So, in today's readings, David counts the people of Israel to assess their preparedness for war. In response, he is given three options from God:
1) Three years famine in the land
2) Three months of pursuit by his enemies
3) Three days of pestilence in the land.
Seems rather harsh, doesn't it?
To quote: 'Why so serious, God?!?!'
The reason this is such a serious sin in the eyes of The Lord is that He is to be their armor and protector. This is what makes Israel different from all the other nations who have to rely on their armies and walls and ramparts to protect them. Israel only has to rely on God. So when David has the census taken, he is basically saying to God: 'We don't need you!'
Think back on the history of Israel: the flight out of Egypt to the destruction of Jericho and the initial conquest of the Holy Land, as long as God fought for them, they were always successful. When they turned away, they started to falter and to fail.
Even at the beginning of the Exodus, Joshua is the only one who argues: 'it doesn't matter how many folks are in Canaan, we have the Lord!' Hence, he becomes the leader after Moses.
So, taking the lesson from David today, trust that God truly is on our side, even when the odds look long and daunting, and he will lead us through!