Chapter 21

"The Sin. [2 - 8]
"The Punishment. [9 - 15]"
"The Angel and the Message to David. [16 - 22]
"Site of the Altar. [23 - 26]"
"Site of the Temple. [26 - 30]"

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by

This record of God's anger against David is recorded in II Samuel 24:1, "And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, "Go, number Israel and Judah." The numbering of the men of Israel and Judah was given for a military sense, just as it is today in the selective service registration. However who is this "he" that moved David to go and take this numbering or censes of all the men of Israel and Judah? Remember it has always been God that gave Israel the victory, so why are these censes being taken? Before, David had taken only the number of people that he needed, and God prepared the way for the victory.

Sometimes it only took a few men to destroy an entire army. We saw in the prior chapters that one man would kill hundreds of men in one place, for God over powered that person, and gave him the strength and wisdom to overcome his enemies. This "he " that influenced David to commit this sin was not God, but in I Chronicles we read that it was Satan that took this act against Israel, and caused David to commit this sin of not relying on God for their leadership and direction.

I Chronicles 21:1 "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel."

I Chronicles 21:2 "And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the People, "Go number Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it."

You want to be very careful as to who you are listening to, and to the direction that the person is leading you into. Satan likes nothing better than whisper sweet things that sound so good into your ears and mind, to deceive you into going against the instructions of God's Word. Satan will play mind games with you if you allow him to, just as he was doing here with David.

Pride caused Satan's fall, and this same pride will be used by Satan to cause your fall, to give you a big head to where you take your eyes of God, and focus on your own strengths. Satan was trying to tell David that he did not need God, for he had a great number of men himself, and he could do the job without the leading of the heavenly Father. So David went out and had Joab to number the men to see what kind of an army would come from the tribes of Israel. David was the king of Israel, and he now lost focus that he once had, as to who it is that gives the victory.

I Chronicles 21:3 "And Joab answered, "The Lord make His People an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?"

I Chronicles 21:4 "Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem."

Joab knew exactly what this numbering meant, and he was not for the numbering, nevertheless, David was the king, and the king's orders had to be met. There was another time when Joab let his opinion be known, and it was after David's son Absalom's death. Joab reminded David that the only time that God allowed for the numbering of the men was for a certain purpose. Those numberings were in the wilderness at the foot of mount Sinai, two years after the Israelites departed out of Egypt, and just prior to the entering into the promise land. God did not have his hand in this numbering, but Joab numbered the men anyway, just as David ordered.

I Chronicles 21:5 "And Joab gave the sum of the number of the People unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword."

Remember that it was Satan that caused this numbering, so God's blessings were not on this army, nor the battles that they would go out to fight. Joab even told David that this numbering was an insult to God.

I Chronicles 21:6 "But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king's word was abominable to Joab."

The reason for the numbering was for a purpose, for making up an army to go out and fight a war. Remember from the book of Leviticus and Numbers, that the Levites were not in the numbering of the other tribes, and that is because God set them aside to be the ministers and priests, and to do the work of the Tabernacle. God set the Levites aside from military service, and Joab knew this. In Numbers 26 we see the numbering of all the tribes, except the Levites. When a man was numbered in the army for service, his name was placed on the roster, and he and his family were to receive land in the Promise land, once the Israelites had taken the land. This time of David was some four hundred years after that numbering and Israel was in the promise land and an established nation with it's king.

The Levites were heading the spiritual leadership and tending to the sacrifices and offerings that were required by God's law for the congregation. However, the tribe of Benjamin had been all but eliminated, so much to the point that only 600 men had survived the war it had against his brethren of the other tribes. This record is well recorded in Judges chapters nineteen through twenty one. The ladies making up the tribe of Benjamin were all from the tribe of Judah, as the few survivors of Benjamin were trying to rebuild their tribe into what it was at one time.

I Chronicles 21:7 "And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He smote Israel."

In II Samuel 24:6; "Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi; and they came to Dan-jaan, and about to Zidon." It is interesting that Aidon is named here, for it was near the capital city of the Kenites Tyre.

II Samuel 24:7 "And came to the storn hold of Tyre, and to all the cites of the Hivites, and of the Cannanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beer-sheba."

Tyre was Satan's town, the headquarters of the Kenites, the merchandisers of the world. We can see that Satan is leaving his fingerprints all over his work. Tyre is brought in, and to the unsuspecting mind, would be included, right along with Zidon, as being part of Israel. Remember from I Chronicles 2:55 we are reminded that it was these "Nethinims", "strangers given to service" that had taken over the duties of records keeping, so as the story of the Chronicles take place, they are going to put a twist to draw themselves into a place of respectability amongst the Israelites and the priesthood. These books of the Chronicles were written after the captivity in Babylon, and as Ezra the prophet wrote in Ezra 8:15; "...I viewed the people and the priests, and I found none for the sons of Levi."

Here they were going back in force, about 43,000 people, for the purpose of rebuilding the streets and walls of Jerusalem, and of course the Temple to continue the worship of God, as required by the law. Yet, there was not one son of Levi amongst the priesthood, for the Kenites had taken over the entire priesthood. Is it any wonder that the Kenite Jewish religious leaders sought to murder Jesus from the very start, both from birth, and from his ministry. David's selected army lost bad, very bad on the battle field.

I Chronicles 21:8 "And David said unto God, "I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech Thee, do away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."

II Samuel 24:10 "And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the People. And David said unto the Lord, "I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."

This is the same thing that you and I are to do, after it registers in our minds that we have sinned against God. Then is the time to confess those sins before the Father. David now knows that he has messed up, and that he had been listening to Satan. Friend, to entertain thoughts placed in your mind by Satan is an insult to God. David went directly to God and did not try to cover anything up, much the deceptive way governments of today try to do. We are living in a real world today, and when you fall, then face up to your sin and short-coming, and accept the correction that God will send your way for discipline. We repent because we have a merciful Father, and you can count on His love and correction. You only discipline those that you love in your family, not the neighbor's kids.

I Chronicles 21:9 "And the Lord spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying,"

This "seer of God", is a prophet of God, that is being used by God to instruct David.

I Chronicles 21:10 " "Go and tell David, saying, `Thus saith the Lord,' I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.' "

Notice that God is not going to let David off the hook so easily. There is a price to be paid for this sin that David has committed. God is going to give David a choice of which of three things that will come over the Israelites for this sins. It will be up to David to chose the one. When you mess up in the real world today, there is also correcting that comes by the law. If you partake in the things of the world that the world accepts, then you suffer just as the people of the world would suffer. If you take part in Sodomy, then expect the disease and sickness that follows from that filth, such as aids. Abortion has it's correction process also, in the mental anguish, and physical pain that also comes from the taking of human life. Sure God forgives, but there is a natural process that has to take it's course.

David's sin was not trusting God for the protection of His people, and this was an insult to our Heavenly Father.

I Chronicles 21:11 "So Gad came to David, and said unto him, "Thus saith the Lord, `Chose thee"

I Chronicles 21:12 "Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the Lord, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel.' Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring against to Him That sent me."

Did you get the three choices that God gave David to choose from?

First: A heavy famine that would cover all the land for seven years. Remember what Amos said was to happen just before the time of the end, from Amos 8:11? "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:" When there is a physical famine, people die. When there is a spiritual famine for the lack of the Word of God, there will be a great spiritual death of the people.

Second: There will be a warfare between Israel and it's enemies, and for three months Israelites will be slaughtered on the battle field.

Third: Three days of Pestilence would cover the land. Bugs and insects would devour crops, and destroy the land. What a choice, and now David has to make his choice.

I Chronicles 21:13 "And David said unto Gad, "I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are His mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man."

David thought over the three choices, and of course there is no way that David wants innocent people to suffer for his sins. Yet David did not want an enemy to come into the land and have their way with his people. David told this prophet Gad, that I love my Father enough, and I trust in His great mercy and wisdom, that I am going to let God make the choice of what shall happen to me. The point that is made here, is that no matter what has happened nor what the correction on the matter is; Don't cease loving and trusting God. You are always better off when God deals out the judgment for you know that the exact measure of punishment will be given, for our God is a just and merciful God.

I Chronicles 21:14 "So the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men."

I Chronicles 21:15 "And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and He repented Him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, "It is enough, stay now thine hand." " And the Angel of the Lord stood by the thressingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

We read in II Samuel 24:16 "And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented Him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the People, "It is enough: stay now thine hand." And the angel of the Lord was by the thressingplace of Araunah the Jebusite."

This "Araunah the Jebusite" is the same man as "Ornan the Jebusite" stated here in First Chronicles 21:15. Remember that Jerusalem was called Jebus before David had taken it. It was a unclean city with many heathen wicked religious practices being done. The heathen that lived in Jerusalem, when it was called Jebus, were called "Jebusites". Note also that the place where this "threshingfloor of Araunah" was, is where the temple would be built, and today is called the "Dome of the rock".

The Islamic faith believes that Mohammad rose to heaven from that rock, and Christians believe that this is where Christ ascended into heaven. this is the place where Abraham offered up Isaac to be a sacrifice, and like here in David's time, God stepped in and said, "That's enough" as He withheld Abraham's hand from sacrificing his son Isaac. It was no accident that this place is where God told David to offer up the offerings and sacrifices.

I Chronicles 21:16 "And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the Angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem." Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces."

I Chronicles 21:17 "And David said unto God, "Is it not I that commanded the People to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let Thine hand, I pray Thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father's house;' but not on Thy People, that they should be plagued."

David is not trying to cover over a sin that he had committed, but he is pleading on behalf of his people, the sheep of Israel. David knew that it was on his decision that the words and instructions of Satan were acted upon, yet the people were the ones to suffer greatly for David's sin.

Many times when we sin there are others that are innocent of that sin, yet they take the punishment for our sin. How could this happen? Well God has his reasons and His ways, and many times man's understanding and reasoning, just can't make sense of why God does what He does. David is standing by and watching as the Angel of the Lord is about to cut down his people, and then David pleads with God. "Let Thine hand, I pray Thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on Thy People, that they should be plagued."

I Chronicles 21:18 "Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

I Chronicles 21:19 "And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the Lord."

I Chronicles 21:20 "And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat."

I Chronicles 21:21 "And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground."

I Chronicles 21:22 "Then David said to Ornan, "Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the People."

I Chronicles 21:23 "And Ornan said unto David, "Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for the wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all."

In Ornan, or Araunah mind, he was willing to provide the sacrifice offering animals for David's sacrifices, but That is not as God requires it. If you give a offering, it must come from you and your wealth, not borrowed from a neighbor or God. You simply cannot take from God, and sacrifice back to Him with something that is not yours. Don't make that mistake. David realizes this, and simply does not want to make another sin, so the animals must come from David himself.

I Chronicles 21:24 "And king David said to Ornan, "Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost."

I Chronicles 21:25 "So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight."

I Chronicles 21:26 "And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord; and He answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering."

All offerings offered and accepted by God are consumed by fire from heaven, not from a kindled flame started here on earth. This is what happened back in Leviticus 9:24, when the people sought to please God with their sacrifices; and all the people watched as Aaron offered the burnt sacrifices, and sent down the fire from heaven, to consume the offering on the altar; "...which when the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces."

When you pray in faith for something or help from God, and the Lord steps in to give help to you, which is like this old Testament act of the burnt offering. And you see that the mercy God granted to you, do you give the Lord the praise and glory that He deserves? Many times we pray, and when the blessings come, we forget to thank our Father for His mercies to us.

I Chronicles 21:27 "And the Lord commanded the Angel; and he put up hs sword again into the sheath thereof."

I Chronicles 21:28 "At that time when David saw that the Lord had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there."

I Chronicles 21:29 "(For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place of Gibeon."

I Chronicles 21:30 "But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the Angel of the Lord.)"

This is the same way that the plagues are stayed from each of the believers in these end times. Each time the Israelites went into battle, God gave them the victory. This was true in the wilderness, entering into the promise land, and also in the battles that were fought four hundred years after the Israelites dwelt in the promise land. God's people sought the help of God when there was danger, and God gave them the victory. However, in David's pride, after listening to Satan's temptation, David yielded and set up his own plan for protection. That sin was the numbering of the men of Israel, for the sake of going to war.

When you are successful due to your obedience to God's Word, then that is the time to be careful. Satan will use your successes and weaknesses to bring you down. Satan's pride caused his fall, and when you take your eyes of God's instructions and assume that it was you that caused the victory, then you are prime for the fall. We are to remain obedient to God's Word, and give Him the praise for each and every gift and victory we have. That is the Christian's strength, for when we are at our weakest, they we are at our strongest, for we turn to God and rely entirely on His Strength.

Thank God, David got it all together and went up on that hill and followed God's instructions to the letter. David was obedient to the end, and in the end, he left all judgment in the hand's of the Lord. If you sin, repent and leave the judgment and correction in God's hands.


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