“And David said to God, “Was it not I who gave the command to count the people? It is I who have sinned and done very wickedly.’”
A census and a plague don’t seem like two events that should make us grateful, do they? Necessary to understanding this text is the knowledge that leaders in the Biblical times would institute a census if they had intentions of raising taxes. Perhaps Satan in this story, is a representation of David’s inner voice of greed saying that taxes should be raised. David sends Joab to count the people and Gad comes back to him with a message of displeasure from God. Perhaps God is upset because God sees David’s intentions and greed. Rather than taking stock of all of the wonderful assets and gifts within Israel, David resolves to count the people to see how much more money he could get. His greed and lack of gratitude is a warning to all of us. Today’s story shows us the danger of greed can be avoided with the practice of gratitude. This can be with regard to money, but also material items, relationships and even community. Where are you tempted with greed? How is the desire for more impacting your ability to be grateful?