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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Satan moved David to sin (1 Chronicles 21)

1 Chronicles 21:1 says Satan "moved" David to take a census. Can Satan cause people to sin? And why was David wrong to take a census when the Lord, Himself, told Moses to take a census in Numbers 1-2?

I find the answer to these questions super important to understand because it helps me recognize Satan's schemes and make sure I am obeying God and giving Him the glory.

Satan cannot cause people to sin. Satan can only tempt people with the idea. In other words, Satan put the forbidden fruit before David's eyes just like he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Satan didn't force Eve to eat the fruit. But he did entice her, just as he did, David.

But like Eve, David had a choice to obey God or act on the temptation put before him.

Unfortunately, David acted on the temptation, resulting in many Israelites dying of a plague before David repented of his sin and cried out to God for mercy.

Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan has been tempting people to sin. Like David, when the sin is placed before us, we rationalize it and try to convince ourselves it's not really wrong and certainly won't affect anyone else.

David taking a census actually wasn't against God's law. But doing it so that he could take pride in his own accomplishments was wrong.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

David forgot that he was only in his position ruling over a vast kingdom with a mighty army because God put him in that position and blessed him.

When we count numbers or list victories, it should always be to acknowledge and tell others what God is doing before our eyes, rather than taking credit for His work.

Lord, You have in many cases allowed me to have a front row seat as You work in the lives of others. Sometimes You even equip me to take part in what You are doing. But Lord, when I look in the mirror, I am always amazed that You choose to use a nobody like me. Please don't ever let me take pride in what I get to see You do, Lord. In everything let me give You all the praise, all the honor, and all the glory, for what You are doing daily in our midst. In Jesus' name, amen.

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