The First Time Satan Is Revealed By Name In The O.T.- The Tempter- The Tragic Results OF David Numbering The People

1Ch 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.


1 Chronicles 21:1

As the books of Scripture are arranged in our Version, Satan is here for the first time by name introduced to us. He appears not merely as an “adversary” who seeks to injure man from without, but as a Tempter able to ruin him by suggesting sinful acts and thoughts from within. In this point of view, the revelation made of him here is the most advanced that we find in the Old Testament.

The difficulty in reconciling the statement here, "Satan provoked David," etc. with that of Samuel, "the Lord moved David," etc. 2Sa_24:1 is not serious. All temptation is permitted by God. When evil spirits tempt us, they do so by permission (Job_1:12; Job_2:6; Luk_22:31, etc.). If Satan, therefore, provoked David to number the people, God allowed him. And what God allows, He may be said to do. (Another view is maintained in the 2Sa_24:1 note).


1 Chronicles 21:1

1Ch_21:1-13. David sins in numbering the people.

Satan stood up against Israel — God, by withdrawing His grace at this time from David (see on 2Sa_24:1), permitted the tempter to prevail over him. As the result of this successful temptation was the entail of a heavy calamity as a punishment from God upon the people, it might be said that “Satan stood up against Israel.”

number Israel — In the act of taking the census of a people, there is not only no evil but much utility. But numbering Israel - that people who were to become as the stars for multitude, implying a distrust of the divine promise, was a sin; and though it had been done with impunity in the time of Moses, at that enumeration each of the people had contributed "half a shekel towards the building of the tabernacle," that there might be no plague among them when he numbered them (Exo_30:12). Hence the numbering of that people was in itself regarded as an undertaking by which the anger of God could be easily aroused; but when the arrangements were made by Moses for the taking of the census, God was not angry because the people were numbered for the express purpose of the tax for the sanctuary, and the money which was thus collected (“the atonement money,” Exo_30:16) appeased Him.

Everything depended, therefore, upon the design of the census [Bertheau]. The sin of David numbering the people consisted in its being either to gratify his pride to ascertain the number of warriors he could muster for some meditated plan of conquest; or, perhaps, more likely still, to institute a regular and permanent system of taxation, which he deemed necessary to provide an adequate establishment for the monarchy, but which was regarded as a tyrannical and oppressive exaction - an innovation on the liberty of the people - a departure from ancient usage unbecoming a king of Israel.

The first verse as the scholars said, correctly, for the most part. Satan by name is first introduced as Who he is, and first in 1 Chron, due to the Holy Bible arrangements of the book. We learn Satan is the Tempter, , as He tempted Jesus in the wilderness forty days, as he tempts mankind today. We learn Satan can only tempt if he is allowed to, as James says, " The lord tempts no man" He allows Satan to do it,( and our flesh, as James goes on and says concerning temptation, it starts with a thought. The Devil is only given the Ok, to teach us reliance on our Lord and to test us to see what we will do, how we will deal with it. He is the one that still comes, " But to steal, kill and destroy" The Father of Lies, a liar from his fall. Nothing has changed in the Devil since he was cast out of heaven, Lucifer, the pride, his beauty, instruments lit, created in him, the most lovely looking of all the lord's heavenly creatures, esp. Arc Angels.

We are never to take our enemy lightly. The greatest deception, and lie, the Devil has ever been able to pull off, is the lie, he does not exist. Many postmodern ones, and many mainline denominations, no longer believe in a real devil or a real hell. It has not changed.

On the extreme, we have deliverance ministries that do nothing but talk about the Devil and demons, there is no such thing as bad press, any press is good press, ask Madonna LOL.

In Marketing, this bad press is used all the time. People are paid to write, 'whatever you do, do not see this evil thing, this controversial thing, garbage' And this makes people flock to see the movie, read the book, buy the CD. Its all the same with deliverance ministries that glorify Satan and demons by talking more about them, than our Lord. Read the book of Jude, these people have been around a long time. Jude spells it out perfect, one chapter, what the truth on the issue is from the Bible, how we as bible believers are to deal with the Devil, read Jude. It is all there.

Back to our message and text. This sin King David did was so great, the action the lord took is beyond description, mighty indeed, let us read on.

1Ch 21:7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.

1Ch 21:8 And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

1Ch 21:9 And the LORD spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying,

1Ch 21:10 Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.

1Ch 21:11 So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee

1Ch 21:12 Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now, therefore, advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.

1Ch 21:13 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.

1Ch 21:14 So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.

1Ch 21:15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

Behold the Goodness and the severity of God. This almost caused the chosen people to be wiped out, holy cow. The action was utterly amazing, yes we serve a mighty and holy God indeed, may we understand this, and learn from this example.

I have said before, " Any sermon, or teaching worth its salt, ordered of the lord, if a very hard convicting word, the Preacher-Teacher must at the end, give the antidote, the way out, what the call of action is.

After all of these deaths, and the mighty angel of the Lord stood tall and clad with a sword, we find the antidote, the way out. Repentance and it will could cost you everything. David Paid the Full price, there is a deep truth in this.

1Ch 21:16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

1Ch 21:17 And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.

1Ch 21:18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

1Ch 21:19 And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD.

1Ch 21:20 And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.

1Ch 21:21 And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.

1Ch 21:22 Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.

1Ch 21:23 And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.

1Ch 21:24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.

Note: This is why I say, discipleship costs us everything, we give our all and that is us paying our full price, obedience.

1Ch 21:25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.

1Ch 21:26 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.

1Ch 21:27 And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.

1Ch 21:28 At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.

1Ch 21:29 For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.

1Ch 21:30 But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.

Verse 30 is one that is perplexing,

Barnes says of this verse:

1 Chronicles 21:30

David, knowing that by sacrifice on this altar he had caused the angel to stay his hand, was afraid to transfer his offerings elsewhere, lest the Angel should resume his task and pestilence again break out.

This is akin to when Jesus would often say, your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more. I end with some hope, as a proper message should, I know this last part is for someone today.

First, David was a type of Messiah, it was from his throne, lineage, Messiah came. Jesus paid the full price for us, all we need to do is repent, and move on. We are not to get stuck in condemnation. This is the Devils work, and our flesh, because most still feel, after a heavy sin, they must keep repenting as a way to make it up to God, this is of Satan, it is legalism. This act nullifies the finished work of the cross. Jesus paid full price, we can do nothing but follow hard after him, live to please him, at times repent in hot tears, there is a world of difference between the conviction of the holy spirit, and condemnation, our Lord has nothing to do with Condemnation.

Many have never recovered from a fall, because they feel they fell too far, sinned to badly, hurt the lord to deeply, to ever again, be able to have the lords full forgiveness, love, mercy, and restoration. This is another lie. It keeps you from coming back. I know people who are in that pace. It is a place of despair and hopelessness, we serve a God of Hope, we can come back 100% if we are willing to take the journey home as the prodigal son. Is that you dear reader? are you far from the lord, because you feel you did something so bad, so unforgivable, you can not return home and be fully restored? I tell you now, Satan scores again if you believe this lie. No matter what you do, aside from Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, you can today be fully restored and fully alive.

This is the Lord saying in love, OK, you were convicted, I heard you repent, now move on and apply what I said, that will be all the lord looks for. What a loving heavenly Father we serve, full of mercy and kindness, and in this we may find great peace, from our prince of peace, may you find that peace today, and get your smile back.