King David ordered his leaders to count the people of Israel. Why? Maybe he was proud and wanted to know how many people were under his control. But God did not want David to do this. Verse 7 of our Bible Reading says, “David had done a bad thing in God’s sight. So God punished Israel.”
God told David that he could choose the punishment – three years without enough food, three months of running away from the enemy or three days of terrible sickness. David told God that he could not choose. So God chose to send the terrible sickness.
“So the Lord sent terrible sicknesses to Israel, and 70,000 people died” (verse 14). Wow! God loved David and the Israelites. He didn’t want to punish them, but David had sinned.
Sometimes God causes bad things to happen to us when we sin. God doesn’t want to punish us, but He hates sin. God is sad when we choose to disobey Him. He hopes that we will learn from our punishment and stop sinning.
Remember to love and obey God today and always.