David’s census – a lesson for God’s people throughout time about acting only on divine authority. Who inspired it: God or Satan? Why was it so wrong? The ‘normative principle’ of God’s rule over us. The problem of pride and God’s precautions for us. A verse also about heartfelt worship.
The contrast between love and lust seen in Amnon’s rape of Tamar; Jonadab, like Satan, will prove a treacherous friend; Absalom unites charm and murderous cunning; a coup prepared after ’40 years’ – not an error but linking to the public mood that deposed Samuel.