How Many?

Today’s Passage – 2 Samuel 23 – 24

Second Milers also read – Mark 1 – 2; Psalms 71 – 75; 13 Proverbs 15

The Scripture Memory passage for April – 1 Corinthians 13

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 48:1 & 2

“And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.” – (2 Samuel 24:1)

“And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.” – (2 Samuel 24:17)

This is one of those passages of Scripture that I have a difficult time understanding. The Scripture clearly says in verse 1 above that God moved David against Israel; but then in verse 17, David confesses what he had done against Israel to the Lord as sin. Here we have another example of the sovereignty of God in conjunction with the free will of man. In our passage today it certainly looks as if God was forcing David to sin against Him, which in turn brings about the wrath of God upon the people of Israel. However, I do not think this is what is happening here. I believe that it was in David’s heart to number the people long before the actual numbering took place. Man’s heart is desperately wicked. There are all kinds of sin inside of it. I believe that God kept David from fulfilling what was in his heart for a while, but then because of His anger at Israel (and David), He now allows it. I believe the same thing happened with Pharaoh of Egypt. The Scripture says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, but it also says that Pharaoh’s heart was already hardened. I don’t think that God caused Pharaoh to hate Israel. He already did. God finally just removed the restraint that was keeping Pharaoh back. Satan is on a leash too. He can only do what God allows him to do.

This brings me to an application of this principle in our lives. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit of God is the restraining power that keeps all evil from breaking loose on the earth. The bottom line in all of this is that God will not cause you to sin; but He will allow you to sin. However, I also believe that there are many times when He keeps us from sinning against Him.

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” – (James 1:13-14)

By the way. You may be wondering why God would be against the numbering of the people. The reason is simple. He did not want Israel trusting in their numbers. He wanted them to trust in Him. They could beat any opposing army out there, regardless of size, as long as they were right with God.


Posted in Thoughts from 2 Samuel by with no comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *