Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 24

David asks God to forgive him

2 Samuel 24:10

David had ordered the leaders of his army to count the men who could fight in Israel’s army. After many months, Joab, his chief army commander, reported the numbers to him. At once, David realised that he had acted wrongly. The rulers of other nations claimed the right to count or to give orders to their people as they pleased. However, Israel is God’s special nation, and David ruled it on God’s behalf. God did not tell David to count the people – David did it because he was trusting in the strength of his army. He should have trusted in God alone to defend the nation.

David confessed his wrong deed to God. He told God that he (David) had acted very wrongly. He did not try to pretend that his actions did not matter. Rather, he confessed how serious these matters were. He asked God to forgive him.

The result of our evil deeds is death (Psalm 30; Romans 6:23). God forgives when he accepts an innocent life instead of our guilty life (Hebrews 9:11-15). God was teaching that lesson when he gave Israel its system of sacrifices (the animals that people offered to God). God also promised that there would be a proper place to do these things: the house of God called the temple (Deuteronomy 12:11).

Soon, God would show David the place for the temple (1 Chronicles 22:1). God would even give David the plans for its construction (1 Chronicles 28:11-12). First, however, David had to know the results of his terrible decision to count Israel’s men.

Next part: David took Israel's army out of God's special protection (2 Samuel 24:11-14)


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