By Theodore Epp
2 Samuel 24:1-14; 1 Chronicles 21:1
This last attack of Satan upon David took place about 38 years after David had ascended the throne and about two years before his death.
Satan was successful for a brief time in enticing David into sin, which should remind us all that we are never free from being tested. At the same time we can have God's victory.
If we fall, we can find forgiveness and restoration if we are genuine in our repentance.
Ordinarily nothing would be wrong with numbering people. Census taking is done periodically by any alert government.
But numbering the children of Israel was a matter of pride. David wanted to know how strong his nation was militarily. His strength really was in God, but David was putting his trust in his armies when he numbered the people.
God's advice was, "You do not need to number the people. I have taken care of this situation." The strength of Israel's army meant nothing if God was not with them.
The same is true in our spiritual life. Until we can say with true conviction, "I am nothing," God cannot do much for us. He has chosen that which is nothing to confound the wisdom of the wise (see 1 Cor. 1:26-29). Our sufficiency is of God, not of ourselves (see 2 Cor. 3:5).
"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Ps. 118:8).