“the Character moulded
by the trials of life”
“The final chapter of the book reveals David in a wonderful light. His character, moulded by the trials of life, is shown to be mindful of his people as a mediator in Israel’s time of trouble. The people had been guilty of rejecting Yahweh’s Anointed, and were deserving of punishment. David, too, was deserving of chastisement, for in numbering Israel he was putting confidence in the flesh. Yet, in those circumstances, he was put under trial and manifested a gracious and godly response. So the record sets out:
(1) David unwisely numbers Israel: vv 1-4.
(2) The route of the census: vv 5-8. Details provided show the importance of the counting.
(4) David is rebuked; His choice of punishment: vv 10-14. David recognised his fault. It was a sin of the heart: pride or resting on flesh. Perhaps he wanted to find out how large a following he could command. If so he acted entirely out of character. It would constitute a deserting of Yahweh, and putting on flesh.
Three choices were given to him. Had he chosen war, his own personal safety would have been in no danger, for he no longer went forth to battle. Had he chosen famine, his position and wealth would have guaranteed his own immunity, and that of his family. In choosing pestilence, he deliberately shared the risks that fell on the whole nation without respect of persons.