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Prayer of Agreement Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 18:19) ________________________________ A Prayer for the Nation and People of Israel Lord, You will not cast off nor spurn Your people, neither will You abandon Your heritage. You have regard for the covenant You made with Abraham. Father, remember Your covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Father, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Thank You for the peace treaties with Israel’s former enemies. May these treaties be used for good to make way for the good news of the Gospel as we prepare for the coming of our Messiah. We intercede for those who have become callously indifferent (blinded, hardened and made insensible to the Gospel). It was through their false step and transgression that salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now, we ask that the eyes of their understanding be enlightened that they may know the Messiah Who will make Himself known to all of Israel. We ask You to strengthen the house of Judah and save the house of Joseph. Thank You, Father, for restoring them because You have compassion on them. They will be as though You had not rejected them, for You are the Lord their God, and You will answer them. We thank You for Your great mercy and love to them and to us, in the name of Yeshua, our Messiah. Father, thank You for saving Israel and gathering them from the nations, that they may give thanks to Your holy name and glory in Your praise. Praise be to You, Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” In Jesus’ name, amen.
Why was God so angry at David for taking the census? Why did God punish the Israelite people when it was David who ordered the census? In those times, a man only had the right to count or number what belonged to him. Israel did not belong to David; Israel belonged to God. In Exodus 30:12 God told Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.” It was up to God to command a census, and if David counted, he should only do it at God's command, receiving a ransom to "atone" for the counting. This is why God was angry again with Israel and is also why David was “conscience-stricken” after he counted Israel. David knew it was wrong and begged God to take away the guilt of his sin (2 Sam.24:10). God gave David a choice of three punishments for his sin—three years of famine, three months of fleeing before his enemies, or three days of plague. David chose the third, and the Lord then punished Israel with a plague which killed 70,000 men from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. Why, when he was the one who had sinned, did the people have to suffer? He even requested that God’s hand be against him and his family only, and that God would spare the people. But as with the account of Job, God chose not to give a reason for His actions. Perhaps it was because of Israel’s multiple sins and rebellion against God throughout the centuries. The psalmist tells us, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Ps.18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect.