1 Chronicles 21.
In the NIV, it says Satan came up against David and “incited” David to take a census of Israel. This wouldn’t seem like a big deal except the motivation on David’s part was wrong. Joab, the person David instructed to count the “fighting men” knew this wasn’t a good idea because, after all, “are they not all my lord’s subjects?”
David gave in to the temptation to measure his strength and power, and in so doing dishonored God. This was his disobedience. He fell prey to the need to understand his circumstances.
There’s no way to know exactly what was going on in David’s head, but it’s likely that he wanted to know that he was prepared in the case of battle. The number of fighting men only needed to be known in a situation where David was challenged by another army. But because God had blessed David so much, it was an insult to God for David to measure the blessing. He was not satisfied with his reliance on God to handle whatever circumstance might come his way.
When I am feeling insecure about life, I suddenly need to measure what I have to help build my confidence. I may measure my money in the bank or my title at my job or my appearance compared to others…
It’s all a dishonor to God. He sent His son so that we wouldn’t need to worry, so that we could live life abundantly.
To live without measure requires great faith and understanding of who God is and how much He loves us. Looks like I’ve got some work to do.