July 25

1 Chronicles 21:1-3 1Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. 2So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, "Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are." 3But Joab replied, "May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord's subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?"

David's kingdom was established and blessed. His enemies were subdued and paying tribute. When the spiritual enemy could not attack from without, he attacked from within. Satan can inspire men to attack the people of God. When that fails, he will try to corrupt the people of God with ungodly ideas.

What was so evil about numbering the people? David had already learned again and again that the victory was not about superior forces but the blessing and leading of God. Numbering the nation was a way to count on his resources in the event that God was not with them. What does it matter how many men you have prepared for battle if God is not with you? This is contrary to numerous lessons God had shown David. Even commander Joab knew this was a mistake.

Joab got to the point when he said, "May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over." It was not just a census on David's heart, but able-bodied men. He pleaded with the king not to go through with it, but the king did not listen.

Consider: Have you experienced a friend or loved one pleading with you not to go through with something because he knew it was not of God, and yet you would not listen? There is always a big price to pay when we do that. Recognize spiritual attacks, and consider the well-meaning advice of godly friends. (continued)