As this rehearsal makes no mention of David's sin in the matter of Uriah, so neither of the troubles of his family that followed upon it; not a word of Absalom's rebellion, or Sheba's. But David's sin, in numbering the people, is here related, because, in the atonement made for that sin, an intimation was given of the spot of ground on which the temple should be built. Here is,
I. David's sin, in forcing Joab to number the people, #1Ch 21:1-6.
II. David's sorrow for what he had done, as soon as he perceived the sinfulness of it, #1Ch 21:7-8.
III. The sad dilemma (or trilemma rather) he was brought to, when it was put to him to choose how he would be punished for this sin, and what rod he would be beaten with, #1Ch 21:9-13. (MH)
I dealt with this situation in depth in 2 Samuel 24, so I will not here, other than just a few comments.
I find it interesting that the Lord, in the previous chapter and though it caused the kingdom to be split, passed over David's sin with Uriah, yet here He gives the details of his sin of numbering the people. In both cases, David repents, and here, he repents without being confronted over the sin. On the other hand, he did not repent with Uriah until Nathan confronted him.
V. 1, the major difference here is that in 2 Samuel 24:1, the Lord moved David to number Israel, and here it says Satan provoked David to number Israel. Again, we are reminded that Satan is no more than a tool of God to work God's good pleasure here on this earth.
V. 3, there was really no reason to number the people, for neither war nor tax time was close at hand. Thus, David seems to be requesting the number simply out of price, or placing his trust in human strength rather than in God's.
V. 4, Joab resisted David's command, knowing it was wrong, but he did it anyway. David is the one God held responsible for violation of the word of God, not Joab.
Note here: I wonder how much responsibility those under authority have to violate their "orders" when those orders are contrary to God's word?
V. 5, it took about 10 months to do this, 2 Samuel 24:5-8.
V. 8, in this case, David's conscience smote him, "I have sinned greatly..."
Sin never harms just the one who does it, but all those around him. SIN IS TOO EXPENSIVE TO BE FOOLED WITH IN ANY FORM.
V. 9, Gad, David's seer. It was Nathan with Uriah.
V. 13, David, the most powerful king of his day, readily submits to God and God's messengers. He knew how to be under authority, so he made a good authority to be under.
V. 14, I deal with this in 2 Samuel 24: Punishment against Israel for their revolt against God's man, David (when they chose Absalom over David. However, Absalom was a result of David's sin against Uriah).
Vv. 17, 18, when David repented of sin, the judgment stopped.
V. 18, God sent the angel to Gad, who then went to David, showing the importance God places upon the faithful preachers of His Word.
God chose the site of the altar, and thus the site of the temple that Solomon would build. Was this the mount where Abraham offered up Isaac?
V. 20, Ornan and his sons saw the angel, and hid themselves. Then when David wanted the spot for an altar, Ornan offered it at no charge. When people see the Lord, high and lifted up, they will gladly and freely offer to Him whatever He requires.
V. 24, offerings to and service to the Lord that pleases the Lord will cost the server. Thus, though the "free range" clean animals, e.g., deer, were forbidden for an offering to the Lord. However, doves were allowed for the poor.
V. 26, though the "official" altar of Israel was at Gibeon, God places His approval upon this altar. The destroying angel had caused fear in David, so he could no longer to Moses' altar at Gibeon; rather, he goes to this altar where God had shown mercy, and had answered him by fire.