by Rev Joel Yong
1 Chronicles 23:27-32
For by the last words of David the sons of Levi were numbered from twenty years old and upward. For their duty was to assist the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord, having the care of the courts and the chambers, the cleansing of all that is holy, and any work for the service of the house of God. Their duty was also to assist with the showbread, the flour for the grain offering, the wafers of unleavened bread, the baked offering, the offering mixed with oil, and all measures of quantity or size. And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the Lord, and likewise at evening, and whenever burnt offerings were offered to the Lord on Sabbaths, new moons and feast days, according to the number required of them, regularly before the Lord. Thus they were to keep charge of the tent of meeting and the sanctuary, and to attend the sons of Aaron, their brothers, for the service of the house of the Lord.
There is nothing wrong with counting the number of people gathered – if the purpose is for logistical reasons or to gauge how to better prepare for the gathering size.
It became a problem in David’s earlier census when it was done with the motive of trumpeting how great David himself was.
There is a difference – one seeks to ascertain how we can do our job better, and the other seeks to ascertain one’s greatness instead of God’s.
We must ask ourselves on a daily basis what our motivations are- its seldom the action itself that is wrong but more often the motives behind our deeds.