1 Chronicles 21:1-17 Common English Bible (CEB)
21 A heavenly Adversary[a] arose against Israel and incited David to count Israel. 2 So David told Joab and the leaders of the people, “Go throughout all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beer-sheba, and take a census of the people so I know how many people there are.”
3 But Joab replied, “May the Lord increase his people a hundred times! Sir, aren’t you the king, and aren’t they all your servants? Why do you want to do this? Why bring guilt on Israel?”
4 But the king overruled Joab, who left and traveled throughout all Israel. When he returned to Jerusalem, 5 he reported to David the total number: there were 1,100,000 men available for military service in all Israel, while Judah alone had 470,000. 6 He didn’t include Levi and Benjamin among them, because Joab disagreed with the king’s order.
7 God was offended by this census and punished Israel. 8 Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done! Now please take away the guilt of your servant because I have done something very foolish.”
9 The Lord told Gad, David’s seer: 10 Go and tell David, This is what the Lord says: I’m offering you three punishments. Choose one of them, and that is what I will do to you.
11 When Gad came to David, he said to him, “This is what the Lord says: Take your choice: 12 three years of famine, three months of fleeing[b] from your enemies while your enemies’ sword overtakes you, or three days of the Lord’s sword, that is, plague in the land and the Lord’s messenger bringing disaster in every part of Israel. Decide now what answer I should take back to the one who sent me.”
13 “I’m in deep trouble,” David said to Gad. “I’d rather fall into the hands of the Lord, who is very merciful; don’t let me fall into human hands.” 14 So the Lord sent a plague throughout Israel, and seventy thousand Israelites fell dead.
15 Then God sent a messenger to Jerusalem to destroy it. But just as the messenger was about to destroy it, the Lord looked and changed his mind about the destruction. He said to the messenger who was destroying it, “That’s enough! Withdraw your hand!” At that time the Lord’s messenger was standing near the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
16 When David looked up, he saw the Lord’s messenger stationed between the earth and the sky with a drawn sword in his hand stretched out against Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, dressed in mourning clothes, fell on their faces; 17 and David said to God, “Wasn’t it I who ordered the numbering of the people? I’m the sinner, the one responsible for this evil. But these sheep—what have they done? Lord, my God, turn your hand against me and my household, but spare your people from the plague.”
1 John 2:1-6 Common English Bible (CEB)
Living in the light
2 My little children, I’m writing these things to you so that you don’t sin. But if you do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. 2 He is God’s way of dealing with our sins, not only ours but the sins of the whole world. 3 This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments. 4 The one who claims, “I know him,” while not keeping his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in this person. 5 But the love of God is truly perfected in whoever keeps his word. This is how we know we are in him. 6 The one who claims to remain in him ought to live in the same way as he lived.