Count me in

13 03 2011

During the next couple of weeks time everyone in England will be counted.  There are clear instructions with the census form –

“Everyone should be included in the census – all people, households and overnight visitors.

It is used to help plan and fund services for your community – services like transport, education and health.

Taking part in the census is very important and it’s also compulsory. You could face a fine if you don’t participate or if you supply false information.

Your personal information is protected by law and will be kept confidential for at least 100 years.

So help tomorrow take shape and be part of the 2011 Census.”

Our census takes place every ten years, and prospectively is used for planning and funding purposes; retropectively genealogists interrogate census data for family information.

In the ancient world of King David, there seems to have been a different purpose and when he took the census of his people (2 Samuel 24),  there was a problem.

David doesn’t appear to have been under military threat at this time, but he wants to find out how many fighting men he has.  His military strength has been a dominant feature in his reign and maybe his downfall here is that he is depending on the size of his army, on human power, rather than on God for his kudos.  At any rate, God is displeased with him.

The numbers are returned to him and almost immediately David realises that he has made a big mistake; his conscience is pricked and he is quick to acknowledge that he has been wrong.  I admire that.    He doesn’t get defensive, or blame someone else.  He holds his hands up and asks for forgiveness.  

What counts for David more than anything is his relationship with his God, so although he shows his human frailty, he exemplifies the importance of keeping short accounts, of being honest and of realigning life with God’s way. 

Count me in to that way of living.

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