2 Sam 23 — The Last Words of David, His Mighty Men
2 Sam 24:1-17 — David’s Census, Judgement of his Sin
2 Sam 24:18-25 — David Builds an Altar
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One Reply to “Mar 22 — 2 Samuel 23-24”
The “hero of Israel’s songs” records his last words. David honors his leading warriors and recounts key battles they fought…his hall of fame leaders. Recognizing these men with the phrase, “the Lord brought about a great victory that day,” David honors his men: “Such were the exploits of the three might warriors” (2 Sam 23:17).
Chapter 24: David’s census turns out to be another great sin. “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census” (1 Chron 21:1). David admits, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done” (2 Sam 24:10) and Gad (the prophet) delivers three options for punishment, three bad options. David choose door #3, “so the Lord sent a plague…and 70,000 died” (v24:15). David buys a threshing floor and builds an “altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped” (v24:21).
David falls into the temptation to count the people, to remind them he is king and to determine the size of his kingdom. This is all about pride and building himself up in the eyes of the people. At first, I missed the sin because we don’t have such a practice here, but it makes me think of political pollsters who are tasked to survey people to determine the people’s opinions about certain events. We’ve learned statistically that a complete census is not necessary, just an appropriate sample size from a particular pool of people. Even at church, we can fall into this temptation, to count oneself as great. To God be all the glory, all the honor, all the fame, not to us for whatever number of people under our watch. Lord keep pride far from me. Everything I hope to do is to draw people toward you, not to me. Do not let me be a stumbling block, rather, help me to be a speed ramp to your kingdom!