Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The most confusing passage in the Bible!

Here is one of the most confusing passages of the entire Bible for me. Read it and tell me what the deal is.

2 Samuel 24
David Takes a Census

1 Once again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he caused David to harm them by taking a census. “Go and count the people of Israel and Judah,” the Lord told him.

2 So the king said to Joab and the commanders[a] of the army, “Take a census of all the tribes of Israel—from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south—so I may know how many people there are.”

3 But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God let you live to see a hundred times as many people as there are now! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this?”

4 But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab and the commanders of the army went out to count the people of Israel. 5 First they crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, south of the town in the valley, in the direction of Gad. Then they went on to Jazer, 6 then to Gilead in the land of Tahtim-hodshi[b] and to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon. 7 Then they came to the fortress of Tyre, and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went south to Judah[c] as far as Beersheba.

8 Having gone through the entire land for nine months and twenty days, they returned to Jerusalem. 9 Joab reported the number of people to the king. There were 800,000 capable warriors in Israel who could handle a sword, and 500,000 in Judah.

So here is my confusion:
1. The Lord was angry with Israel. OK, that makes sense. But the Lord CAUSED David to sin? The Lord TOLD David to count the people?
2. Joab knew it was wrong. How? What is so wicked about taking a census? Does Obama know this?
3. The king insisted. If he is a great leader, used to taking advice, not only from God, but from his wise leaders, why did he insist?

I am confused???

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