God was angry with Israel in 970 BC. So, He allowed Satan to entice King David to take a census of the people in Israel.
Doesn’t a census sound harmless? But it wasn’t.
You see, Exodus 30:11-12 states that a census had to be ordered only by God because the Israelites were His people and not the property of any King. And if a census was taken, a ransom had to be given by each person to the Lord or a plague would hit the people of Israel.
When King David ordered the census to be taken, Joab, the commander of Israel’s armies, said to David, “But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this? Are they not all your servants? Why must you cause Israel to sin?”
King David ignored Joab’s advice and insisted on the census.
It took almost ten months to count the people.
And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”
The Lord sent the prophet Gad to King David to explain just how David’s iniquity could be removed. Gad gave David three options to choose from:
- Shall three years of famine fall on Israel?
- Shall you flee three months from your enemies?
- Or shall three days of a severe plague fall on Israel?
I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.” (2 Samuel 24:14 NLT)
The Lord sent a severe plague on the following morning. 70,000 men died in Israel over the time of the plague. More would have perished, but King David interceded for Israel by saying:
“I am the one who called for the census! I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? O Lord my God, let your anger fall against me and my family, but do not destroy your people.” (1 Chronicles 21:17 NLT)
King David’s prayer becomes more amazing when you consider that David was willing to give up every prophetic promise for himself and his family if that would stop the plague. His promises included a Son of David promise that would arrive on the scene almost three thousand years later.
God saw David’s heart and stopped the plague.
(Read the whole story in 2 Samuel 24 or 1 Chronicles 21.)
What does this have to do with the Coronavirus, right?
I believe the Lord is looking for believers who are willing to intercede in the same way King David did by standing in the gap for their cities, states and America right now.
For those who are willing, all we have to do is ask the Lord what He requires us to do in this sad hour. If we each do our part, I believe this pandemic will end sooner…rather than later.