“Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to number the people..... God was displeased with this thing...” I Chronicles 21:1 & 7
On first looking, these verses seems puzzling. David was in a season “when kings march out to war”, 1 Chronicles 20:1. He was also living in a time of victory over his enemies, taking the crowns from the heads of kings and subduing the Philistines. It is then that David decides to count his army, the result of which is 1,100,000 swordsmen. Quite a number for what was probably a small population! However, this counting displeased the Lord. Indeed it perplexed Joab who replies, “May the LORD multiply the number of His people a hundred times over”, 1 Chronicles 21:3.
What can we learn here? David says in Psalm 33:16, “No king is saved by the size of his army”. And yet in this story he is believing something quite different. God was giving David success on the battlefield and David began to believe that it was not God, but because of his great army that he was victorious. He began to look at all that he possessed and began to move his trust away from his God to his resources. The consequences for David and Israel were significant, although God held His hand as David confessed his guilt.
What a great lesson for us! Whatever we have in life, whether it's money, gifts, talents, vision, influence, the LORD alone is ultimately the one who will give us success. Maybe you have a small army, even a tiny army. Maybe your army consists of just one person, you! Fear not because God is your success. If this year is bringing a challenge that you feel ill equipped for, then thank Him for what He has given you, acknowledge your emptiness and need, and let Him lead you. And maybe a greater challenge in our plenty is to trust in the LORD with ALL our hearts and not lean on our own understanding, Proverbs 3:5.