"Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number" (21:2). Israel was never a normal nation; her existence depended on God alone. By using barren women, younger brothers, and freed slaves to create the nation, God emphasized that He was Israel’s Savior. When David listened to Satan (21:1) and counted the people, he was checking the nation’s own resources to determine their potential, instead of relying on God’s infinite power.
“When you were few in number, and of little account … he allowed no one to oppress [you]” (16:19-21). God uses our inadequacies to show us the glory of His infinite power and grace (2 Corinthians 12:10).