king david

I recently got this question sent to me in an email:
I’m finally through 2 Samuel.  I had a question, why was it a sin for David to take a census in chapter 24? Was it because it showed a lack of faith?
David I know was a man after God’s own heart, but he sure did a lot of dysfunctional things, didn’t he??  I’m thinking I must have inherited that dysfunctional gene in my family history and still dealing with consequences.

Here was my response:

Yes, the census was both prideful and relying on human power and strength. By and large, the young shepherd boy and even the young military commander David was painfully aware of how dependent of God he was for everything. Eventually, he got used to the King thing and stopped needing Jesus. Remember what God said after the Bathsheba incident–“Look at everything I gave you! If that had not been enough, I would have given you even more! Instead, you went and started taking for yourself!” The census is some more of that attitude that has forgotten how totally dependent we are on God’s grace.

Yes, dysfunction is a part of the Christian walk, and yes we have to deal with those consequences. For David and for us the call is always to return to the attitude of the heart that desperately needs Jesus every day. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, the spiritually bankrupt, those who have nothing to offer God spiritually and are dependent on Him for all they have–theirs is the kingdom of heaven, as a gift!”

Do you have any thoughts on family dysfunction, dependence on Jesus, or King David? Feel free to leave a comment below.