses day and see what the law of the Lord said about numbering the people, shall we?

Exodus 30:12-14

12 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.
13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord.
14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord.

Numbers 1:1-3

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,
2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls;
3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies.

So, we can see that it wasn't against God's law to number the people, but let's look more carefully. In the scriptures above, it's pretty clear that the reason for numbering Israel was to find out how big your army was.

Israel Census in Context
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Fear

So, David's sin in numbering the people was essentially his pride. How so? Well, knowing the amount of soldiers you have would definitely mean you're trusting in human power instead of God's power.

Well, Joab knew this wasn't such a hot idea, so he tried to dissuade David saying, "You know God would give you a hundred times as many people in the kingdom if that's what you want, and may you live to see it, but knowing the exact number isn't necessary. Why is it so important?"

But the king's decision overruled Joab and the army commanders. So they went out to count the people. They returned nine months and twenty days later and Joab reported the number to the king: Israel had 800,000 valiant men and Judah had 500,000 men.

Annnnnd, then David's heart felt heavy after he had taken the census. Y'know that gut wrenching feeling you get when you know you've done something wrong?

David confessed his sin to God and the Prophet Gad delivered a message to David from the Lord offering him one of three choices as chastening ... Seven years of famine in the land, three months of war being pursued by their enemies, or, three days of pestilence in the land.

David thought it would be better to fall into the hand of the Lord because of His grace and mercy, so when Gad told this to the Lord, He sent a pestilence through Israel starting the next morning and seventy thousand people died throughout Israel.

Israel Census Explanation
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Saga

The Angel of the Lord stretched out his hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, and when David looked up, he saw the Angel standing between the earth and Heaven with a drawn sword in his hand. And the Lord had pity because of the affliction and said to the Angel, "That's enough. Take back your hand." The Angel stood by the threshing place of Araunah (referred to as Ornan in 1 Chronicles) the Jebusite when God stopped the plague.

David said to the Lord, "I've sinned. I've done wickedly. But what have these sheep done? Please punish me and not them. Let your anger be against me and my family. And Gad came that day to David and said, "Go and build an altar for the Lord in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

So David went to build an altar there. And Araunah wanted to give David the threshing floor and all he needed to make his offerings for free but David insisted that he pay Araunah for everything because it wouldn't be honorable to offer burnt offerings that cost him nothing. David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and built an altar for the Lord there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings there.

So the Lord answered David's prayer for the land and the plague was stopped. When David saw that his offerings were acceptable to the Lord, he continued to sacrifice there because at that season the tabernacle that Moses had made in the wilderness and the altar of the burnt offering were at the worshiping place at Gibeon, but David couldn't bring himself to go there to talk to God because he was afraid after seeing the sword of the Angel of the Lord.

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Israel King David Counts the Israel People Error

The rest of this study is actually from 1 Chronicles, Chapter 22, Chapter 28, and Chapter 29 because chronologically, this is when it happened. We will get a little ahead of ourselves by doing this because the end of 1 Chronicles doesn't coincide exactly with the end of 2 Samuel, but it's pretty close, and since we're combining the parallel chapters, it's as close as we can get. You'll see in just a moment.

When David recognized that his prayers were being answered in this place, combined with the fact that Gad (a Prophet of the Lord) told him to build an altar there, he decided that this would be the spot where the Temple of the Lord should be built and where the people of Israel were to offer burnt offerings.

He ordered for the foreigners that were staying in Israel to cut stone for the building. He also prepared iron and brass beyond calculation for nails and hinges and such. Cedar trees were brought in abundance in preparation for the building.

And this is the first indication we've gotten that Solomon will be the son that succeeds David as king. (Don't forget that it was customary for the eldest son to inherit the throne, and Solomon was not the eldest, nor anywhere near the eldest, but he was chosen by the Lord.)

1 Chronicles 22:5

And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.

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Israel King David Counts the Israel People Sin

So David called for Solomon and told him to build a house for the Lord. He explained that he wanted to do it himself but that the Lord told him that he had killed too many people and fought too many wars, and because of all the bloodshed he caused, the Lord wouldn't let him build a temple for Him. However, the Lord also promised David that he would have a son named Solomon (which means 'peaceful'), who would be a man of peace and while he reigned the Lord would give him quietness throughout the kingdom and the Lord would keep Israel safe ...

1 Chronicles 22:10

He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

You probably remember this story from 2 Samuel, Chapter 7, but we weren't informed then, that Solomon was the son who would inherit the throne. So, David repeated what the Lord told him, to Solomon. David wished good blessings on Solomon to fulfill what the Lord said of him, and asked that the Lord give him wisdom and understanding in ruling over Israel and keeping the law of the Lord, and told Solomon to be strong and brave and not to be troubled, and he would be prosperous.

David also told Solomon how he had prepared for the building of the temple and encouraged him to do his best and put all of his heart and soul into serving the Lord, building the temple and bringing the ark and all the holy things into that place where the Lord chose to put His name.

Israel Census Bible Study
Why Israel King David Counts the Israel People

Deuteronomy 12:5-7

5 But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:
7 And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.

Then David brought Solomon before all the leaders of Israel. He made an official announcement that the Lord had chosen Solomon, of all his sons, to inherit the throne of Israel and build the Temple of the Lord. He encourages everyone to serve the Lord with a perfect heart and to maintain integrity, so as to leave Israel an honorable inheritance for their children after them.He then gives Solomon a pattern for the building of the Temple which he (David) was given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the materials that he prepared for the building. David then encourages Solomon to courageously fulfill the work that the Lord had entrusted to him.

David makes a heartfelt address to the people and to Solomon, knowing that he was old and it may be one of his last. He declares that Solomon, the heir chosen to sit on the throne in David's place, was young and inexperienced, and the work ahead of him was a great endeavor, since the Temple was for the Lord Himself, not for man ... What a feat!

David declares all that he has put toward the preparation of the temple and asks the congregation to offer their services as well, which they did, willingly and generously, and they all celebrated. David blessed the Lord in front of the people and offered praise and thanksgiving and sacrifices and offerings. There was a feast afterward and they made Solomon king the second time ...

Israel Census Conclusion
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Summary

What? A second time? Yes, I know it sounds like we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but you're about to learn what happened when you begin The First Book of the Kings. But, here's a little hint ...

The first time Solomon was made king was when his brother Adonijah tried to take the reign and Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah hurried up and anointed Solomon without much public formality (1 Kings 1:39).

1 Chronicles 29:23-25

23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.
25 And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

Congratulations! You've just completed the study of The Second Book of Samuel! Did you know that if you've completed all the Daily Bread studies from the beginning, you've studied ten books of the Bible already! Good for you! David is getting quite old now ... Soon Solomon will be king in David's place, and though there was war during the entire reign of king David, Solomon's reign was a time of peace. But Israel is in for quite a change after that. Can't wait for you to return and we can enjoy studying The First Book of the Kings together, right here at Daily Bread!

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

How to Prepare for Spiritual Warfare