David’s Military Census
24 The Lord’s anger burned against Israel again, and he stirred up David against them to say, “Go, count the people of Israel and Judah.”
2 So the king said to Joab, the commander of his army, “Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba and register the troops so I can know their number.”
3 Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times more than they are—while my lord the king looks on! But why does my lord the king want to do this?”
4 Yet the king’s order prevailed over Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army left the king’s presence to register the troops of Israel.
5 They crossed the Jordan and camped in Aroer, south of the town in the middle of the valley, and then proceeded toward Gad and Jazer. 6 They went to Gilead and to the land of the Hittites[a] and continued on to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon. 7 They went to the fortress of Tyre and all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites. Afterward, they went to the Negev of Judah at Beer-sheba.
8 When they had gone through the whole land, they returned to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 Joab gave the king the total of the registration of the troops. There were eight hundred thousand valiant armed men[b] from Israel and five hundred thousand men from Judah.
10 David’s conscience troubled him after he had taken a census of the troops. He said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I’ve done. Now, Lord, because I’ve been very foolish, please take away your servant’s guilt.”
11 When David got up in the morning, the word of the Lord had come to the prophet Gad,David’s seer: 12 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am offering you three choices. Choose one of them, and I will do it to you.’”
13 So Gad went to David, told him the choices, and asked him, “Do you want three[c] years of famine to come on your land, to flee from your foes three months while they pursue you, or to have a plague in your land three days? Now, consider carefully[d] what answer I should take back to the one who sent me.”
14 David answered Gad, “I have great anxiety. Please, let us fall into the Lord’s hands because his mercies are great, but don’t let me fall into human hands.”
15 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the appointed time, and from Dan to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men died. 16 Then the angel extended his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, but the Lord relented concerning the destruction and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough, withdraw your hand now!” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah[e] the Jebusite.
17 When David saw the angel striking the people, he said to the Lord, “Look, I am the one who has sinned; I am the one[f] who has done wrong. But these sheep, what have they done? Please, let your hand be against me and my father’s family.”
18 Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up and set up an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 David went up in obedience to Gad’s command, just as the Lord had commanded. 20 Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants coming toward him, so he went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground.
21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”
David replied, “To buy the threshing floor from you in order to build an altar to the Lord, so the plague on the people may be halted.”
22 Araunah said to David, “My lord the king may take whatever he wants[g] and offer it. Here are the oxen for a burnt offering and the threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood.23 Your Majesty, Araunah gives everything here to the king.” Then he said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.”
24 The king answered Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it from you for a price, for I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for twenty ounces[h] of silver. 25 He built an altar to the Lord there and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord was receptive to prayer for the land,and the plague on Israel ended.
David’s Military Census
21 Satan[a] rose up against Israel and incited David to count the people of Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan and bring a report to me so I can know their number.”
3 Joab replied, “May the Lord multiply the number of his people a hundred times over! My lord the king, aren’t they all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?”
4 Yet the king’s order prevailed over Joab. So Joab left and traveled throughout Israel and then returned to Jerusalem. 5 Joab gave the total troop registration to David. In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand armed men[b] and in Judah itself four hundred seventy thousand armed men. 6 But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the count because the king’s command was detestable to him. 7 This command was also evil in God’s sight, so he afflicted Israel.
8 David said to God, “I have sinned greatly because I have done this thing. Now, please take away your servant’s guilt, for I’ve been very foolish.”
9 Then the Lord instructed Gad, David’s seer,10 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lordsays: I am offering you three choices. Choose one of them for yourself, and I will do it to you.’”
11 So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: 12 three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes with the sword of your enemy overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord—a plague on the land, the angel of the Lord bringing destruction to the whole territory of Israel.’ Now decide what answer I should take back to the one who sent me.”
13 David answered Gad, “I’m in anguish. Please, let me fall into the Lord’s hands because his mercies are very great, but don’t let me fall into human hands.”
14 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand Israelite men died. 15 Then God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but when the angel was about to destroy the city,[c] the Lord looked, relented concerning the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough, withdraw your hand now!” The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Ornan[d] the Jebusite.
16 When David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem, David and the elders, covered in sackcloth, fell facedown. 17 David said to God, “Wasn’t I the one who gave the order to count the people? I am the one who has sinned and acted very wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Lord my God, please let your hand be against me and against my father’s family, but don’t let the plague be against your people.”
18 So the angel of the Lord ordered Gad to tell David to go and set up an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.19 David went up at Gad’s command spoken in the name of the Lord.
20 Ornan was threshing wheat when he turned and saw the angel. His four sons, who were with him, hid. 21 David came to Ornan, and when Ornan looked and saw David, he left the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face to the ground.
22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me this threshing-floor plot so that I may build an altar to the Lord on it. Give it to me for the full price, so the plague on the people may be stopped.”
23 Ornan said to David, “Take it! My lord the king may do whatever he wants.[e] See, I give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering—I give it all.”
24 King David answered Ornan, “No, I insist on paying the full price, for I will not take for the Lord what belongs to you or offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
25 So David gave Ornan fifteen pounds of gold[f]for the plot. 26 He built an altar to the Lordthere and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and he answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.
27 Then the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. 28 At that time, David offered sacrifices there when he saw that the Lord answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 29 The tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at the high place in Gibeon, 30 but David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was terrified of the sword of the Lord’s angel.
22 Then David said, “This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”
David’s Preparations for the Temple
2 So David gave orders to gather the resident aliens that were in the land of Israel, and he appointed stonecutters to cut finished stones for building God’s house. 3 David supplied a great deal of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the fittings, together with an immeasurable quantity of bronze, 4 and innumerable cedar logs because the Sidonians and Tyrians had brought a large quantity of cedar logs to David. 5 David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly great and famous and glorious in all the lands. Therefore, I will make provision for it.” So David made lavish preparations for it before his death.
6 Then he summoned his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel. 7 “My son,” David said to Solomon, “It was in my heart to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, 8 but the word of the Lordcame to me: ‘You have shed much blood and waged great wars. You are not to build a house for my name because you have shed so much blood on the ground before me. 9 But a son will be born to you; he will be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies,for his name will be Solomon,[a] and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
11 “Now, my son, may the Lord be with you,and may you succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as he said about you. 12 Above all, may the Lord give you insight and understanding when he puts you in charge of Israel so that you may keep the law of the Lordyour God. 13 Then you will succeed if you carefully follow the statutes and ordinances the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid or discouraged.
14 “Notice I have taken great pains to provide for the house of the Lord—3,775 tons of gold, 37,750 tons of silver,[b] and bronze and iron that can’t be weighed because there is so much of it. I have also provided timber and stone, but you will need to add more to them. 15 You also have many workers: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and people skilled in every kind of work 16 in gold, silver, bronze, and iron—beyond number. Now begin the work, and may the Lord be with you.”
17 Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon: 18 “The Lord your God is with you, isn’t he? And hasn’t he given you rest on every side? For he has handed the land’s inhabitants over to me, and the land has been subdued before the Lord and his people. 19 Now determine in your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God. Get started building the Lord God’s sanctuary so that you may bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant and the holy articles of God to the temple that is to be built for the name of the Lord.”
Joy in the Morning
A psalm; a dedication song for the house. Of David.
1 I will exalt you, Lord,
because you have lifted me up
and have not allowed my enemies
to triumph over me.
2 Lord my God,
I cried to you for help, and you healed me.
3 Lord, you brought me up from Sheol;
you spared me from among those
going down[a] to the Pit.
4 Sing to the Lord, you his faithful ones,
and praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may stay overnight,
but there is joy in the morning.
6 When I was secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you showed your favor,
you made me stand like a strong mountain;
when you hid your face, I was terrified.
8 Lord, I called to you;
I sought favor from my Lord:
9 “What gain is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your truth?
10 Lord, listen and be gracious to me;
Lord, be my helper.”
11 You turned my lament into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12 so that I can sing to you and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
In the history books of the Bible you see some overlap in stories. As you read these similar stories you will see small differences, but nothing major.
Today we read another example of God forgiving sin, but the sinner having to deal with the consequences. Sin can be forgiven, but the consequences remain. The great thing about our God is He is always willing to give a second chance.