2 Samuel 24:1-4, 9-15
After many trials, David again enjoyed a period of repose, but his leisure again proved a temptation to him, and he resolved to form an estimate of his own greatness that he might have whereof to glory.
2 Samuel 24:1
In the Book of Chronicles, Satan is said to have provoked David to this deed, and so indeed he did, and thus the moral evil of the action belongs to the tempter and his ready victim; but the writer of the present passage saw the hand of the Lord in it, using the sin of David as the means of punishing the sins of the people. Both statements are true, and there is no need to attempt a reconciliation, since one truth must agree with another whether we see it or not.
2 Samuel 24:2, 3
Joab was not only right, but courteous on this occasion. He knew that the people would judge that either a new taxation or a conscription was on foot, and they would become uneasy and rebellious, therefore he thought it unwise. According to the law of Moses, a piece of money as a sin-offering was to be offered by every Israelite when the tribes were counted, but this was neglected. Moses numbered the people at God’s bidding, considering them to be the Lord’s people, but David counted them at his own will, as if they were his own. people, and this the Lord would not endure.
2 Samuel 24:10
That which he looked upon as ground for boasting became reason for humiliation. His army of a million and a quarter of warriors gave him no joy, for he had grieved his God.
2 Samuel 24:10
Grace was in him, and when it came to the front, he was ready enough to mourn his error. O for the like tenderness of conscience!
2 Samuel 24:11, 12
Plain David, not David my servant, as it had formerly been. If we walk contrary to God, he will shew himself contrary to us
2 Samuel 24:14
He had a hard alternative, but his choice was wise, and it showed that with all his wanderings he had a sound and loving trust in the Lord his God. A child of God feels always safest in his Fathers hands.
O that my chastened heart may smite
And make me inly groan,
Whene’er I vainly take delight
In aught I call my own.
Harden’d by sin’s deceitfulness
O may I never be,
But miss my comfort and my peace,
Whene’er I turn from thee.