127. Again, the anger of the Lord burned against Israel and He incited David… (2 Samuel 24:1).
The story of the census unfolds from this moment and it’s hard to tell who is ultimately responsible for the act. God is angry with the people, but a parallel passage puts the responsibility of this temptation on Satan. David’s actions bring guilt on his head, and yet the people are the ones who experience the judgment. How does one discern a lesson from this? Sometimes, the leader’s path is confusing no matter what he has done. Trusting God means willingly yielding to his sovereignty. David failed to trust God in his moment of decision and the people have somehow angered God so they seem deserving of the plague. The higher level questions may be out of our reach–they often are, even for a leader.