Samuel 24 is a chapter that has often perplexed people. People are confused by some of the aspects of this story. One of the big things that people are perplexed by is why was this a sin for David to number the people. I mean, what's the big deal? He's counting the people. Whenever we see that something is a sin in the bible, we have to remember that sin is defined as the transgression of the law.
If anybody is going to commit sin in the bible, then there must be some law of God that they're transgressing. There must be somewhere where God made a commandment and they're violating that commandment. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a sin. Anytime somebody tells you, "Hey, this or that is a sin," then there better be some commandment in the bible that could be pointed to where you could say, "This is the commandment you're violating." Otherwise, you're teaching for doctrines the commandments of men because a lot of man-made rules have been made where people would say, "Hey, this is a sin," but is it sinful according to the bible?
When we see this story where it talks about David numbering the people and then saying, "Oh, man. I've sinned the great sin, and God is acknowledging it as a sin," then there must be something in God's law or God's word that David was violating by doing this. Some people have just said, "Well, I think it's just because he did it for the wrong reason," or something like that. Wait a minute. Would that really be sin to say, "Oh, man. I've done a great sin because I did the right thing for the wrong reason."? That's a pretty weak argument there that you'd have to make for that.
Let's start looking at this chapter. There's one other thing that confuses people about this, and that is whether it was God who moved him to do this or whether it was Satan because if you would put your finger over in 1 Chronicles 21, which is a parallel passage to this, the book of 1 Chronicles is parallel with the book of 2 Samuel. Those two books go side-by-side. The book of 2 Chronicles is parallel with both 1 and 2 Kings. So 1 Chronicles lines up with 2 Samuel.
Look at 1 Chronicles 21 where the exact same story told and it says in verse one of chapter 21, "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." Right there, it says, "Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." Now, go back to 2 Samuel 24, it says, "And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, 'Go, number Israel and Judah.'"
You say, "Well, you know, who was it? Was it God? Was it Satan?" If you look carefully at the wording here about what's being said, in chapter 24 verse one, it says, "The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, 'Go, number Israel and Judah.'" We can see that God is already angry at Israel before this even takes place. In fact, according to this verse, the reason why David ends up numbering the people is because God was angry at Israel. That's the first thing.
For an unknown reason, God doesn't really tell us why, but for some reason, God is angry with the nation of Israel. Now, who is it that ends up suffering in this chapter? The nation of Israel. There's a great pestilence that's sent throughout the land, and so 70,000 people end up dying. GOd's angry at the children of Israel. The children of Israel are the ones who received judgment. So that all make sense.
The instrument of God's anger here that he uses to carry this out is through Satan tempting David to number the people. Then that's what brings God's wrath on people that he was already angry with. Now I know that sounds complicated but that's what the bible is teaching here. You might think it's strange that God would use Satan to carry out his will in this scenario, but this is not the only place in the bible where that's the case, because if you remember in 1 Corinthians 5, for example, there's a sin that's going on. Obviously, God's angry about that sin where a man in the church is committed wicked fornication.
Basically, Paul said, "I be absent have judged already as though I were present. He's concerning him that it's so done this deed to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." Paul is praying for that guy who was in fornication to be delivered unto Satan to be tormented by Satan in order that he would get right with God.
Now, the thing about it is in the book of Job, we see something similar where the Lord speaks with Satan and allows Satan to do certain things in the life of Job within certain limitations. First, he tells him, "Don't touch his body." Then next, he tells him, "Okay. You can harm his body but do not kill him. Let his life be spared." Satan often will be used by God to carry out some type of a mission that God has.
Now you say, "Well, wait. What in the world? Satan and God are working together?" That's not what it is. What it is is that the devil wants to harm and destroy and just cause whatever evil to take place. Basically, he's just all too willing if God basically turns him loose on somebody, he'll be glad to go in there and cause problems and cause strife and evil and what have you.
You have to understand that Satan is not the opposite of God. A lot of people have this dualist mentality of like, "Well, there's God and there's Satan, and basically, these two are at war for supremacy," or something like that. That's not what the bible teaches. God is supreme. God is already firmly in control in the sense he's the king of kings, the lord of lords, and the only power that the devil has is that which God allows him to have.
It really seems strange that God would basically just use the devil to do whatever and allow him to do stuff when it fits his purposes because that's the only reason the devil even exist in the first place. Otherwise, God could just snap his finger and the devil would be gone. God allows the devil to exist for a reason. He has a purpose, and that's why God even allows him to do what he wants to do.
Now, obviously, the devil in his mind is doing it for his own agenda and for his own reasons. In the end, he's ultimately fulfilling God's purpose. Otherwise, God would not even necessarily allow him to exist. He wouldn't have to allow him to exist.
The devil would not be the opposite of God because the devil is a created being, and he's far inferior to God. He's not even the opposite of Jesus. The devil's antithesis would basically be Michael, the Archangel. The good angel and the bad angel, if you want to find an opposite of the devil. There's going to be war in heaven eventually where Michael and his angels fight against the dragon, the dragon fights as an angel. Obviously, it's for ordained and he's going to be defeated, he cannot win, et cetera.
Then once God throws him into hell for a thousand years during the millennium, he still sees fit to release him from hell, to go out and to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog to gather them together to battle then the dust of whom is as the sand of the sea. See, it's all part of God's plan that basically, wicked people would be exposed for who they are and that wicked people would be destroyed.
There are all kinds of examples we could point to in the bible that would help illustrate this truth. For example, the sons of Eli, basically, are being called by the prophet unto repentance, but then God tells us, reading the story that their hearts were hardened by the Lord because God wanted to slay them because they got into a point where they were reprobate. They were sons of Belial. So God wanted to destroy them. He basically just allowed them to continue in their foolishness and stupidity so that they would be destroyed.
Same thing with Pharaoh where Pharaoh's heart was hardened by God, why? Because he wanted to bring more judgment on the Egyptians. This really isn't that different where God hardens Pharaoh's heart so that he can bring more judgment on the Egyptians because they deserved it. So he allows people to make stupid decisions.
How would this apply in our lives? Basically, if God is displeased with us and angry with us for whatever the reason, God can allow us or even cause us to be led by Satan to make stupid decisions so that we can basically bring about chastisement upon our own head. Whereas, if we're pleasing God and doing what's right, the steps of a good man or ordered by Lord and he's going to lead us to do the right things and be blessed. Whereas, if we are in his displeasure, then he could cause us or allow us to do stupid things that will bring judgment upon our own heads because we deserve it.
It's deep philosophical things here, but for people to point to you and say, "Hey, this is a contradiction in the bible," is just to have a very shallow understanding of the story and just, "Well, over here it says it was Satan. Over here, it says it's God," but it's worded totally different. Obviously, Satan is just the tool that God uses in this instance.
It's like when God is asking for someone to deceive the king Ahab to go to battle and everything like that. Then a lying spirit come forth and says, "Well, I'll be a lying spirit in the mouth," and he said, "Okay. Go ahead." Again, God will sometimes use these darker forces to carry out his will. His will is obviously not that evil would prevail. God would rather that people did what's right but when people have already done that which is wrong, then often he will allow them to go further down that road so that they can get the full recompense of what's coming to them, the punishment they deserve.
It says in 1 Samuel 24:1, "Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel," that's the first thing, "and he moved David against them to say, 'Go, number Israel and Judah.' For the king ..." and we know that he did that through Satan if we look at 1 Chronicles 21:1. "For the king said to Joab, the captain of the host, which was with him, 'Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people,' and Joab said unto the king, 'Now the Lord thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, a hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?' Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel."
When we first look at this, we can say, "Okay." He says, "I want to know the number of it." Joab is saying, "Well, why does it matter? Why do you want to do this? Go ahead and do it." People would say, "Well, the sin here is that he's trusting in his own forces. He's trusting in his own strength and his own might rather than just trusting in the Lord to defend Israel," or "You know, this is just about his pride that he would know the number." You could look at that and say, "Okay. I can see that with him saying, 'You know, I want to know the number.' Well, why do you want to know the number?"
That's not really a strong enough case for David to say in verse 10, "David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, 'I have sinned greatly in that I have done.'" Not only that but Joab doesn't want to participate in this. Joab thinks it's a bad idea.
Then another thing that's interesting is that when you look at the punishment that comes as a result of this, it ends up being a pestilence among the people, and 70,000 people die of the pestilence. Now, go back to Exodus 30 because in Exodus 30, we actually see a command that David is violating in this story, and it actually says right in the commandment that if you violate this, you will be plagued with a pestilence which is exactly what ends up happening in the story with David. That cannot be coincidental.
Look at Exodus 30 starting in verse number 11. The bible reads, "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 'When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number.'" Now, let me ask this, is it wrong to number the people? No, because there's a book called the Book of Numbers where God even tells them the number of the people. Here, he doesn't say, "If you take the number ..." he's saying, "Hey, when you take the number, the sum of the children of Israel after they're number," but watch this stipulation, "Then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them."
Here right here, he's saying, "Look, there's something that you have to do when you number the people in order to not have a plague amongst the people." Here's something that you must do. "This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered," verse 13, "half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls, and thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls."
Over and over again, it's repeated over and over again. "Hey, this is an atonement for each man. This is an atonement for every man's soul." He says, "You know, if you don't ..." and when the word soul is used there, it's hugely just talking about the person in the Old Testament. Most of the time when the word "soul" is used, it's not what we would necessarily think of as the soul. All the souls that Abraham had gotten in Haran, it's talking about the people that he brought with him.
The bible here is very clearly saying that if you don't do this, if you're going to number the people, when you count all the people and take the sentence and say, "This is how many people are in the land of Israel," there must be a price paid by every person, an offering that they give to the Lord. That offering is going to be used in the service of the house of the Lord. He said, "It's going to be for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. They're supposed to give money that the service of God's house would be maintained, that God's house and the people who work therein would have meat in their house," the bible says.
In Malachi 3 when it talks about people giving the tithes into the storehouse. It says in Malachi 3:9, it says, "Will a man rob God?" They say, "Wherein have we robbed thee?" He said, "You've robbed me, even this whole nation." He said because of the tithe. Look at Malachi 3:9, and of course, the tithe is different than what we're looking at here. It's similar in the sense that God commands a certain amount to be given unto him for his house, and then that's not given. Then there's a curse associated with that, pestilence in the case of the half shekel.
It says in Malachi 3:8, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me, but ye say, 'Wherein have we robbed thee in tithes and offerings?' Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." Now, one of those offerings could also be the offering when they take the senses where everybody is supposed to give a half shekel which is not a huge amount of money. It's a small amount of money. He's saying, "Even if you're poor, you could give that." It's something that everybody could give. He's saying, "No matter how rich you are, that's all you give. Just that half shekel, that's it."
It's just a small amount, just a small token. Obviously, when you number millions of people, it adds up to a lot of money and God's work can go on, and everybody just gives a little bit and then it's covered. He says here, verse 10, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house." The storehouse is God's house. It says, "That there may be meat in mine house and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, 'If I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it, and I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field,' saith the Lord of hosts, 'and all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land,' saith the Lord of hosts.
There's a blessing associated with bringing the tithes and offerings into the storehouse, and then there's a curse and a devour if they will not give that which God has commanded them to give. In this case, he says, "If you number the people, every man gives a half shekel and it goes to God's house." That's what you see not happening in 2 Samuel 24 and that was the sin because just numbering the people according to God's plan where we number everybody and take a half shekel from each person and put it toward the work of God's house would have not been a sin, and they would have just been following a lockstep with what Exodus 30 teaches.
You see, no mention of that. It's not, "Hey, let's number the people so that we can get the half shekel from everybody, so that the work of God might flourish." That's not what's being said. It's, "No, just number the people so that I can know the number," but there's no mention of God's house, there's no mention of taking the half shekel, so they're not doing it the way that Exodus 30 taught. The exact punishment that Exodus 30 said, a plague amongst the people, pestilence amongst the people is the exact punishment that is carried out in 2 Samuel 24, and there's no way that that could a coincidence.
Obviously, that's what's going on in this story. This is about David doing it wrong. This is similar to earlier in the book when they brought back the ark of the covenant, and everybody's excited and happy. Instead of carrying it on the shoulders of the Levites, they put on a new cart and they carried it on wheels and it end up tipping over and Uzzah touched it, he died. God brought wrath on the people. People then peaked in to the ark and looked inside and then they died, and so forth.
David said, the reason that God had punished them is because they did not seek the Lord after the proper order. See, a lot of people just think, "Well, as long as your heart's in the right place, you just do whatever in the name of the Lord, and as long you're doing it in the name of the Lord, GOd's going to bless it." Honestly, God has rules and God has ways that he wants things to be done. He tells us to do it a certain way. We need to follow God's commandment.
This is a classic example of God's people being destroyed for lack of knowledge because I don't even necessarily see here that they're just setting out. There's no conversation of "Hey, what about the half shekel? What about Exodus 30?" You don't even really see that mentioned. You just see them just doing it wrong. The thought doesn't even seem to enter their mind of doing it in the biblical way. Maybe they just felt that Exodus was a boring book, so they didn't want to take the time and read it. They like Genesis, the like the story about Joseph and his brethren. It's a real exciting story.
When they were going through Exodus, once they got finish with the story part of Exodus, once the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea and out of Egypt, he starts getting into a bunch of sacrifices and how to build the tabernacle. They just glazed over, and as a result, they make a big mistake here for not knowing what's going on, and not following God's laws. We need to take a lesson from this.
Now, sometimes bad things happen in our lives just because God's testing us and trying us and allowing us to go through hardship because it's good for us. It makes us stronger. It makes the better person. Sometimes, bad things are happening on our lives because we're doing wrong. Sometimes, we're looking up at God saying, "God, what have I done? I don't understand it. I mean, what's the big deal? What's the sin?" Just like a lot of people read the story and say, "What's the sin of just numbering the people?"
I mean, back in Numbers, you numbered them. What's the problem here? We're sitting here wondering why God won't bless, but honestly, there's a reason why God's not blessing, and it's because we're not obeying. It might even be commandments that we don't even know about, that we haven't even thought of. If we are to ask people about this particular commandment of the half shekel, I think your average person today, even a Christian or even somebody who goes to church all the time wouldn't just have that on the tip of their tongue of "Oh, yeah. Well, there's this major commandment about every time they take a census, they have to give a half shekel toward the work of the Lord."
I mean, most people probably don't know that. That shows the importance of studying the bible and learning what it says so that we don't accidentally do things wrong. There are plenty of commandments. Obviously, this half shekel for the tabernacle, that's an Old Testament things that's not ... We're not numbering the people of Israel. We don't live in Israel. This isn't really applicable to us. What about all the commandments that are applicable to us? What about the stuff that Israel event to us in the New Testament? What about the teachings of the New Testament itself or the Old Testament teachings that haven't been changed?
We don't even know what they are if we haven't even read the bible cover to cover. Then also, there's a blame that's placed on the leader here because David is also messing up here because sure, the people could have known and they could have been just taking it upon themselves to just say, "Hey, Joab. Just a minute. Before you leave, here's my half shekel."
Everybody in the nation could have done that and they could have ... they were all reading their bibles and knowing that, and just saying, "Hey! Whoa! Whoa! You forgot something, buddy. Take this down to the tabernacle in Jerusalem," or the temple at that time, or it's going to be the temple. It's still a tabernacle. "Take that down for the service of the tabernacle, so that the Levites can get paid," but you don't see that. Why? Because human nature, the way most people are, most people are not going to take a lot of initiative for themselves without a leader guiding them. That's just the reality of the world that we live in.
We need leaders. A lot of people today think that we all need to just freestyle it and have no leaders, but honestly, God gave pastors and teachers, and in the Old Testament, God gave the kings and the prophets and different people for our betterment, and to show us things. There are people that are supposed to be leading and people that are in authority, and people that have studied and learned apparent in every home that knows the word of God and could keep their children out of sin, and tell the children, "Hey, wait a minute. You're missing something here. You're in violation of something that God told you."
The child might say, "I don't know that." The thing that pops into my mind is I remember when I was a kid, I had the Mormons come to my door. I was a teenager and I was at home alone. The Mormons knocked on the door and I said, "Come on in." Now, I thought to myself, "Well, you know what? I'm going to preach the true gospel to these guys. I'm going to straighten these guys out." Was my heart in the right place that I try to do a good thing? Yeah, I'm trying to preach the gospel to unsaved people. What in the world could be wrong with me taking my bible and confounding these Mormons and straightening them out?
I'm just like, "Come on in. Sit down." I get into it with the Mormons. My dad got home in the midst of this conversation and he just walked in and just said, "You guys need to get out of here right now." He threw them out of the house and I didn't really understand why my dad was throwing them out, "Man, I was winning." Anyway, he showed me. He showed me in the book of 2 John where it says, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
Now, the bible clearly says that if somebody comes to you, bring in other doctrine other than the true doctrine of Christ, he said, "Receive him into your house." Now, a lot of people would just say, "Well, let's just go by the spirit of that." If he says not to receive him into your house, you don't receive him now. My dad corrected me, and my dad said, "Son, you don't bring them into the house. You don't bring them in and talk to them. Even if you're preaching to them, the bible says not to receive them in your house." I said, "Okay. I'll never do it again," because it made sense, but I just didn't know that scripture because I had not yet read the bible cover to cover. That was just an unknown command.
My dad had to reveal that commandment to me and say, "Look, there it is." That's our job as parents to all the little Steven Andersons of this world, the little children and teenagers who are going to bring in the Mormons and do whatever else that's in violation of God's word, even if their intentions are right. You know what? The road to hell is paved with good intentions is what they say. All throughout the bible, we see people with good intentions doing wrong because they don't know the bible or they just don't care about details, when in reality, God does care about these things. If God tells us not to receive him into our house, we are not receive him into our house.
If God says, "Hey, when you number the people, be sure to get a half shekel," that seems like a small thing. Yeah, but you know what? To somebody to whom the work of God was a priority, it would be a big thing. What's David's priority in the story here? David's not thinking about the next soul-winning campaign. He's not thinking about, "Hey, what can we do to further spread the worship of the Lord throughout the land? What can we do to make sure that the Levites and the priests and everybody is on track so that we can do God's work full speed ahead and be a light unto the Gentiles?"
What he's thinking about is, "Hey, let's number the men of war so that I might know the number thereof," and the half shekel that's going to God's house. I have a feeling that David at this point in his life has probably read that scripture many times because at other points in his life, he's just meditating on God's word day and night. You'd think he know this but you know what? He probably had just forgotten about it because if you don't keep reading the bible, you forget things. Even if you read the bible loud in your youth, if you don't keep reading it, you're going to forget.
Also, if you're not a doer of it, you're going to forget it, and he probably never done this the right way before. Then he gets later in life and at this point in his life, God's work and God's house and church is just not a real big priority for him right now. He's just thinking about other things and that's the problem here. That's what he did wrong. He didn't do it according to God's word.
Now, I don't think it's a coincidence either that at the end of the story, when David gets things right and David admits he sinned and he's asking for God's mercy and the pestilence is being carried out, look what happens at the end of the story. This isn't a coincidence either. God sends him to the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite and he's supposed to offer a sacrifice there to basically placate the Lord's wrath.
It says in verse 20, it says, "And And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground, and Araunah said, 'Wherefore ...'" which means why, "'Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant?' and David said, 'To buy the threshing floor of thee, to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stayed from the people,' and Araunah said unto David, 'Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood.' All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king, and Araunah said unto the king, 'The Lord thy God accept thee.'"
Araunah is apparently the king of the Jebusites which are people who have no power at this time because they've been defeated by David. Now, that might seem strange to you, but honestly, there are countries throughout the world where the royal family gets overthrown in a revolution. Somebody else comes and takes over or maybe they just get rid of the monarchy. They don't always kill them all, like in the Bolshevik Revolution, 1917 where they just the czar and his whole family, man, woman, boy, girl, they're just killing them all. That's not always what happens.
Sometimes, they get rid of a king or an emperor and they bring in a democratic government or a republican style government or just a different dynasty. Sometimes, the old order, they don't just kill them all up. You'll basically have a guy, for example, I was watching a documentary the other day and it's like there's some guy who just live in a normal house and he's basically the king of this whole area in India or whatever but because of the fact they don't respect that anymore, this guy's particular little kingdom, but his family had ruled that area, just that one part for many centuries. That no longer really means anything, but he still has some title where certain people would look at him.
That's how I think this guy probably is, Araunah, the Jebusite because the Jebusites used to rule there and there was a king of Jebos that has been deposed because David has come in and taken over. Basically, this guy is maybe just in that line or whatever, but he doesn't have any real power. Obviously, David is the king that's actually ruling the land, but this guy is of a different nationality.
When David comes and says, "I want to buy the threshing floor. I want to make an alter unto the Lord in order to stop this horrible plague." He just says, "Look, I'll just give you everything." He's saying, "Look, you can have the oxen that I have, use them for a burnt sacrifice. Use the wood, use my tools and instruments, just burn them all as wood, just to burn the sacrifice." He says, "The threshing floor, it's yours. You can have it. It's all yours." This guy is very generous and his heart is in serving the Lord here.
The king said unto Araunah, verse 24, "Nay, but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver, and David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel."
Now, isn't it interesting the change in attitude here because if there was a financial aspect to David's sin in the beginning, you can see a total change in David here where he's not trying to save money anymore, he's not trying to not give the Lord the money that he deserves. Now, he's saying, "No, no, no, no. I don't even want to take something free and offer to the Lord. I want to make sure that it costs me something." I mean, he's just like, "Who do I make the check out to? I want to make sure that God knows that I'm not trying to withhold from him financially," which is what it really came down to if you study the bible what the problem was.
Then it made sense that the solution to the problem has to do with David basically giving unto the Lord and saying, "You know what? I want to give something to the Lord and I want it to cost me something."
Now, if you would, flip over to 1 Chronicles, keep your finger in 2 Samuel 24. Go over to 1 Chronicles 21 because basically, the book of 2 Samuel ends abruptly here. You can't pick up the story in 1 Kings 1 simply because the fact that 2 Samuel is out of order at this point because if you remember, we taught earlier in the book of 2 Samuel how the story only goes up through chapter 20, and then he just starts giving other stories that are out of order. The chronology stops in chapter 20. Then that's what picks up in 1 Kings 1.
In order to figure out what happens after this, because I mean, that's the end of 2 Samuel. It's like, "Okay, so that's it." He buys the threshing floor, he offers the sacrifice, God's happy. In order to know what happens after that in the story, we have to go over to 1 Chronicles. In 1 Chronicles 21, we find the identical story and it talks about the fact that they buy the threshing floor and they offer the offerings and everything like that. He says, for example in chapter 21 verse 24, "King David said to Ornan ..." Ornan is Araunah. Now, you say, "Well, why is it spelled ...?" You can obviously tell it's the same name, Ornan, Araunah, you have the same, you have the starting with a vowel, then you got the R, you have the N. It's how names change when they go from one language to another.
For example, my name is Steven. In Spanish would be Esteban. You can see the connection there though, right? If you just take that A off the front and then basically, the B becomes a V and then boom! It's the same name. Then in German it would be Stefan, and in Hungarian it would be Ishtevan. You can see that there's a connection but it's different.
You say, "Well, why it would be different? I thought the bible is all written in Hebrew?" What you have to understand is that the bible is written over the course of many centuries. Think about hos different English is today from English when the King James Bible was written. Then go back even further than that and it was changing even more dramatically.
See, the reason why English hasn't really changed that much since 1611, even though it has changed, the reason it hasn't changed a lot is because when people are reading and writing and have lots of books, that causes the language to stay the same. Whereas, when people are not reading and writing as much, the language changes a lot more, and people use a lot of more slang and things just change and evolve.
If we went back to before the printing press, it would be way different. Then also, when nations come in and conquer. For example, up until the 11th century AD, English was a dramatic language. It was Anglo-Saxon Germanic language. Then the French in the form of the Normans with William, the conqueror came in and invaded England in 1066 and then they were running things and using French to run things. The people who were in government, the nobility, the rich people, they're all speaking Norman French. Then all the poor people, they're not going to learn a new language, so they're still on Anglo-Saxon.
Then over the next hundred years, they developed a high-breed language. That was half-English and half-French. After about a hundred years, that language became known as Middle English, what we would know today as Middle English. That over the next few hundred years evolved into Modern English which is the King James language. Then what we speak today is known as Contemporary English. You have Old English being a thousand years ago, that's what they're speaking. Then you have Middle English from the 1100s to the 1400s. Then you have Modern English from the 1500s on and then today, we've changed it further and become Contemporary English.
You say, "Well, why do you explain all that? Why does any of that matter?" It's that there are a lot of people today who have this bizarre worship of the Hebrew language like, "Biblical Hebrew is a magical, mystical language." This is coming from Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism and false doctrines of devils that are taught by the Christ-rejecting Jews. They would teach all these magical, mystical, but this is getting real popular amongst Christian now.
Anybody who calls themselves rabbi, Christ said, "Don't be called rabbi," but anybody who calls themselves rabbi, it's like, "Ooh! Let's listen a little more closely. Magical, mystical Jew will speak now and we can hear what he has ..." People have this weird doctrine that Hebrew is a special magic language. Then they go into denial about the fact that the New Testament is written in Greek, even though all the evidence is so clear. Five thousand nine hundred and some handwritten Greek manuscripts, zero Hebrew manuscripts of the complete New Testament, none of it, "Well, but maybe the Book of Matthew might have been written in Hebrew." Okay, but here's the thing, we know that the vast majority of the New Testament is clearly just explicitly written to a Greek-speaking audience. There's no doubt that it is written in Greek.
This Hebrew roots comes along with their Yeshua and Yahweh and this false doctrine when in reality, it's Jesus is the name of our savior, the name above all names. They come in and say, "No, no, no. His real name ..." No, the real name is the one that's in the New Testament which in Greek would be Isus which we would say Jesus in English but, "Oh, but the real name is Yeshua, Yahshua ..." It depends on how many ha-has they put in it. As long as you got Yeshua, Yahshua ... or whatever, different variation. They can't even agree on what it is because there was no tape recorder back then to tell you how it sounded, if somebody even were saying his name that way.
It is nonsense of saying, "Oh, Hebrew is a special, magical language. Adam and Even spoke Hebrew," that's what they say which is ridiculous. Abraham was the first Hebrew. Obviously, the Hebrew language basically, just developed like every other language developed. See, when the children of ... I'm sorry. When all of mankind was at the tower of Babel, God confounded their languages and split them up. Now, he didn't split them into hundreds of languages, no, because they're actually far fewer than that because you can tell today that our modern languages descend from certain common ancestors.
For example, you have different language families like the Indo-European languages. The languages of Northern India and the language of most of Europe, those all came from a common ancestor. Some proto Indo-European language. When you separate people, the language changes and changes and changes and gets real different. Now, people in India and people in European can't understand each other but there's a ton of similarity.
Whereas, Southern India, they speak a completely different set of languages that are not Indo-European. They're called Dravidian languages. These two languages come from different ancestors. They've both been influenced obviously by being on that same subcontinent, both influenced by Sanskrit, but they're very different, the Dravidian and the Indo-European, totally different languages, complete different.
It was obviously different guys at the tower of Babel that were speaking the languages that would eventually become the Southern Indian versus the Northern Indian. The difference between the European languages and African languages, different people coming from the tower of Babel with different languages. Then there are the Semitic languages, which the Semitic languages would be Hebrew but also Arabic. It was very similar to Hebrew.
Now, all that to say this, language has changed and evolved over time. You have one language that leaves the tower of Babel and they're all agreeing, but as they get split up over time, they changed. For example, the Scandinavian languages, used to just be one old, Noors language but now, it's Swedish, it's Danish, it's Norwegian, it's Islandic. Some of those can understand each other real well, but Islandic is real different. Why? Geographically separated. That's only a few hundred years.
It's the same thing with Hebrew. The Hebrew of one part of the Old Testament is not going to be identical in its original form with the Hebrew of another part of the Old Testament. If this is subspecial magic language, you can't change, and we need to count the numbers of the letters and go up and down and look for all the bible codes and everything, if that were really true, then wouldn't you think that the whole Old Testament, if it's all God's word would be written in the same dialect of Hebrew? Does anybody understand anything I said for the last 10 minutes?
I mean, wouldn't you expect if this is the God-given, I mean, this is what they were speaking in the garden of Eden, and I mean, when he named the animals and everything, I mean, that's what they're called in Hebrew to this day. When we get to heaven, we're all going to speak Hebrew. This is what people teach. The reason that that is shown that Hebrew is a language just like any other language is that you will see that the language changes in different parts of the Old Testament. Even when you're reading the King James, you can see different styles of language in different parts in the bible.
Not only that, but even you can see names go through transformations where Caleb becomes Calubi and where Nebuchadnezzar becomes Nebuchadrezzar and so forth as language changes and evolves. This shows, wait a minute. It's not some magical, mystical language that never changes. I guarantee you that the Hebrew that was being spoken in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, the verbal language was way different than what Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were speaking. All of that was different from what they're speaking in the garden of Eden.
To exalt the Hebrew language above other languages is to downgrade everybody else on the planet. Yeah, there are people who believe that way. They're called Jews, and they think that they are the chosen people by virtue of their nationality and their race. You know what? I heard a great saying, "It's not election by race, it's election by grace," because that's the bible says. Even so that the there's at this present time also, a remnant according to the election of grace. It's the election of grace, not the election of race. God didn't choose a race, he chose those to be saved by grace.
It doesn't matter your nationality. To downgrade the Greek language is to downgrade the New Testament which is my sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. To downgrade that, look, what I believe is that the New Testament and the Old Testament are equally God's revelation. It doesn't matter what language they started in. Here we see a difference in language between calling him Ornan and Araunah, same guy, and it's not even a different name.
Some people in the bible have totally different names like Simon Peter. It's just two names. This is clearly the same name just being spelled different because of the fact that obviously, 1 Chronicles and 2 Samuel are probably written a hundred years apart or 200 years apart. We don't know exactly when they're written but they were clearly written in different epochs and that's why words are expressed differently because they're probably written either a hundred or 200 years apart, and language can change a lot during that time. That was a total commercial break here of what we're actually talking about.
It says here, "So David gave to Ornan ..." Verse 24, "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.'" In the other passage, it was worded as he didn't want it to cost him nothing. Here it said without cost, the same thing. Look what happens right after this, chapter 22 verse one. This is the part we don't get from 2 Samuel, "Then David said, 'This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel,' and David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God."
Basically, he's getting all the illegals to build it for him. You see what he's doing? Because it says, he's like, "This is where we're going to build God's house," because he knew that he was going to be building the temple. Basically, God has shown him here, this is going to be the temple site. The temple that was originally built was built on top of where that threshing floor of Ornan, the Jebusite was. It's a very significant story. When David buys the threshing floor for 50 shekels of silver, that ends up being the site of the temple. That's where it's built.
He gets all the strangers in the land. Basically, strangers would be our modern word, foreigners. He set masons to hew wrought stones, to build the house of God, and David prepared iron in abundance. That's why I hire illegals, because if David could do it, I might as well do it. It says, David saved money, saved on taxes, "And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings," and on and on, he builds the temple.
I just want to point that out to you that this becomes the site of the temple. This becomes the site of God's house. We go from a story starting out where GOd's house is the last thing on anybody's mind. It's just "Let's count up the men of war. I want to know how many troops we have." They're just thinking about all the wrong things, just everything's on the carnal physical situation. Then how do we end the chapter? We end the chapter of "You know what? I want to spend money on the work of God. I want to give out this 50 shekels. I don't want it to cost me nothing. I want to spend something for the Lord."
At the end, it's all about God's house. Everything's about, "Hey, we're going to build the temple. We're going to build God's house." Of course, Solomon's going to be the one who actually builds the house but David says, "Well, you know what? If I can't build the house, I'm going to start preparing the building materials." He says, "Hey, let's start hewing the stones. Let's get the nails together. Let's start gathering it all."
Then by the time Solomon comes on the scene, then he basically steps in and just the materials are all there, the plans have already been made up, the stones are cut, the nails are ready, and he just has to basically just plug and play, just assemble the thing. It's already there, it's ready as supposed to just starting from scratch which is why it only takes him what? Seven years to complete it instead of building his own house takes who knows how long it took him to build his own house. Thirteen years, right?
What I'm saying is because David had gotten everything ready for him, it expedited the work of God. It went faster because he was building on somebody else's work and not Solomon just coming and, "All right. Let's build this thing." Somebody else had already put a whole bunch of work into it, behind the scenes, making the blocks, making the nails, getting everything ready to go.
What's the moral of the story here? The moral of the story is that we need to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. That's how we're going to be blessed by God is basically, giving priority to the Lord and to the house of the Lord which in the New Testament is the local church because the bible says, "That thou mayest know how though oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
When we look at God's house as an important place, and when we say, "You know what? I want to see God's house established. I want to see it built. I want to see it grow. I want to see God's work go forward," or maybe even have a desire to see churches established in other places. This was a new plant of God's house in a sense. Taking a more symbolic interpretation, "Hey, going to a new place and building God's house there."
We need to keep spiritual things, God's house, the church, the work of God, we need to keep that in front of us and on our radar and not get so choked out with the cares of this world and the things of this world that it's just all about checking the Wall Street Journal so that we can see how our investments are doing. That's what David is doing in a sense, "Hey, let's see how I'm doing financially."
You know what? Listen. If you're screwed financially as some people I know, I'm sure in this church are because you know what? Just a lot of people in our country are screwed up financially. It's just so easy to make financial mistakes and so forth with the easy credit sometime. Not only that but just let's say, you're just struggling to make ends meet, then yeah, you do need to pay attention to your finance. You do need to take heat onto your finances, especially if you're in an emergency or if you're in a situation where your ass has fallen into the ditch as it were on the Sabbath, you need to lay hold on it and pull it out in a sense.
When there's an emergency, when things are going bad, you need to fix it. Here's the thing though. You need to not get fixated upon money and get to where, "Hey, that's your big goal. That's what it's about to you," is just "If we can just get our finances straightened out, man, things are going to be great. Then we can save up for this and save up for that." You know what? Money and planning and finances, that's a part of our lives, and there's nothing wrong with that, but you know what? That should not be the focus of our lives. It should not be something that takes over and becomes real important to us how we're doing financially.
Now look, if you're not providing for your family, then yeah, that needs to be real important to you. For those that are providing and for those that are getting by and that are making it, you know what? You need to put more effort into the things of God than into just how secure can we make this thing. How bulletproof and diversified can we make our financial situation to where nothing can sink us?
God can take you down whenever he wants to, anyway, financially or otherwise, no matter how secure you get it. We need to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and allow him to bless us and have God's house in mind and the work of God in mind, not just "Well, once I get everything straightened out and get all my financial ducks in a row, then I'm going to get serious about serving God." I mean, that's not the way it works, friend. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
Father, we thank you so much for this story, Lord, where we can learn from it, and the example of David here making a mistake and putting the wrong priority where he's numbering the people but he forgets about the part that benefits you. He basically ... he wanted to number the people for his own benefit but he just conveniently forgot to half of the commandment that had to do with church. Lord, help us to stay focus on spiritual things, not just on the physical temporal things around us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.