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In 1 Chronicles 21:1, this same action is expressed as, "Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.” As in the case of Job 1:6-12, it would seem that the taking of a census was a means by which Satan proposed to test David's piety and tempt him to act on the pride that was apparently already in his heart (as well as the hearts of the people of Israel) because of glorying in themselves as the source of Israel's strength (rather than recognizing God's blessing as that source). And God allowed Satan to do it, because God Himself was angered (as noted in 2 Samuel 24:1) by that same pride. In this case (unlike Job), David failed the test by insisting on the census, even after Joab tried to dissuade him from it (2 Samuel 24:3), causing God to punish Israel. This illustrates the petition that Jesus included in the Lord's Prayer, in which Christians ask God not to lead them into temptation. We pray that He may not allow us to be placed in situations where we encounter temptation, and might sin as a result of it, although God Himself is neither the source of the temptation (James 1:13), nor the cause of our yielding to it.
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