There’s a time for simple faith
1 Chronicles 21: I want to know the number.
The story of David’s census of Israel has always been a bit puzzling to me. David is king and it’s certainly reasonable that a king have an idea of the population of his kingdom. After doing some reading about this, I’ve decided that it’s not the census that displeases God. Rather, it’s the purpose of it. Throughout his life David has been delivered by the Lord again and again. This census is designed to count the number of fighting men who are available to him. In other words, rather than trusting God to be his protector, David’s numbering his potential army. When I remember that this is late in David’s life I conclude that this might be an acceptable thing for someone less experienced with God but it’s not acceptable for David. Or put more simply, David’s old enough to know better. God expects us to mature in our relationship with him. For instance, in Matthew 16 Jesus reprimands his disciples for their lack of faith. He tells them that they’ve seen the 5000 and then the 4000 fed and it’s time to for them to get a handle on the fact that God supplies the needs of our lives, both physical and spiritual. As I read the story of David’s census I see that, as a person who’s seen his share of what God can do I’m expected to trust him more, and if I won’t do that, God will be displeased with me.
Take Away: The Lord expects us to grow in our relationship with him – to learn to trust him more – to be more and more secure in our walk with him.