Numbers Aren’t Everything           1 CHRON 21:1-30

Background: David had been king for many years, and the kingdom was secure

He had been obedient to God’s will

But Satan had other plans for David

He would prompt him to call for a  census to count his soldiers

David’s Folly; Sin  Shame  Suffering  Sacrifice


1  SIN (1-6)

Satan Provoked: Selfish  

Satan came at David in a weak moment, and David’s faith was shaken. Satan wanted David to depend on self, not God.


David hearkened: Self-sufficiency 

Purpose was to know the number of men David had at his disposal. He had never requested this before, so why now?

Satan may have used the “what if” game with David as in, “What if the Philistines attack?”

David wanted to know how many men he could call on to defend the land

Joab protested, reminding him that God had always met their needs

But David as King insisted, making him solely to blame for this sinful census


Joab cautioned: Secure in God’s protection

While Joab had not always been the picture of virtue, he was wise enough to know that God had always provided for his people. Even when the odds were heavily against them, God always came through. David’s word was the law in the land. Joab had no choice but to serve his king.


2  SHAME (7-8) 

According to 2 Samuel 24:8, it took almost ten months to complete the count

It was only after the count was given that David realized his sin

He confessed it, and God would forgive, but there were still consequences

Consequences that would affect all of Israel

In persisting in his demand, David was taking responsibility for the census which took almost ten months to complete. (2 Samuel 24:8)



3  SUFFERING (9-14)

In effect, God told David,  “Go cut me a switch.”

God gave David three choices:

Three Years of Famine

Three Months of War

Three Days of Slaughter


God knew David’s shepherd’s heart would feel the pain of seeing his flock suffer

In three days, 70,000 Israelites died

David witnessed as God halted the angel as it hovered over Jerusalem

Specifically, it was at the threshing floor of Ornan, the Jebusite

David dressed in robes of humility and fell on his face before God


4  SACRIFICE (15-30)

 As David pleaded, God gave him a command

Through Gad, the prophet, David was told to build an altar on the threshing floor

Ornan and his sons saw the angel.


The boys hid, but Ornan kept threshing (Nothing like staying focused!)


David asked to buy the threshing floor at full price.

As Ornan reminded, David as king could have it for free

David paid Ornan 300 ounces of gold for the floor and land


The Sacrifice Honored

God honored the sacrifice, consuming it with fire from Heaven

He commanded the angel to sheath his sword and stop the slaughter

This area was designated as the site for the Temple that Solomon would later build for God.

David would provide the materials for the Temple



Are we running ahead of God, walking by sight and not faith?

Are we shunning Godly advice?

Are we so steeped in pride that we cannot see or hear God pleading us to repent and return?Are we giving to God from our surplus and not our heart?

Are we willing to dedicate out hearts as a home for God’s will and love?