"Near the end of his reign, King David chose to take a census of the people of Israel and Judah. While a census like this was acceptable in some circumstances, at this time in David’s history it was not. Even when Joab, the commander of David’s army, heard the king’s request for a census, he questioned David and tried to dissuade him. A reason David wanted a census could be that he was putting his trust and pride in his own military power rather than in God’s direction and protection. Or, David might have wanted to bring in more provision, as a census required the people to pay a half-shekel poll tax. Ultimately, we don’t know David’s reasoning,or what stopped him from listening to the good advice of those around him, but we do know that he failed this test and God was very displeased. Once David came to realize that he had acted inappropriately, he placed himself and the people into the hands of God. David knew there was no better place to be than at the mercy of God.
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