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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Pride in Numbers (2 Samuel 24)

Have you ever gone through leadership training? Leadership programs teach you to set measurable goals to track progress and growth in terms of dollars, people, and assets and how to attain those goals.

But when David took a census of Israel to track and measure his progress, God became angry and sent a plague upon Israel.

2 Samuel 24:2 The king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and register the people, that I may know the number of the people.”

Why would taking inventory and measuring growth be a bad thing in God’s eyes?

Because David's motive for the census was pride in his own accomplishments not direction from God to take a census in preparation for battle.

David wanted to see the numbers so that he could gloat over the great size of his nation and the power of his army.

Does our world teach us to gloat?

Are we taught to take a census to celebrate our own accomplishments?

Even within the church, are we spending more time counting heads than we are praying and sharing the gospel?

It seems like there is a fine line in God’s eyes between gloating over our own accomplishments and keeping our eyes on the work He has called us to do.

Wow Lord, what an eye opener! I have been trained to take censuses and measure my own accomplishments. But it’s not about me, it’s about Jesus. I just need to keep my eyes focused on following Your lead, doing Your work, and trusting You in the counting.

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