In this daily Bible reading is the account of Satan motivating King David to take a census of Israel. David instructed his commander, Joab, to do so. Joab resisted, knowing that it would displease God and bring God’s judgment upon Israel. However, David prevailed; and Joab conducted the census. God was greatly displeased with David for ordering the census and brought a pestilence to Israel, which killed 70,000 men.
This incident shows me a glimpse of the spiritual world. Spiritually, Satan is in control of this world. He acts to thwart God’s will and bring destruction to the people. Satan is very powerful. He was able to influence David to sin against God, even though David strongly believed in God and followed God diligently.
The Bible says that David was ‘a man after God’s own heart.’ Even so, Satan knows mankind very well and exploits mankind’s weaknesses. I think that in this case Satan was exploiting David’s pride. David was King of Israel and his pride made him want to know how great was his empire. That was his natural sinful desire, and Satan used that to help David justify his actions. After David had completed this sin against God, he realized what he had done and was greatly sorry. However, the damage had already been done.
So it is with us. We are frequently tempted to sin. When we commit the sin, we realize our wrong and feel remorse. Therefore, we must look beyond the sin when we are tempted to sin and realize the damage that will be done. Then, we will have the motivation and strength to resist the temptation.