It is not wrong for governments to gather statistical information. Moses is told to take a census of the people of Israel. The sin or wrong lay in David, in his pride, and with Satan. The Chronicler relays that Satan tempted or tested David and that David fell. Jesus was tempted three times and did not sin! Hallelujah!
“No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” v24
There is a cost to true worship, and David knew it. There is a seriousness to true worship, and David would not be flippant about it.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12 v1
Paul knew the cost of worship.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12 v24
It’s not easy to walk the narrow way. David, the man with a heart after God’s own heart, who loved the Lord God all of His days – His pride, and Satan, caused sin and such consequence.
What a clear picture of Jesus we see here.
David’s cost was some gold, to offer sacrifice, which God accepted (v26-27).
The cost to God was His death, the Son, on the cross, bearing the weight of the sin of God’s people, taking the penalty for our wrongdoing.
This is the sacrifice that David could not make. That no king or priest could make before or after.
It is good to remember the cost of what God did, as we bring our lives as living sacrifices. It is good to be reminded of the weight and price of what was done for us so that we could be transformed and renewed.