Thoughts and Reflection
In today’s reading, we learn that David used a census to assert ownership over God’s people. Before the Lord orders a census to help save his people. When he recognizes his sin, David is humbled and opens his heart to being converted. In repentance, he offers sacrifice to the Lord on behalf of the people.
David also gives freely and wholeheartedly all of his wealth and all the things he won in battle. Because of this example, the people of Israel also give freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. This brings joy to David and the Lord.
This brings up some questions for us to ponder: how can we love the Lord with our whole hearts? How can we joyfully give to the Lord, not just our excess but out of our need?
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
2 Samuel 24
2 The king said to Joab and the senior army officers who were with him, ‘Now, go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba, and take a census of the people; I wish to know the size of the population.’
3 Joab said to the king, ‘May Yahweh your God multiply the people a hundred times — however many there are — while my lord the king still has eyes to see it, but why should my lord the king be set on this?’
4 The king nonetheless enforced his order on Joab and the senior officers, and Joab and the senior officers left the king’s presence, to take a census of the people of Israel.
5 They crossed the Jordan and made a start with Aroer and the town in the middle of the valley, then moved on to the Gadites and to Jazer.
9 Joab gave the king the census results for the people; Israel had eight hundred thousand fighting men who could wield a sword, and Judah five hundred thousand.
10 But afterwards David’s heart misgave him for having taken a census of the people. David then said to Yahweh, ‘I have committed a grave sin by doing this. But now, Yahweh, I beg you to forgive your servant for this fault, for I have acted very foolishly.’
13 So Gad went to David and said, ‘Which do you prefer: to have three years of famine befall your country; to flee for three months before a pursuing army; or to have three days of epidemic in your country? Now think, and decide how I am to answer him who sends me.’
15 So David chose the epidemic. It was the time of the wheat harvest. So Yahweh unleashed an epidemic on Israel from that morning until the time determined; plague ravaged the people and, of the people from Dan to Beersheba, seventy thousand died.
16 But when the angel stretched his hand towards Jerusalem to destroy it, Yahweh felt sorry about the calamity and said to the angelwho was destroying the people, ‘Enough now! Hold your hand!’ The angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 When David saw the angel who was ravaging the people, he said to Yahweh, ‘I was the one who sinned. I was the one who acted wrongly. But these, the flock, what have they done? Let your hand lie heavy on me and on my family!’
18 Gad went to David that day and said, ‘Go up and raise an altar to Yahweh on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.’
19 So, at Gad’s bidding, David went up, as Yahweh had ordered.
21 ‘Why has my lord the king come to his servant?’ Araunah asked. David replied, ‘To buy the threshing-floor from you, to build an altar to Yahweh, so that the plague may be lifted from the people.’
24 ‘No,’ said the king to Araunah, ‘I shall give you a price for it; I will not offer Yahweh my God burnt offerings which have cost me nothing.’ David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
1 Chronicles 29
1 David then addressed the whole assembly, ‘Solomon my son, whom Yahweh has specifically chosen, is young and immature, and the work is great; this palace is not for any human being but for Yahweh God.
2 With all the resources I can command, for the house of my God I have provided gold for what must be made of gold, silver for what must be made of silver, bronze for what must be made of bronze, iron for what must be made of iron, wood for what must be made of wood, as well as cornelian for inlay work, slabs of multicoloured mosaic, every kind of precious stone and quantities of alabaster.
3 Furthermore, because my affections are set on the house of my God, I have also given what gold and silver I personally own for the house of my God, over and above everything which I have already provided for the holy Temple-
5 the gold being for what must be made of gold, and the silver for what must be made of silver: and for whatever the craftsmen must make. Who, then, is willing to devote himself to Yahweh’s service today?’
8 while those who owned precious stones presented them to the treasury of the house of Yahweh in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite.
9 The people rejoiced at what these had given so readily, since they had presented their freewill offerings wholeheartedly to Yahweh. King David too was filled with joy.
10 Hence, in the presence of the whole assembly David blessed Yahweh. David said: ‘May you be blessed, Yahweh, God of Israel our ancestor, for ever and for ever!
11 Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, the splendour, length of days and glory, everything in heaven and on earth is yours. Yours is the sovereignty, Yahweh; you are exalted, supreme over all.
12 Wealth and riches come from you, you are ruler of all, in your hand lie strength and power, and you bestow greatness and might on whomsoever you please.
14 for who am I and what is my people, for us to be able to volunteer offerings like this? – since everything has come from you and we have given you only what you bestowed in the first place,
17 ‘Knowing, my God, how you examine our motives and how you delight in integrity, with integrity of motive I have willingly given all this and have been overjoyed to see your people, now present here, willingly offering their gifts to you.
19 and give an undivided heart to Solomon my son to keep your commandments, your decrees and your statutes, to put them all into effect and to build the palace for which I have made provision.’
21 On the day following this, they slaughtered sacrifices and brought burnt offerings to Yahweh on behalf of Israel — a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs with their libations, as well as many other sacrifices-
22 and they ate and drank that day in Yahweh’s presence with great joy. They then made Solomon son of David king a second time, anointing him as leader for Yahweh, and Zadok as priest.
25 Yahweh made Solomon exceedingly powerful, as all Israel could see, and gave him a reign of such splendour as no previous king of Israel ever had.
30 with his entire reign, his mighty deeds and the times which he, Israel and all the kings of other countries, had experienced.
5 His anger lasts but a moment, his favour through life; In the evening come tears, but with dawn cries of joy.
8 To you, Yahweh, I call, to my God I cry for mercy.
12 So my heart will sing to you unceasingly, Yahweh, my God, I shall praise you for ever.